1979 Triumph TR8 Group 44 Race Car

1979 Triumph TR8 Grand Prix Classics
MakeTriumph
ModelTR8
TypeRacing Coupe
Year1979
VIN78-289
ExteriorGroup 44 livery of white with green stripes
Production1 of 2 built; 8 race wins to this chassis, 1 to the other
Engine3.5 Liter fuel injected Rover alloy lock and head V8 with 375 HP
GearboxTriumph close ratio 5 speed
Weight2200 lbs

History
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 stated 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

Condition
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.

Then full race prep by Huffaker Engineering the summer of 2019 to include all fluids, full engine service, new fuel cell, fire system, seat belts, brake inspection and more. This is a stunning car ready to race.

Documents
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.

Price
Inquire.