What Is The Best TVR To Buy
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What is the best TVR to buy? If you are considering buying a used TVR, you will want to research the features which make the car right for you. Find out more about the best TVR road cars.
Should I buy a used TVR?
In recent years, TVR has undergone something of a rebirth, offering fantastic new sports cars to entice fans and strangers alike. However, while there's everything to love about their new models, TVR's classics from the past offer motorists some truly singular driving experiences. This article will take you through some of the more popular classic TVR models and what makes them so special.
Best TVR road cars
You may be used to articles about secondary markets for renowned carmakers such as Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin and perhaps wonder why this one is about TVR. But for many classic car enthusiasts, TVR often has some interesting contributions to the discussion. While it is one of the classic British brands that never quite caught on as well as others, they've produced some intriguing models with strong cult followings over the years.
TVR began in 1946 as a modest engineering company in Blackpool owned by a young man called Trevor Wilkinson (if you take some of the letters out of "Trevor", you can see where they got the name from). Over the next six decades, TVR produced some truly exciting vehicles, alongside some that didn't quite make the grade. Here is a selection of some of the favourite models from TVRs time as a contending British high-performance car manufacturer.
There was no way we could leave the T350T out of this list. This particular model was based on a predecessor, the Tamora, with a 3.6-litre straight-six. As a hatchback, it's quite an aerodynamic little number, with a longer body but shorter wheelbase than the Tamora.
The interior was also pretty striking, in true TVR style. This is also a fairly rarely seen model, with only 70 ever produced, making the T350T a sought-after vehicle.
In 2003, TVR was bought by a young Russian millionaire named Nikolay Smolensky, and the first car they chose to put out under their new owner was the Sagaris in 2005. Some thought it was just going to be another TVR, complete with a whacky body shape and an exhaust that would have outraged neighbours reaching for their decibel meters.
However, many car enthusiasts welcomed this model as one of the most vibrant cars TVR ever produced. Powered by a 4-litre straight-six, the Sagaris could bost some serious power.
Producing around 350 ft-lb of torque at 5,000 rpm, this TVR also had a great top speed and a transmission designed to get it to 60mph in first gear. It was a sophisticated piece of machinery, but, being a TVR, it didn't come with any driver aids, such as traction control, anti-lock braking or airbags.
The Sagaris was in production until 2006, when TVR went under, meaning only 200 models were ever produced. Less than 100 are now still on the roads in the UK, making the Sagaris the last real British TVR to be produced. That is until later in 2022, when TVR are supposed to be rebooting their operations. Let's hope they can be as innovative today as they were in 2005.
TVR 420 SEAC
The 420 SEAC has an interesting origin story. In 1981, TVR was bought by chemical engineer Peter Wheeler, who wanted to change things up a bit at the Blackpool manufacturer.
Rather than the traditional fibreglass bodies that TVR used for their cars, Wheeler wanted them stronger while losing some weight and started considering alternative materials. He landed on a substance similar to Kevlar, and the SEAC was born (Special Edition Aramid Composite).
It was originally based on TVR's 350, but being shorter, wider and lighter, it could use more of the 4.2-litre V8 they stuck in it. However, all of this innovation didn't come cheap, with the pricey wedge of cheese that is the 420 SEAC costing 1980s consumers up to Â£43,000, which was practically double the prices of some of their other models, which most couldn't afford.
However, it's not the price tag or the fancy materials it was made of that gets the SEAC a spot on this list. With all its roaring power, this TVR was able to compete with racing cars that were well out of its league. It's also very rare since it was banned due to TVR not making enough road car versions, so if you can pick one up for the right money, we highly recommend that you do.
The Chimaera, like its mythical, Ancient Greek counterpart, is a bit of a fire-breathing, lion-headed monster. With a 4.0 or 4.3-litre Rover V8 leading the charge, Bilstein dampers and a Borg-Warner T5 gearbox, the Chimaera is a whole heap of car.
However, the Griffith is almost identical to this, so why is the Chimaera in particular on our list? It's that Rover V8. Compared to the straight-six configuration found in most other TVRs, the Chimaera can boast of the impressive power delivered by its transverse cylinders.
The progenitor of the T350T, the Tamora, was unveiled at the 2000 British Motor Show. It was initially conceived as a replacement for the Chimaera and the Griffith, as a more accessible way into the TVR family.
Similarly to the other models, they were producing, the Tamora has a 3.6-litre engine and a likewise similar chassis and suspension system. Due to these similarities, TVR ownership stuck closely to the models people were already familiar with rather than gambling on the Tamora.
Not many Tamoras were making their way off the shelves, so TVR naturally decided not to build as many. However, many may not know that they were missing out on a true powerhouse of a vehicle.
With excellent handling and grip, alongside its raw power, the Tamora is a cracker of a car from the TVR range. And, after all, who doesn't like an underdog?
The TVR Tuscan has come to us in many guises, but we've chosen the 1999 model for this list. Compared to its forerunners, the 1999 Tuscan gave customers good value and a little bit more for their money, with its powerful 3.6-litre straight-six under the bonnet producing 290 ft-lb of torque, there was a lot to love.
However, again TVR chose not to install any ABS or traction control for all that power, which may have put some people off the Tuscan when it was launched.
Doubtless, the Tuscan was a powerful machine, and it proved somewhat popular, with production continuing right up until 2006 as one of the final models being manufactured in the UK. An interesting tidbit about this particular model concerns the stereo system.
TVR had failed to pay its dues to its stereo supplier Alpine, forcing the designers to quickly run out into Blackpool and grab the first cheap system they could find, which they then installed.
The 1991 Griffith was a true showstopper in every sense of the word. When it was revealed at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show, it had instant driver appeal, with orders for the Griffith flooding in for the entire duration of the event.
The Rover V8 configuration makes another appearance here, with various sizes available from 4.0-litres up to 5.0-litres. One of the best of the bunch was the 4.3 "Big Valve" option. With only a dozen ever leaving the factory, this particular Griffith is as rare as they come.
TVR Taimar Turbo
Turbocharger technology is safe to use in most modern cars we see today. This is because the understanding of such systems has come on tremendously in past decades.
However, in the 1970s, when turbochargers were a new thing, not many drivers, or engineers for that matter, knew what they were doing with them. It only makes sense, then, that the ridiculously powerful engines of TVR were the first to be fitted with turbochargers.
The Taimar is the first car in the UK to come with a turbocharged engine, making it one of the first turbocharged sports cars in the world. It comes from the "M Series" of TVR vehicles, which started with the piddly 1600M in 1972.
This initial model only had a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder engine, producing around 90 fl-lb of torque. Compare this to later models, the Taimar, with its turbocharged Ford V6, and you almost have a recipe for disaster - especially with the primitive braking and tyre technology of the 1970s. Only 30 were ever made, making the Taimar also incredibly rare.
The early cars from TVR in the 1940s were odd things. They were a mish-mash of engineering from all over the place as the technicians and designers stumbled their way towards the first, true TVR sports car.
Luckily, they landed on the Grantura in 1958, and this one car put the company on the map as a manufacturer of truly fun and enjoyable vehicles.
The Grantura has a tubular chassis, a fibreglass body, a VW suspension system and brakes from Austin-Healey. There were also various engine sizes available to the 1950s TVR customer. Again, it's quite a rare model, with only 100 ever being made.
Later cars, like the MK.II, offered upgraded steering and more powerful engines under the leadership of Martin Lilley in 1961.
The Grantura is the final TVR on this list as it is the first proper sports car the manufacturer produced and one which went on to inspire other classics like the legendary Griffith.
If you want to find out more about TVR servicng and repair within Maidstone and Kent, then get in touch today.