As TVR supercars return, these are the best, and maddest, of the Brit marque’s creations. Ferrari and TVR will both be 70 in 2017, and they’re both named after their respective founders so these are the things they have in common.
Sadly, for the British end of the equation, Ferrari sounds faster than Trevor but even so, the abbreviated TVR managed to punch so far above its weight, that it could have floored Mike Tyson and Carl Froch simultaneously.
TVR supercars enjoyed questionable reliability and a fast drive
So, as you all probably know, the TVR is back, and will be heartily filled with Gordon’s Murray’s design brilliance and pf course, Cosworth power. It will even top 200mph, but until the moment we see the final thing at the 2017 Goodwood Revival, here are the company’s greatest supercars.
The start of TVR as anyone under the age of about 95 would recognize it. Available with two different Ford engines, two Coventry Climax engines, or the B-series unit used by the MGA. Granturas were imported by a bloke called Roy Saidel; it was a golden era for British sports cars in America.
Vixen (late 1960s)
Coincided with Martin Lilley’s arrival of as new owner and a move to Bristol Avenue premises. This supercar is TVR’s dazzling weakness for draping scantily dressed ladies over their motor show cars.
350i/420 SEAC (1980s)
Peter Wheeler, the former chemical engineer that had acquired the company, bumped Ford’s Cologne V6 in favour of Rover’s redoubtable V8 – in 1983, 190bhp was a load of grunt, but enough for the 350i’s chassis to cope with. Except that it wasn’t, which is where the 420 SEAC with a Kevlar/fibreglass composite body came in touting 300bhp from its revised engine.
Griffith 500 (1990s)
This car arrived in 1991 and walked out in 2002, leaving behind the proud world’s longest drift all through the whole of the 1990s.
The softly suspended GT take on the hairy-arsed Griff. It showed up with a comparatively civilised 240bhp but ended up with 100 more, via 4.3 4.5 and 5.0-litre incarnations.
This is the elusively ludicrous looking yet entirely amazing Cerbera. It was the first 2+2 car, and more significantly the first TVR to use the company’s own engines, the AJP6 and AJP8.
Unfortunately, severe financial strained on the company. The throttle travel was so long the pedal passed through several different time zones. There was the absence of traction control as well. TVR didn’t do traction control.
Co-starred with John Travolta and Halle Berry in forgotten Hollywood heist flick Swordfish. But the Tuscan is better remembered not only as the best-looking TVR of all but the best to drive too, thanks to sorting out the initially wayward chassis. Red Rose version made 380bhp.
The farewall for TVR, at least until the next-gen emerges. TVR somehow gave airbags, anti-breaking system and ESP the swerve, as they were all counter to the adrenalised philosophy of the company.
Named after an ancient Greek battle-axe, its super-fast steering and narrow slip angles made it appropriately knife-edgy on the race-track.