SO WHO WINS?

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Epic Battle -

If money were no ob­ject, we’d sug­gest buy­ing both an MGB and a TR7 and driv­ing them on al­ter­nate days. But as we need to choose an out­right win­ner...

Like the Bea­tles, the MGB was a 1960s act whose classy com­po­nents suc­cess­fully lived on and pros­pered well into the 1970s and ‘80s. The TR7, on the other hand, has been un­fairly as­so­ci­ated with the decade that taste for­got, leav­ing it with more than a whiff of Afghan coats, patchouli oil, prog rock con­cept al­bums and jeans with ridicu­lous flares. This is un­for­tu­nate, be­cause the TR7 is a great car, brim­ming with po­ten­tial. Nei­ther should Tri­umph’s ad­ver­tis­ing com­par­ing the car to a bul­let be fol­lowed by the phrase ‘in the head’

Though it feels slightly more sa­loon­like to sit in than the MGB, the TR7 han­dles re­ally well. It’s very com­fort­able, has a spa­cious in­te­rior and boot, and has an im­mense and lov­able char­ac­ter. It re­ally is en­ter­tain­ing to drive and ev­ery­one loves those pop-up headlights.

The most bit­ter irony is that build qual­ity of later TR7s was ac­tu­ally rather good, just at the point pro­duc­tion ended. Peo­ple also tend for for­get just how many safety fea­tures th­ese cars were given, from crum­ple zones to door bars.

I re­ally don’t want to hurt the poor old MGB GT. So I won’t. I love the car and, in quan­ti­ta­tive terms, it does noth­ing badly. For that rea­son alone, it has to be the easy win­ner.

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