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

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

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.

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.

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…

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:


The Four Eras of TVR History, So Far.


Model Production Years Engine Displacement Production figures[21]
Trevor Wilkinson Era[22]
Jomar1 1956–1959 Coventry Climax 1098 cc
Ford 100E Sidevalve 1172 cc
TVR Open Sports / Coupe 1956–1957 Coventry Climax 1098 cc
Ford 100E Sidevalve 1172 cc
BMC B-Series 1489 cc
TVR Grantura I 1958–1960 Coventry Climax FWA 1098 cc 100
Coventry Climax FWE 1216 cc
Ford 100E Sidevalve 1172 cc
BMC B-Series 1489 cc
TVR Grantura II 1960–1961 Coventry Climax FWE 1216 cc 400
Ford Kent 105E 997 cc
BMC B-Series 1489 cc
BMC B-Series 1588 cc
TVR Grantura IIa 1961–1962 Coventry Climax FWE 1216 cc
Ford Kent 105E 997 cc
Ford Kent 109E 1340 cc
BMC B-Series 1588 cc
BMC B-Series 1622 cc
TVR Grantura III 1962–1963 BMC B-Series 1622 cc 90
TVR Grantura III 1800 1963–1965 BMC B-Series 1798 cc
TVR Grantura 1800S 1964–1966 BMC B-Series 1798 cc 90
TVR Trident 1965 Ford Windsor V8 4727 cc
TVR Griffith 2001 1963–1964 Ford Windsor V8 4727 cc 300
TVR Griffith 4001 1964–1967 Ford Windsor V8 4727 cc



Martin Lilley Era
TVR Grantura IV 1800S 1966–1967 BMC B-Series 1798 cc 90
TVR Tuscan V8 1967–1970 Ford Windsor V8 4727 cc 28 V8 and 27 V8SE
TVR Tuscan V6 1969–1971 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc 101
TVR Vixen S2 1968–1969 Ford Kent 1599 cc 438
TVR Vixen S3 1970–1972 Ford Kent 1599 cc 168
TVR Vixen 1300 1971–1972 Triumph I4 1296 cc 15
TVR Vixen 2500 1971–1972 Triumph I6 2498 cc 385
TVR Vixen S4 1972 Ford Kent 1599 cc 23
TVR 1600M 1972–1973 Ford Kent I4 1599 cc 148
TVR 2500M 1972–1977 Triumph I6 2498 cc 947
TVR 3000M 1971–1979 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc 654
TVR 3000M Turbo 1975–1979 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc 20
TVR Taimar 1976–1979 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc 395 and 258 convertible
TVR Taimar Turbo 1976–1979 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc 30 and 13 convertible
TVR 3000S 1978–1979 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc
TVR 3000S Turbo 1978–1979 Ford Essex V6 2994 cc
TVR Tasmin 200 1981–1984 Ford Pinto I4 1993 cc 16 and 45 convertible
TVR Tasmin 280i 1980–1984 Ford Cologne V6 2792 cc 118 and 862 convertible

Peter Wheeler Era
TVR 280i 1984–1987 Ford Cologne V6 2792 cc
TVR 350i 1983–1989 TVR/Rover V8 3528 cc 52 and 897 convertible
TVR 350SX 1985–1989 TVR/Rover V8 3528 cc
+ Sprintex Supercharger
TVR 400SX 1989 TVR/Rover V8 3948 cc
+ Sprintex Supercharger
TVR 350SE 1990–1991 TVR/Rover V8 3947 cc 25
TVR 390SE 1984–1988 TVR/Rover V8 3905 cc
TVR 400SE 1988–1991 TVR/Rover V8 3948 cc 242 convertible
TVR 420SE 1986–1987 TVR/Rover V8 4228 cc
TVR 450SE 1989–1990 TVR/Rover V8 4441 cc 45 convertible
TVR 420SEAC 1986–1988 TVR/Rover V8 4228 cc 37
TVR 450SEAC 1988–1989 TVR/Rover V8 4441 cc 18
TVR S 1986–1988 Ford Cologne V6 2792 cc 605
TVR S2 1989–1990 Ford Cologne V6 2933 cc 668
TVR S3(C) 1991–1992 Ford Cologne V6 2933 cc 887
TVR S4C 1993–1993 Ford Cologne V6 2933 cc 34
TVR V8S 1991–1993 TVR/Rover V8 3948 cc 34
TVR Griffith 1992–2002 TVR/Rover V8 3948 cc 2304
  4280 cc
4988 cc
TVR Chimaera 1992–2001 TVR/Rover V8 3948 cc 5256
4280 cc
4495 cc
4988 cc
TVR Cerbera 1996–2003 AJP8 / Speed Eight 4185 cc 1490
4475 cc
1996–2003 Speed Six 3996 cc
TVR T400 2001–2007 Speed Six 3996 cc
TVR Tamora 2002–2006 Speed Six 3605 cc 356
TVR T350 (Targa & Coupe) 2002–2006 Speed Six 3605 cc 460
TVR Tuscan 1999–2006 Speed Six 3605 cc 1677
3996 cc
TVR Sagaris 2004–2006 Speed Six 3996 cc 211
TVR Typhon 2004 Speed Six 3996 cc

TVR Sportscars Brand

Nikolai Smolenski Era
TVR Sagaris 2004–2006 Speed Six 3996 cc
Speciality/Racing Cars
TVR Cerbera Speed 122/3 1997 Speed Twelve 7730 cc
TVR Tuscan Speed 122/3 TVR Speed Twelve 7730 cc
TVR Tuscan Challenge3 1989–(around 100 made) Rover V8/Speed Eight 4500 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.

Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of, 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)