The search to find the right car for this TR7 Rally Replica project took over four years. RAF was eventually found in 2012, in a small village near York and had already been converted to V8 power using all the correct parts. Most importantly it still retained its solid roof and hadn’t had an after market sunroof fitted, which was a very popular update in the late 70’s. RAF also had mini lite replica style wheels fitted, which are similar in style to those used on the factory rally cars. The conversion, to the early Leyland Rally Replica colour scheme started straight away. The bodywork was in remarkably good condition, with only minor rust on the rear panel below the screen. This was repaired by a local body shop specialist, who also custom made the spot lamp brackets and fitted the four spot lamps and the rear safety roll bar.
Initially the car was transformed into the Rally Car colour scheme using purposely made TR7 vinyl wrap, purchased from a company found on the internet. After two weeks, working each evening in the garage with lots of re-measuring, re- cutting the supplied, supposedly made to measure shapes and a fair amount of swearing the car was nearly complete. Finally, the custom made Leyland, Triumph and sponsor stickers, including the Lombard RAC rally number boards were applied, along with home made mud flaps and a roof arial. From a short distance the car looked spectacular but the finish of the vinyl wrap on some of the more curved areas was not 100% perfect. The application being very, very difficult to fit without creases and getting bubbles beneath the vinyl. After much deliberation it was decided to remove the wrap and have the car sprayed by a local paint specialist.
A project is never complete! New rally seats are being searched for to complement the racing harnesses fitted recently and a new gearbox, plus a 4.6 ltr V8 engine are sat on the garage floor waiting to be fitted over the winter months. Afterall a Rally Car, especially with an RAF number plate needs to drive (and fly) as fast as it looks!
Great news this beast has now hit the road and its first run was on Drive it day 2016 !