It's official - the TVR car brand is dead. Owner Nikolai Smolensky has confirmed that the company will not be building any cars, with the TVR name instead being used on portable wind turbines. In light of this sad news, we take a look back at the Blackpool firm's greatest hits...
If there ever was such a thing, here was TVR's bread-and-butter motor which was pretty to look at and mad to drive. A sort of MGB that happily dips into rehab and really doesn't care what anyone thinks. Yet with the 4.0 V8 it is relatively docile for a TVR. If you can live with one of these and put up with the inevitable grief, whether it be insurance or reliability, then you can graduate to the big frightening stuff.
Factory rebuilds on their engines within 20,000 miles are not unheard of and there were other service upgrades. Incidentally the chassis is plastic coated and this should be intact to avoid rot.
Want one? Auto Trader should be your first port of call
On Bing: TVR Chimera pics
On a related note: I've had 3 TVRs over the last 10 years. Servicing them regularly avoids breakdowns - just like any other car.
I owned two TVRs: my first was an S3 in battleship grey, my second was a Chimaera 450 in what Blackpool called "Aston Martin Blue". The S3 behaved like a slightly bonkers vintage car, classically styled but with the brash V6 Ford engine - it was quick, and it had a decent sized boot; but removing the roof without assistance was not easy (it consisted of two hefty panels) and it was plagued with silly mechanical foibles...the most exciting of which was when the accelerator cable contracted and then snapped on the M4 (imagine your engine suddenly surging inexplicably as you dodge cars in front!) - I managed to cut the engine and free-wheeled through the motorway traffic in order to reach the nearside and safety.
In terms of foibles, the Chimaera 450 should have been just as twitchy; but it turned out to be an absolute gem. Never failed to start first time; the electrics were solid; it was comfortable and had a simpler folding roof - and of course the wonderful noise of that Rover V8 driving through the rear wheels. It never tried to kill me, it was smooth in traffic (although it did get a bit hot 'n bothered), and never once needed the AA - except when a girlfriend managed to lock the keys in that big boot!
I nearly switched it for a Cerbera in 2001 - but the model I tried out had some quirks and eccentric build issues; and since my fiancee was too frightened to drive the Blackpool Bomber, I had to be sensible and swap brute force for style (we bought an Audi A4 Cabriolet 3.0). But ah, such happy days... R.I.P. to Trevor and the hand-build gang in Lancashire.
I cant believe TVR has gone, I still think there great to look at and the noise of the V8 oh yeah, the last time i saw a TVR that was on the A406 in London and i'm sure it was a Cerbera speed 12 and my god didn't it go, I'm a big fan of the the Tuscan though. Im going to miss TVR a lot :-( god rest it's soul.
Pity they havn't mentioned the early TVR Vixen S3 I traded my Marcos GT for one of these that had a Ford Cortina 1600GT engine. It was very nippy,a real bird puller and reliable. The guy I sold it to pulled his wife with it,so it ended up getting sold for house deposits etc;. Some years later he noticed it in rather a sad state with a naval officer just about to get in it . He told him he had once owned the car and the officer said "' Well if you want it again I have been posted abroad so it's for sale"
He bought it and renovated it and later became chairman of the TVR owners Club !
The last Vixen S3 I saw for sale was about 17k and in the 70's they changed hands for about 1k.
Thoes were the days!
Sadly, the inevitable has arrived. If one is going to build something, something that should last, one should build it damned well. TVR couldn't; and that is the shame of it.