1979 Triumph TR8

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VIN 79-289
Exterior Group 44 livery of white with green stripes
Production 1 of 2 built; 8 race wins to this chassis, 1 to the other
Engine 3.5 Liter fuel injected Rover alloy block and head V8 with 375 HP.
Gearbox Triumph close ratio 5 speed
Weight 2200 lbs

Bob Tullius’ Group 44 team was the British Leyland (Jaguar Triumph) factory USA racing effort. They won the Trans Am title with the Jaguar XJS in 1977 and 1978. In 1979 British Leyland backed the Group 44 team in its development and racing program of the Triumph TR8. Bob Tullius realized the potential of the lightweight, aerodynamic V8 powered TR8 and proved that it was a race winner. In its debut race at the Watkins Glen 6 Hour, the TR8 dominated the class against the Corvettes and Camaros and finished 1st in class and 7th overall. It was so successful in SCCA competition that the SCCA continued to give the TR8 added weight penalties. Tullius took the TR8 to the IMSA series where it finished 1st in class and 6th overall at the Sebring 12 Hours. The TR8 continued to dominate the GTO class over the Chevrolet Corvettes and Porsche RSRs placing second in the IMSA GTO championship. The British Leyland factory backed Group 44 team is one of the most recognizable in motorsports having gone on to race in the GTP category with the Jaguar powered GTP cars. The Triumph TR8 was one of the most successful SCCA and IMSA production-based racing cars built.

With eight class wins in the 1979-1980 seasons and second place in the 1980 IMSA GTO points championship. Surviving in stunning original race condition as it left the racetrack at its final race – Sebring 12 Hours. Still with paint, body and mechanics from March 1981. This TR8 stayed with Bob Tullius and the Group 44 team until 2008 when selling to its second owner. Sold in 2011 to its third owner who undertook a comprehensive restoration. Then selling to its fourth owner in 2019.

This is an opportunity to acquire one of the most recognizable, successful and original IMSA racing cars of the era. It is eligible to race today in most historic venues and would be a showstopper and race winner once again.

Race History

July 7, 1979: Watkins Glen Six Hour – 7th Overall, 1st in class
August 5, 1979: Trans Am Watkins Glen – 4th Overall, 1st in class
September 2, 1979: 500 Mile Road America – 6th Overall, 1st in class
September 23, 1979: 100 Mile Road America – 13th Overall, 2nd in class
October 14, 1979: Trans Am Laguna Seca – 11th Overall, 1st in class
March 22, 1980: 12 Hour Sebring – 6th Overall, 1st in class
May 4, 1980: 100 Mile Laguna Seca – 9th Overall, 2nd in class
May 26, 1980: 1.5 Hour Lime Rock – 4th Overall, 2nd in class
July 4, 1980: 250 Mile Daytona Paul Revere – 6th Overall, 1st in class
August 17, 1980: 6 Hour Mosport – 8th Overall, 1st in class
August 31, 1980: 500 Mile Road Atlanta – 7th Overall, 1st in class
September 21, 1980: 50 Mile Road Atlanta – 12th Overall, 2nd in class
November 30, 1980: 250 Mile Daytona Finale – 8th Overall, 2nd in class
March 21, 1981: 12 Hour Sebring – 10th Overall, 4th in class

A bare shell, A to Z complete restoration by Intrepid Racing in Sparks, Nevada completed in Summer of 2013. A full restoration file comes with the car including receipts totaling in excess of $200,000. — Full body, paint, engine, transmission, rear axle, suspension, etc.

On display at The Quail Motorsports Gathering in Carmel, Calif. Raced successfully at the Monterey Motorsports Reunion. A total of 2.5 hours’ time on the entire car.

A full race prep by Brian Garzelli’s Competition Touring Cars at Sonoma Raceway during 2020 to include: full engine rebuild (with dyno sheet), rebuilt fuel injection, all fluids, new radiator, brake inspection, fuel cell, fire system, seat belts, alignment and corner balanced and more. A stunning car ready to race.

Complete with a large file of Group 44 spec sheets, notes, records, original period photographs and bill of sale from Bob Tullius. Full restoration file and most recent race prep receipts.

Of Note
A great entry for the many IMSA 50th Anniversary events, the Daytona “Classic” 24 Hour and the Sebring “Classic” 12 Hour.


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