TVR In History
TVR was established in 1947 by Trevor Wilkinson. The first cars were specials using the drivelines from production cars, tuned and installed in a lightweight TVR chassis with minimal bodywork to maximise the agility and power-to-weight ratio, which remain TVR virtues to this day.
TVR made use of proprietary engines, like many low-volume manufacturers, to power its cars for many years. However, there were those who opined that this somehow diminished the cachet of the Great British sports cars from Blackpool, despite the fact that the engines, by the late ’80s, were very heavily modified to TVR’s own unique, high-power specifications.
That began to change in the early ’90s with the birth of the TVR V8 engine, which in 1995 became the world’s first racing engine to be de-tuned and installed in a road car: the TVR Cerbera. The Cerbera was a rude awakening for the supercar establishment. “0-100mph in nine seconds dead,” screamed Autocar magazine’s front cover.
But the Speed Eight (aka AJP8) was only the beginning. In 1997, a Griffith Speed Six concept car was unveiled at the Earls Court Motor Show. It showcased the TVR Speed Six engine, a very modern take on the quintessentially British, growling straight-six. The Speed Six engine, like the Speed Eight, first appeared in the Cerbera. But the Speed Six is renowned as the power-house of the jaw-dropping Tuscan Speed Six that starred with John Travolta and Halle Berry in the Hollywood movie Swordfish.
The Speed Six is also the power plant of the T400R, with which TVR returned to Les 24 Heures du Mans in France in 2003 and 2004. Both Speed Six-powered T400Rs finished this most gruelling of automotive challenges – no mean feat in a class dominated by German and Italian stalwarts.
At the end of 2004, the Speed Eight engine, after an illustrious motorsport career, not to mention a spectacular crop of headlines in the world’s motoring press, ceased production with the Cerbera. Now, the Speed Six engine, in various guises, is at the heart of every current TVR model.
And here is the point.
Every TVR car is now TVR-powered. Every TVR is a true thoroughbred sports car powered by Blackpool-built engines, all with serious motor racing provenance.
This is all the more remarkable when compared with the efforts of other Great British marques that have fallen into the hands of volume manufacturers. In the same decade that TVR declared full independence, every other Great British marque went the other way, sharing engines with sister marques.
This ‘reverse trend’ runs deeper than simply striking cars that look like no others, powered by special engines that provide driving and performance characteristics like no others. Climb inside a TVR and you will find unique interiors with unique controls. A TVR is a very special driving environment indeed.
The uniqueness goes further still because every TVR is hand-built to customer specifications. Your own TVR will be a unique alchemy of passion, artistry and technology in which you are personally involved. Specifying your own TVR is an experience to be savoured, but the amazing buying experience is but a prelude to the wonder of ownership.
A TVR is engineered to invite your skill, judgement and feel to unleash the purest, mo