TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond



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TVR is one of the greatest success stories in British sports cars. Not by sales or commercial volume, mind you, but the global popularity of TVR is evidence of:

-- universal appeal of low-volume sportscars with character

-- broad appeal of English-language auto journalism with a highly qualitative edge

-- global appetite for automotive and supercar-themed entertainment content

-- the power of visceral appeal to an exotic car that is nothing like anything sold locally or by big OEM makes

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As an American who has lusted after TVR's since first glimpsing the Tuscan in the pages of BBC's TopGear magazine in the 1990s, this passion crossing oceans and cultures should be pretty self-evident.

Of all the cottage-industry sports car brands, few have had as lasting a hold on the collective car-guy consciousness as TVR. The fiberglass wondercars are not something I have driven, nor even seen in the flesh. But the alien panels, otherworldly cabin designs, and carefree engineering is wholly appealing. These were cars that, for all intents and purposes, were not rigorously engineered. Cars like Morgan would have made if they chose evolution versus freezing their best moment in the Plus 4, and riding it to eternity.

Granted, evolution and new sportscars on a five to ten-year model cycle has been a killer task for many other brands just like TVR. Lotus comes to mind. Caterham, altertively, froze some of Lotus's best DNA and has been riding it to consistent profit of Seven sportscar sales for the last 50 years.

TVR Turscan Convertble Top Animation GIF

Lotus found that critical magic formula again with the Esprit, and rode it for 30 years -- loathe to give up a winning recipe for the second time.

TVR sales volume came at low prices for buyers. Nowhere else could you hop into a supercar-fast exotic car for the equivalent price of a V8 BMW 5-series. Even the pinnacle machines, like the Tuscan and the Sagaris at the end, only carried pricing of about $80,000 pounds. So, let's think of that as $130,000 in US currency. In today's cash - that is huge value. A 2014 Lotus Exige LF1 edition in the USA is priced at approximately $85,000, for comparison.

The TVR legacy burns brightly in the UK especially, where no reliability woes can silence the bellow of a straight-six from Blackpool.

TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 12 181104tvrsagaris_2

Repurchased rights to the IP (designs, engines, construction) and brand rights in 2013 have not let led to a new sportscar or even production of the existing line-up.

Regretfully, the UK's relaxed sports-car road laws are part of what allowed TVR to thrive for as long as it did. Emission, crash and most electronics requirements are waived for small-volume sports cars like the TVR and countless other brands. A conscious effort to keep this much-loved industry alive and thriving.

The retro-grade rules also put a glass dome over much global sales ambition, however. Why innovate to pass US rules when you can keep selling in the UK with no rules?

This also stymies most take-over ideas, or a willingness to partner with a large global brand that has the resources to take a car global. Caterham was too backward to collaborate well with Renault, and Morgan is only selling Three-Wheelers in the USA now. Rules have killed its other models.

But guess what: they sell a boat-load of Three-Wheelers, and it is keeping the firm afloat.

Perhaps the Caterham/Superformance distribution model is the best way forward for TVR. Ship the cars without an engine so they can have single-type Fed approval, then have a creative seller add a big Chevy V8.

Win, win.

Or triple-win if Superformance were to buy a truck-load of BMW turbo straight-sixes to drop in...

TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 19 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 8 Sagaris-front-view-with-bonnet-off

Explore the history of TVR below via high-res official press photography, combined with the loving car photos of TVR's many adoring owners.

Very gracious photo credits to:

http://tuscman.picturepush.com/

http://www.tvrblog.com/

 

The Four Eras of TVR History, So Far.

 

ModelProduction YearsEngineDisplacementProduction figures[21]
Trevor Wilkinson Era[22]
Jomar11956–1959Coventry Climax1098 cc
Ford 100E Sidevalve1172 cc
TVR Open Sports / Coupe1956–1957Coventry Climax1098 cc
Ford 100E Sidevalve1172 cc
BMC B-Series1489 cc
TVR Grantura I1958–1960Coventry Climax FWA1098 cc100
Coventry Climax FWE1216 cc
Ford 100E Sidevalve1172 cc
BMC B-Series1489 cc
TVR Grantura II1960–1961Coventry Climax FWE1216 cc400
Ford Kent 105E997 cc
BMC B-Series1489 cc
BMC B-Series1588 cc
TVR Grantura IIa1961–1962Coventry Climax FWE1216 cc
Ford Kent 105E997 cc
Ford Kent 109E1340 cc
BMC B-Series1588 cc
BMC B-Series1622 cc
TVR Grantura III1962–1963BMC B-Series1622 cc90
TVR Grantura III 18001963–1965BMC B-Series1798 cc
TVR Grantura 1800S1964–1966BMC B-Series1798 cc90
TVR Trident1965Ford Windsor V84727 cc
TVR Griffith 20011963–1964Ford Windsor V84727 cc300
TVR Griffith 40011964–1967Ford Windsor V84727 cc

IMGP6297 IMGP6296 IMGP6312

 

 

Martin Lilley Era
TVR Grantura IV 1800S1966–1967BMC B-Series1798 cc90
TVR Tuscan V81967–1970Ford Windsor V84727 cc28 V8 and 27 V8SE
TVR Tuscan V61969–1971Ford Essex V62994 cc101
TVR Vixen S21968–1969Ford Kent1599 cc438
TVR Vixen S31970–1972Ford Kent1599 cc168
TVR Vixen 13001971–1972Triumph I41296 cc15
TVR Vixen 25001971–1972Triumph I62498 cc385
TVR Vixen S41972Ford Kent1599 cc23
TVR 1600M1972–1973Ford Kent I41599 cc148
1975–1977
TVR 2500M1972–1977Triumph I62498 cc947
TVR 3000M1971–1979Ford Essex V62994 cc654
TVR 3000M Turbo1975–1979Ford Essex V62994 cc20
TVR Taimar1976–1979Ford Essex V62994 cc395 and 258 convertible
TVR Taimar Turbo1976–1979Ford Essex V62994 cc30 and 13 convertible
TVR 3000S1978–1979Ford Essex V62994 cc
TVR 3000S Turbo1978–1979Ford Essex V62994 cc
TVR Tasmin 2001981–1984Ford Pinto I41993 cc16 and 45 convertible
TVR Tasmin 280i1980–1984Ford Cologne V62792 cc118 and 862 convertible

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Peter Wheeler Era
TVR 280i1984–1987Ford Cologne V62792 cc
TVR 350i1983–1989TVR/Rover V83528 cc52 and 897 convertible
TVR 350SX1985–1989TVR/Rover V83528 cc
+ Sprintex Supercharger
TVR 400SX1989TVR/Rover V83948 cc
+ Sprintex Supercharger
TVR 350SE1990–1991TVR/Rover V83947 cc25
TVR 390SE1984–1988TVR/Rover V83905 cc
TVR 400SE1988–1991TVR/Rover V83948 cc242 convertible
TVR 420SE1986–1987TVR/Rover V84228 cc
TVR 450SE1989–1990TVR/Rover V84441 cc45 convertible
TVR 420SEAC1986–1988TVR/Rover V84228 cc37
TVR 450SEAC1988–1989TVR/Rover V84441 cc18
TVR S1986–1988Ford Cologne V62792 cc605
TVR S21989–1990Ford Cologne V62933 cc668
TVR S3(C)1991–1992Ford Cologne V62933 cc887
TVR S4C1993–1993Ford Cologne V62933 cc34
TVR V8S1991–1993TVR/Rover V83948 cc34
TVR Griffith1992–2002TVR/Rover V83948 cc2304
 210807_10-tvr 210807_11-tvr 210807_12-tvr 210807_09-tvr 210807_08-tvr 210807_14-tvr 210807_15-tvr 210807_16-tvr 210807_17-tvr 210807_13-tvr 301007_001_tvr4280 cc
4988 cc
TVR Chimaera1992–2001TVR/Rover V83948 cc5256
4280 cc
4495 cc
4988 cc
TVR Cerbera1996–2003AJP8 / Speed Eight4185 cc1490
4475 cc
1996–2003Speed Six3996 cc
TVR T4002001–2007Speed Six3996 cc
TVR Tamora2002–2006Speed Six3605 cc356
TVR T350 (Targa & Coupe)2002–2006Speed Six3605 cc460
TVR Tuscan1999–2006Speed Six3605 cc1677
3996 cc
TVR Sagaris2004–2006Speed Six3996 cc211
TVR Typhon2004Speed Six3996 cc

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TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 20 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 21 tuscan_1 ??????????????????????????????? tuscan_6 tuscan_8 tuscan_conv_1 tuscan_conv_2 tuscan_conv_4 sagaris_7 ??????????? tuscan_conv_6 tuscan_conv_7 tuscan_conv_8 tuscan_conv_9 4242210807_07-tvr 210807_06-tvr 210807_05-tvr 210807_04-tvr 210807_03-tvr 210807_02-tvr 210807_01-tvr 140706ric 140706-a-ric 040510avon Tvr-Tuscan-S-Tif-Jpgcopy-2048x2048TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 22 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 21 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 20 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 19 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 18 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 17 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 16 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 15 ??????????? ?????????????????????? TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 12 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 10 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 9 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 8 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 7 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 6 TVR Sportscars Brand Chronology 1956-2006 Plus a Roadmap to Global Sales for 2014 and Beyond 5

Nikolai Smolenski Era
TVR Sagaris2004–2006Speed Six3996 cc
Speciality/Racing Cars
TVR Cerbera Speed 122/31997Speed Twelve7730 cc
TVR Tuscan Speed 122/3TVR Speed Twelve7730 cc
TVR Tuscan Challenge31989–(around 100 made)Rover V8/Speed Eight4500 cc
TVR T400R/Typhon GT3?
1 – Not technically a TVR model; a TVR chassis bodied by Ray Saidel.
2 – Never went into production.
3 – Built exclusively for racing.

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About The Author

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly expanding automotive news magazine.

He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.

Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.