European TR8’s

TR8’s sold in Europe (PED) Personal Export Derivatives

A lot of speculation has gone on over the years as to whether a European spec LHD TR8 existed. So did they, or didn’t they? “Sort of and Closest to” is probably the fair answer as “Tax Free” personal export TR8’s for Europe certainly existed,

TR8 Sold in Germany to USAF Forces and remained in Europe

TR8 Sold in Germany to US Army Forces and then shipped back to the USA

TR8 Sold in UK to USAF Forces and remained in UK

They came with the following documentation.

Tax free bill of sale

Tax free service book

In 1981 Solihull built the following 39 Personal Export Derivative (PED) TR8’s from June to September 1981.

(There were some PED cars in 1980 however I have currently no way of identifying from all the 1980 records for TR8’s, which they were individually, as I could from the build record cards still available for the 81’s. I do know of 7 1980’s PED’s from owners who still had the original paperwork. They were all carb versions so its reasonable to assume 1980 PED’s also used the same base 49 state model, and at a guess I’d say similar numbers)

No Reg No Col
1   406545 PHAROAH GOLD
2   406998 BORDEAUX RED
3   407110 PERSIAN AQUA
4   407121 CARMELIAN RED
5   407456 ERMINE WHITE
7   407467 ERMINE WHITE
8   407473 ERMINE WHITE
10   407484 CASHMERE GOLD
11   407495 CASHMERE GOLD
12   407500 CASHMERE GOLD
13   407511 CASHMERE GOLD



15   407529 ERMINE WHITE



17   407540 SILVER LEAF
18   407546 SILVER LEAF
19   407552 SILVER LEAF
20 MVP102X (UK Sale) 407563 SILVER LEAF
21   407574 SILVER LEAF
22 LOC685X 407585 SILVER LEAF
23   407596 SILVER LEAF
24   407603 SILVER LEAF
25 LOC238X 407609 SILVER LEAF
26   407614 SILVER LEAF
27   407620 SILVER LEAF
28   407625 SILVER LEAF
29   407631 SILVER LEAF
30   407669 MONZA RED
31   407674 MONZA RED
32   407708 CASHMERE GOLD
33   407714 CASHMERE GOLD
34   407725 CASHMERE GOLD
35   407736 CASHMERE GOLD
36   407742 CASHMERE GOLD
37   407747 CASHMERE GOLD
38   407769 MONZA RED
39   407775 MONZA RED

Sample Build Cards from PED cars

Ok so what are PED’s?

Well all of these cars are based on a 49 spec TR8 (basic federal variant SATPV458?BA without AC as standard – One car for 1981, 406998 did have AC) and all were supplied to either US/CAN service personnel or Diplomats entitled to tax free cars based in Europe.

So what’s the difference that makes them European spec?

  1. All of these cars were supplied either with the catalytic converters packed up in boxes in the boot for later on, or owners were supplied with a voucher to present at a JRT dealership in the USA/Canada on return. If you look at the bill of sale at the top of the page the cats are marked as an extra with more money to pay, so possibly you could save your cash and just not have them. There is further evidence on Build Cards shown above RHS lower corner section – note the cat “pack” in extra’s.
  2. Those sold in the UK. and there were a few, had a set of LHD lights for those supplied to UK based. See 407563 MVP102X (cars sold in the UK don’t seem to have the LOC???X plate those sold into Europe so far as I know had) This car was known as being sold to a US service person stationed in the UK. (Car is still in the UK). Appleyard’s of Harrogate sold a few PED’s to USAF servicemen stationed at Menwith Hill. Interestingly Appleyard’s also bought one of the RHD TR8’s at the Measham auctions.
  3. The engines were setup to run on leaded fuel as no unleaded fuel was available in Europe at that time so cats were not fitted. Having discussed this with Albert Tingey who designed the Efi system for these cars he tells me they will run fine without cats fitted. Up to 3000 there is some input from the sensors but after none.
  4. Leaded fuel filler / Narrower one for later. Almost no unleaded fuel available in Europe at that time.
  5. Because they were personal export quite a few of them had later ignition systems and alternators fitted. (This was useful for getting cars finished, as given production was ending Triumph had various parts shortages)
  6. Some because of particular country requirements had the chassis number stamped round the suspension turret. Not particularly well on the few I’ve seen indicating this was a rush job!
  7. No unleaded stickers on the dash or round the fuel filler.
  8. Cool air doors in the footwells, although strictly speaking all US fed spec cars had them.

All of these cars were exported / registered by:

Rover Hire Ltd or sometimes Tax Free Sales – (always the same address)

Lillie Hall,

Seagrove Road,



Free service voucher showing Tax Free Sales as the Heading where as the VX1 below shows Rover Hire Ltd – Note Voucher and VX1 are from different PED TR8’s.

All (that are known to me) were given a LOC???X registration number as a temporary DVLC (form VX1) skeletal record prior to their departure from the UK – as can be seen from the records above some still carry the original number largely because current/previous owners either bought the car from a USA/Canadian service person before they went back home or the UK plates were still with the car and the owner was able to apply for a conversion of skeleton vehicle record to full record (DVLC form VX2). In some cases cars have been brought back from the states without the new owner knowing the car had a previous UK registration number thus they now have different registration numbers.



Because these were all personal exports, type approval wasn’t required although it did exist for RHD UK spec cars (see below), so some of these cars have early versions of parts that came out on other cars in1982. (Presumably used to plug shortage gaps up at the end of production, and so cars could be finished. Using them on personal exports would have freed up parts for other cars that have to have them for approval, where as it wouldn’t have caused an approval problem for PED cars.

Type approval for a RHD TR8.


An interesting quirk is that all of the PED cars I’ve seen so far they have a different set of chassis letters (number remains the same) in the boot/trunk rain gutter. This is the European chassis number system, for the example below I’ve used my own car LOC238X.


The chassis number on the plate in the window and on the chassis plate in the door is SATPV458XBA407609

In addition the SATPV458XBA407609 chassis number appears stamped (very poorly and hastily) round the LH suspension turret; so possibly a rush job to get it past customs on its travels to its first owner perhaps?

Whether these are purely PED quirks or last of the line quirks I don’t as yet have enough data to confirm.