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TVR

I am curious if anyone has had any experience with these cars (vixens, 280is) and if so what is the deal?
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  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Has anybody even sat in a TVR?

    I guess they are just too rare here.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    TVR was started in 1947 when Trevor Wilkinson founded Trevcar Motors and started making his own homebuilt sports cars from various parts of other makes (with his own tubular chassis).

    After a few years, TVR started making fiberglas bodies mated to proprietary components from other automakers. A few of these early cars came to America and were called JOMARS.

    The first "real" TVR made in any number (only 100) was the Grantura, 1957-60. They had a tubular backbone frame, with VW suspension on a kind of notchback coupe body. You could get a Ford side-valve or an MGA engine.

    So the TVR was typical of many small British manufacturers of that time who produced "kit" cars that you could buy and assemble yourself if you wished. This was done to beat the British tax system and was much the tradition in the UK for a long time.

    TVR made a Grantura II & III up to 1964, also in small numbers. The "new" Griffith 200 & 400 was basically a TVR Mark III with various Ford V8s crammed into them. This turned a basically sound and safe MG-powered car into a dangerous beast that most sober drivers deemed lethal.

    There was also a Vixen S1 through S4, 1967-72, a much nicer and better made TVR, powered by either MG or the Ford Cortina engine.

    The Tuscan V8 came out also during this time and was much better than the Griffith but most people couldn't tell the difference and the despised Grifftith reputation hurt the Tuscan more than it deserved.

    The Tuscan 2500 with a TR6 engine had some luck in the US. The last of the Vixens was an S4 with a new "M" chassis.

    Then we had the 2500M and 3000M in the 1970s using the Ford Capri V-6. They made about 1,600 of these.

    Anyway, the list goes on and on, (Taimar, Tasmin, S3C, Tuscan (again), Griffith (again) but after about 1979 TVR stopped making "kit" cars that you could buy broken down and just made finished automobiles.

    The company has escaped death many times and has had a number of owners. Their history is quite complex.

    As one book says, "TVR survived by going for market niches, and filling them more competently than most, to the extent that in the 1980s it could claim to be the largest independent producer of sports cars in the UK".

    If you ever do see a TVR, it probably won't be in the USA. They show up from time to time, but the early cars were made in very small numbers and the later ones can't be imported.

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  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    TVR now is an anti-technology car builder. No ABS, electronic stability control or anything like it. So they still have a reputation as too hardcore for all but the most courageous (or insane). Maybe the most raw driving experience you can get in buying a modern day auto. Those boys at Blackpool sound like they could teach those Viper guys a thing or two about building a beastly sports car.

    I started this thread because I was just curious if the older TVR's carried the same reputation.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    I'm told they looked and felt pretty home-made. I have never driven one but I have driven other contemporary kit specials from the UK (Bond, Lotus 7) and they are pretty crude.

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  • - The Tuscan S is the fastest car in all Britain at 206.4 MPH officially clocked by the RAF.
    - The Tamora is a cute little sportscar, the size of a Miata, clean-handling, fun to drive, easy on fuel, and capable of leaving a Viper or Z06 standing.
    - The Cerbera 4.5 is the fastest 4-passenger automobile ever made. 193.5 MPH.
    - For more information, visit www.tvr.co.uk/ or pistonheads.com/
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    They've come a long way since the old days. How expensive are these cars, do you know?

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  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Well the Tamora is cheaper than a Porsche Boxter S in the UK. This is what they go for in pounds.

    Chimaera = 34980
    Tamora = 36500 (Not bad for 350 hp and 175 mph)
    Cerbera = 41100 - 46500
    Tuscan = 39850 - 75000

    What I hear is the Tamora is the model that mortal beings can actually drive fairly confidently. The rest make a Viper seem sedate.
  • I got to know someone in my area back in the early 1970s who had one of the "Griffiths" that Shifty referred to.
    They were really small, but with the 260 cu.in. Ford engine, very quick.
    I sent for a piece of literature on the car, and along with it, TVR asked if I was interested in becoming a dealer. What a recruitment!! If they had only known I was just a 20 year old gearhead!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    You could have made a small fortune selling TVRs in America! Of course, you would have had to spend a large fortune....

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  • Isn't that kind of like most forms of automobile racing...You can become moderately wealthy racing, as long as you were filthy rich to start with!!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
    it belonged to my cousin ca. 1969. It was pretty sweet to drive. The torquey 6 was quite a contrast to the Triumph 4 I was used to in my car ('66 TR4A) as was the smooth ride and great handling. The rear suspension was much better sorted out than the squat prone Triumph IRS.

    IMO the 2.5L six was just enough engine for it. A V8 would have been a handful. the TVR 2500 could have been thought of as a miniature E-type except that it was butt ugly.
    In retrospect the distinctive styling was cool in it's own ugly-[non-permissible content removed] way.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    "...except that it was butt ugly." :)

    That's a fairly big difference, isn't it?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
    considering the E-type was one of the most beautiful cars ever made. The sheer gorgeousness of those things makes people forget they were fantastic to drive as well.:-)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    Yeah, being ugly and lethal to handle isn't a great business plan when competing with the E-Type.

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754
    Although quite ugly the 2500 was as good handling a car of that era as I ever drove.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    No, I meant the V8s andy

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,754

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    I wasn't very clear as to the reference I think. I was referring to someone else's post about V8s.

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  • aezeligaezelig Posts: 13
    Last spring i decided it was time to buy a fun weekend driver. I wanted to spend no more than $7500 and was looking for something a little different and fun.

    I looked at a lot of cars. I was checking out a lotus europe (now thats an ugly car), and found out that their was a tvr down the street. After driving the tvr, i knew i found what i was looking for.

    It was in my price range, looked kind of cool, and I was positive that the guy next door wouldnt have one (i personally think its looks are pretty close to a 240z). Drove like a go-cart...not that fast, but it felt fast and handled like a charm. It's pretty cramped, but once your in, you'll feel like you're there to drive.

    Ended up buying one and wishing i bought the rusted out 911 targa I also saw. Didn't realize that until trying to drive in the 90degree summer weather with no a/c and only a small sunroof.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,981
    Oh, you don't want a rusty Porsche 911. The body IS the frame---any bad rust you can just throw a 911 away--it's not economically fixable and probably dangerous to do so.

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