1978-1979 Canley built cars

Production was transferred to Canley in October 1978 and continued until August 1980 when car assembly at Canley was stopped. As during this period there was a complete change in identification and numbering system, 78 – 79 and 79 – 80 cars will be dealt with separately.

1978 –79 cars built at Canley are, similar to Speke cars, identified by a three letter prefix in front of the chassis number. The prefixes follow the same system as those on Speke-built cars, except that the first letter is now always “T” which indicates Canley assembly. The Commission Numbers can be decoded as follows:

1.Assembly Plant: T=Canley Built
2.Model range:C=TR7/8
3.SpecificationsG=TR7 coupe for home market/Europe/Australia.
W=TR7 coupe for North American markets.
N=TR8 coupe for North American markets.
T=TR7 convertible for North American markets.
V=TR8 convertible for the North American markets.
4.Chassis NumberVaries in the number of digits
5.Option suffixesU=North American specification cars
L=the other left-hand drive cars.
F=Five speed gearbox fitted.
A=Automatic transmission fitted.
C=Exhaust emission control fitted.

Another difference is that, while different models of Speke built cars each had their own distinctive series of Chassis numbers, it would appear (when comparing with the official production figures) that different models built at Canley shared one chassis number series, or else there were large gaps in the number series which have yet to be discovered. For this reason, the possible production figures by chassis numbers have not been quoted below.

1.‘TCG’TR7 coupe for home market, Europe and Australia.
TCG 100001 to 114122 (Oct 78 to Oct 79)
2.‘TCW’TR7 coupe for North American markets.
TCW 100001 to 115604 (Oct 78 to Oct 79)
3.‘TCN’TR8 coupe for North American markets.
TCN 150001 to 150198 (78 model year)
160001 to 160142 (79 model year)
N.B. It is likely that most of these numbers were not used.
4.‘TCT’TR7 convertible for North American markets.
1979 m.y.: TCT 100001 to 105825 (Jan 79 to Jun 79)
1980 m.y.: TCT 110001 to 115897 (Jun 79 to Oct 79)
N.B. It is questionable how many of these cars were built.
79 model year had their own Comm. number series
80 model year shared with Comm. number series with TCG and TCW.
5.‘TCV’TR8 convertible for the North American markets.

There were some cars built with chassis numbers from TCV 200001 upwards for the 1979 model year.

It will be seen that all of these Canley built cars have six figure chassis numbers commencing with the figure 1, as the first chassis number issued to a Canley built car was in fact 100001. In 1979, theoretically from the commencement of the 1980 model year, the previous chassis numbering and prefix system was scrapped and replaced by the VIN ( Vehicle Identification Number ) system which is now used by car manufacturers’ world wide under international conventions. The later Canley built, and all Solihull built cars, therefore have VINs rather than chassis numbers, as will be explained in the following section.

As a note of interest: TR7’s were built at Canley alongside Spitfires and Dolomite saloons.