RAC Cars News


Getting a Slice Of TVR

By raccars Published

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With the news that the classic British sports car is undergoing a rebirth, TVRs are gaining some public attention. These examples of the company's past glories should whet your appetite for the new glories hopefully on their way.


The Chimaera was a thoroughbred TVR, a symphony of sinuous curves and a beast on the road. The 4.0 litre V8 functions as an entry level TVR, if such a thing exists and is great fun. However, you can expect the usual reliability and insurance gripes that TVR is known for, but you'll have a huge grin on your face every time you get behind the wheel. Don't be surprised to find engine rebuilds necessary within 20,000 miles and make sure the plastic coated chassis is intact or there's a risk of rotting.


The space age looks of the Tuscan give a good clue to its sensational performance – driving sensibly and safely is rarely an option. Arguably, the Tuscan would be best left to the professionals both on and off the road, as it is beset by the usual TVR pitfalls and more. You'll need a specialist mechanic and equipment to get it through an MOT and should forget about buying any pre-1999 examples. However, it's one of the most engaging drives in the world.

Griffith 500

One of the company's most famous models still looks sexy today. The Griffith 500 rides on a Tuscan chassis and is usually powered by a 4.3 litre V8. Post 1995 models will have power steering and that particular engine was relatively robust, but again as a TVR, you can expect it to have had some service upgrades.


This was TVR's idea of a family car, but rarely have families been transported from 0-60mph in 4.0 seconds flat. Its show stopping looks could leave no-one in any doubt of the Cerbera's capacity for menace and it should be handled with extreme care. Early models are beset with problems and electrics were always a bit dodgy, but no other car will return you this sort of performance for the same money.


In the 1980 the S, S2 and S3 were the easiest way to get a foothold on the TVR ladder. It's got bags of retro charm and a powerful Ford V6 under the bonnet. The solid, glass fibre body should be holding up fairly well but check around the headlights, wheel arches and front pillars and keep an eye out for badly restored examples.

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