RAC Cars News


TVR Returns To Britain

By raccars Published

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Reports have emerged suggesting that former British great, TVR, is on its way back to Britain. The once classically British sports car manufacturer has been floundering under foreign ownership since 2006, but former owner, Nikolay Smolensky, has recently confirmed that he has sold the rights to the cars and their components, including manufacturing rights and existing designs, to a buyer in the South East, near London.

The Russian banker now lives in Vienna and bought TVR from previous owner, Peter Wheeler, in 2004. He allegedly paid £15 million for the company but his stint as an auto manufacturer did not run smoothly. Various prototypes were developed and a joint project with Caterham mooted, but apparently Smolensky considered costs were too high and customer demand too low to make manufacture a profitable venture. After a few years Smolensky gave up trying to make cars but kept the TVR name for his wind turbine manufacturing activities. The last TVR car was produced in 2006, since when the company has been in corporate turmoil.

The price of the recent sale is unknown, but the new owner is Surrey entrepreneur, Les Edgar. While little is known about the transaction thanks to a non-disclosure agreement, Companies House holds information on an active private company named TVR Motor Cars Ltd, which was incorporated in April. TVR Manufacturing Ltd and TVR Automotive Ltd have both given the name of Leslie Edgar from Dorking as director. At the same time, the TVR website has featured teasing updates, suggesting fans of the brand have something to look forward to and the new owner has promised information will be forthcoming soon.

Mr Edgar has been keen to stress that his acquisition of the company was not an impulse buy but a well considered move, with solid technical and business support behind it. Until Smolensky's ill-fated endeavours, TVR held a fairly illustrious place in the history of British sports cars, with various fan clubs and enthusiast groups still active, promoting the marque and protecting the existing models. Mr Edgar is apparently determined to protect the brand's heritage and to restore TVR's reputation as a classic and very British sportscar.

No timescale has yet been announced, but since the sale was revealed an internet frenzy has erupted around the probability of an all new model TVR, but the new owner has been admirably discreet, merely cautioning "watch this space."

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