Is Buying A Used TVR A Good Investment
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Is Buying a TVR a good investment? This article looks at the investment potential of buying a new or used TVR car. Find the right TVR for your budget.
Is a used TVR worth the risk?
Autocar recently revealed that the iconic UK manufacturer, TVR, will soon be returning to our lives, hopefully providing us with more of the high-performance cars they are famous for. While this transition is still in its infancy and the move back towards production is still a few years away, there is no need to worry.
There are plenty of previously owned TVRs out there if you have a particular itch you want to scratch. However, you should be aware that the quality of used TVRs, like Lotuses, will depend on the number and enthusiasm of previous owners.
There are plenty of horror stories from car reviews about old TVRs that have fallen to pieces from lack of care, with plenty of breakdowns along the way. A good quality car serviced at the right garage with the right capabilities and specialists and an owner willing to put the time and money into repairs and preserving it is a recipe for success.
The infamous reputation for careless owners means prices for used TVRs have stayed on the friendly side. The plastic bodies used when manufacturing TVRs have also helped keep resale prices low. Despite this, the fact that TVR has been out of the game for a while now, demand for classic cars has increased, meaning that some TVRs have begun to rise again.
You can find relatively cheap TVRs on the second-hand market, with some of their classic "wedges" being listed for as little as Â£2,000. But you get what you pay for, and any cheaper models you find will undoubtedly be restoration projects needing a little TLC.
Compared to other more reliable motors from TVR, you can find some models from the S-series line for between Â£5,000 and Â£6,000, which should be good to go when bought second-hand. If you're looking for a more modern-era TVR, 1990s Chimaeras can be found for around Â£7,500, only needing a quick tidy up.
Overall, you are far safer when looking for used TVRs in the Â£9,000 to Â£12,000 price range. Finding a Chimaera or Griffith in decent condition for these prices would be a dream.
Finding Tamoras, Tuscans and Cerberas below Â£20,000 would be incredible for used car owners. Besides hunting for bargains in private listings, you could always turn to a dedicated TVR dealer. These professional dealerships often provide warranties and expert servicing, so you know that you'll be getting a car in perfect working order.
This might be the best route for any nervous or first-time used car buyers or those wishing for a more professional service. Earlier TVR models are also managing to fetch some hefty prices on the second-hand market, with the company's renaissance helping boost them even further. If you are on the lookout for a TVR Tuscan or a T350, you can expect to pay around Â£40,000, but there is a lot of elasticity in TVR pricing, so you never know what you might find if you wait and go digging through the listings.
Should I Buy A Used TVR?
Overall, the news that TVR has chosen to get back in the fight has helped push prices for their classic models up, and this is expected to continue as momentum builds for their new releases. However, while most of the buzz for used TVRs is led by the Sagaris, the model last produced before the manufacturer's downfall in 2006, it may be worth looking first at some of the most popular models that TVR ever produced - namely the Chimaera and the Griffith. While most second-hand buyers favour later cars, these earlier TVRs have plenty to offer.
Foremost in their offerings being the Rover V8s under their bonnets. The Chimaera is possibly the more accessible of the 1990s - 2000s era for those uninitiated in TVR ownership, with average prices being in and around Â£12,000 to Â£15,000, rising to Â£20,000 for those in the best condition.
As with any high-performance vehicle on the second-hand market, there is a world of difference between those in poor condition and those in very good condition, so it is often best to go for the best you can afford.
Whatever your budget, the Chimaera is definitely a top model to look out for, being both practical and energetic when the occasion calls for it. While from the same era as the Chimaera, the Griffith boasts greater popularity than its sister model.
You can find Griffiths at the lower end priced around Â£10,000, but good "500" models can go as high as Â£25,000, with low-mileage finds costing even more. For many, the Griffith is the flagship of TVRs Peter Wheeler era, and its unmistakable looks make it one of the most sought after TVRs ever.
One issue that you cannot forget about regarding second-hand TVRs is chassis corrosion. This is one of the most common issues TVRs suffer with, and it can be difficult to diagnose without a professional inspection, which would be well worth the money for your peace of mind.
When you search into TVR eras where they used their own "Speed Six" or AJP V8 engines, you find a wider range of prices and values to suit your budget.
Cars from this era will be more difficult to look after, and you can expect those that haven't been looked after properly to be in a sorry state. This will then translate into a difficult restoration job on your part, so you should be wary of this when searching through the listings.
TVR is also known to have tested their early models on their first customers, meaning these first editions can often be plagued with problems.
Carebras are one of the models famous for having the AJP V8, being released from 1996 - 2003. You can still find Carebras on the cheap, though most will undoubtedly have been restored, with backstories to their low price tags, usually somewhere in the low teens.
Your top-of-the-range used TVRs can reach up to Â£40,000+, but you will get a lot of car for your money, so they are not for the inexperienced.
How to Buy A TVR Within Your Budget
With new TVRs on the horizon, there is a great deal of speculation as to what the future of the manufacturer will provide. Alongside thoughts of an electric future, many people are looking back at TVRs of the past. Therefore, we thought we'd go through the best ways to purchase a slice of TVR history at different budgets for those looking for something new for the driveway.
Incredibly, you can enter into the hollowed club of TVR owners for as little as Â£5,000. Of course, five grand is no small amount, but the fact that you can bag yourself a classic sports car for this amount of money is remarkable. When looking at used TVRs in this price range, you have two main choices: the S2 and the 350i. The first is powered by a 2.9-litre Ford V6 and was the inspiration for the Chimaera. The latter boasts a more powerful engine with a classic TVR V8. Still, the infamous wedge shape and the off-the-wall interior is something of an acquired taste, not that there's anything particularly wrong with it.
Having a Â£10,000 budget opens up the world of Chimaeras to you. Low mileage 400s and 450s are possible, but you are better off hunting for a slightly higher mileage 500. With 5-litre V8s, you could want for little in terms of power and fun. However, if you want something a little more stylish and a little less assertive, you could always opt for TVR's first convertible, the 3000S. With a 3-litre V6, there's still plenty under the bonnet to give you goosebumps, but it may be easier to control.
For more modern TVRs, you'll need a budget closer to Â£15,000. The Tamora is an excellent option. With TVR's Speed Six, 3.6-litre engine, it's a real flyer. However, there were some reliability issues noted with this engine, so it's worth researching rather than buying the first one you see. But if you want a little more certainty, the Griffith 400 offers good value for money. Depending on personal taste, you may find the Griffith more aesthetically appealing, but the Rover V8 engine is the main selling point for us.
This is a serious amount of money to put towards a second-hand car, but don't worry, you'll be getting a serious amount of car for it. For Â£20,000, you can get your hands on later models with Speed Six engines, such as a Tuscan 4.0, which has the signature TVR "chromaflair" paint job. Alternatively, you could opt for a Cerbera with its AJP8 V8 engine for a little more power.
We're very jealous if you've got Â£30,000 to spend on a TVR, but it's definitely a good thing for you. You can bag some serious kit at these prices, such as the Tuscan S with a 4.0-litre Speed Six churning out up to 400 bhp. But if you really want to push the boat out, why not aim for the moon? Taking the jump for thirty grand, you could get your hands on the one car that all TVR drivers dream of all their life of owning: a 5.0-litre V8 Griffith 500 SE. Only 100 were ever produced, so it's more than just a second-hand car - you could even see it as an investment.
If you are looking for TVR specialist servicng and repair within Maidstone and Kent, then get in touch today.