At Tyres on the Drive, you can get your new TVR tyres fitted as early as the next day, and at a time and location that’s convenient for you.
TVR’s story began shortly after WWII when Trevor Wilkinson set up Trevcar Motors doing general engineering from his Blackpool base, but it was soon given the more marketable name, TVR Engineering. In 1949 the first car was made and TVR began to establish the reputation it still holds to this day for making a relatively simple, light and above all, powerful sports cars designed around the classic layout for the best weight distribution and handling of having a front engine powering the back wheels. TVRs were soon successful in racing but the company has rarely enjoyed commercial stability and over the decades has passed through several ownerships. One of its golden eras was in the 80’s and ‘90s under businessman, Peter Wheeler and some of the V8 cars built then are classics today, the Griffith,
Cerbera, Chimaera, Sagaris and others. Legend has it that when Peter’s dog took a bite out of an early polystyrene mock-up of the Chimaera he liked the look and incorporated the shape of the hole it into the headlamp cluster. Not your average company – in the early 2000s it passed into Russian ownership but at a time when Porsche was making its Boxster, customers were not prepared to put up with the questionable reliability of the largely hand- built TVRs. It lapsed into dormancy until 2013 when a consortium of businessmen and car enthusiasts bought the brand and in late 2017 an all-new Griffith was launched, a modern car built to a traditional formula. It has a 5.0 V8 enhanced by Cosworth, a chassis engineered by the legendary Gordon Murray, a 0 to 60 time of less than four seconds and a top speed of more than 200 mph.
Shown so far only in prototype form, the all-new Griffith is a modern car built around the traditional TVR theme of having a front engined, rear wheel drive two-seater. The 5.0 V8-powered Griffith has the performance to match pretty much anything from McLaren, Porsche, Ferrari or Aston Martin with a 200+ mph top speed and a sub-four second 0 to 60 time. TVR has renewed a relationship with Avon Tyres which stretches back to 1959 and the Griffith runs on 235/35 R19 treads at the front and 275/30 R20 at the back. The Griffith is due to be produced at a new factory in south Wales but there have been delays in confirming the start date. However, the company has taken plenty of deposits for the car, showing the level of interest in the UK’s latest supercar.
A pretty, muscularly styled two seater powered by a Rover V8, the Griffith evolved over its production run from the early cars which had 240 bhp, to the last one with some 100 bhp more. The looks were as big a selling point as its performance and when it was first unveiled at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show it was an instant hit. The Griffith was mechanically very similar to the Chimaera but with a more sports-focused suspension and feel.
TVR built more of Chimaera than any other of its models with around 6,000 cars being made. It shared many components with the Griffith but was not quite such a hard-edged sports car. A classic open-topped two seater, the 4.0 V8 Chimaera went through five main updates during its production run. The TVR Chimaera tyre size is 225/50 R16 (front and back).
The Cerbera was a significant car in the company’s history on several fronts. It was the first TVR to have an engine built by the factory instead of V6 or V8 sourced from companies such as Rover, and the AJP V8 was designed around race engine practice and was both light and powerful. It was TVR’s first hard top rather than a convertible and it had what is officially called a 2+2 interior with a pair of small seats in the back but is more accurately described as a 3+1; the Cerbera’s front passenger seat can slide forward further than normal leaving a sizeable amount of room for a passenger behind. Its unusually long doors also help access to the back.
Reckoned by many to be the best TVR, the Sagaris was also the last – or at least, it was until the new Griffith arrived under the company’s latest owners. One of the more brutally powerful TVR creations, the Sagaris was pretty much designed with racing in mind but was sold as a road car. It had TVR’s own 4.0 litre straight six engine which was good for 400 bhp and was an old school sports car in the sense that it came without anti lock brakes, traction or electronic stability control on the grounds that then company owner Peter Wheeler said such devices could make a driver overconfident and rely on technology to get them out of trouble, instead of using a degree of caution. TVR Sagaris tyre size: 255/35 R18.
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