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TVR Sports Cars
TVR starts life in Blackpool as Trevcar Motors, a car repair and engineering business founded by 23-year-old Trevor Wilkinson. In 1949, TVR built its first original chassis for TVR One. It used a multi-tubular chassis, Morris 8 mechanicals and a Ford 100E engine to which he added his own design metal bodyshell.
By the early 1950s Jack and Trevor developed a whole new chassis, with a glassfibre body, it became known as TVR Sports Saloon. Better-looking fastback-bodied Jomar coupé develops into the first well-known TVR, the Grantura. Then things get bad, with the 1962 bankruptcy of TVR.
The years since have seen the company pass through tumultuous times and a variety of different models - Griffith 200 and 400 (see above), Vixen (see above), Tuscan V6 and V8, 2500 and 3000M, Taimar, 3000S, Tasmin/280i, 350i, 390SE, 420 and 450SEAC, 400 and 450SE, S1, S2, S3 and S4, V8S , Griffith, Chimaera, Cerbera, Tuscan, Tamora, Sagaris and T400R/Typhon.
Throughout all of TVR’s early history, the company relied on engines from other manufacturers including Coventry Climax, Ford and MG but perhaps the most famous of all these and which was at the heart of most 1980s and early 90s TVRs has been the ubiquitous Buick/Oldsmobile V8 of 1961-1963, more commonly known as the Rover V8. Used in TVRs from the 350i (see below) of 1983, which was the first TVR to be designed under present owner Peter Wheeler’s management and which produced around 190-200bhp, right up to the very last Griffiths and Chimaeras (see below), where in 5 litre form it produced around 340bhp.
The Wheeler era ran for over 20 years and perhaps saw some of the most innovative development thus far. From the 2.8 litre Tasmin in both fixed head and convertible guise came an entry level 200 using the Ford Pinto 2.0 litre engine. But this didn’t spark the imagination and despite it’s astonishingly low sub-£10K price tag, only 61 examples were sold in three years.
Sales really fell off during 2006 and with it so did the plans for TVR's future, a time when TVR was at the hands of a young Nikolai Smolenski. The company was initially split into a smaller number of companies including TVR Engineering, TVR Cars Distribution Ltd and Blackpool Automotive, the latter comprising the manufacturing division at Bristol Avenue. The really bitter blow to TVR enthusiasts came on Friday 22 December 2006 when it was announced that Blackpool Automotive had gone into receivership.
On 6 June 2013 it was announced that the whole of TVR had been sold to a British company; eventually the owner of this company was also revealed, IT entrepreneur and sports car enthusiast, Mr Les Edgar. TVR Cars started taking deposits on its recently announced new sports car, effective from July 7th 2015. The all new TVR engineered by Gordon Murray Design, powered by a 5.0 litre Cosworth enhanced, dry-sumped V8 powerplant. Fingers crossed it sells.