TVR HistorySource: TVR
TVR was established in 1947 by Trevor Wilkinson, the name 'TVR' being derived from his first name. The first cars were 'specials' using the drivelines from production cars, tuned and installed in a lightweight TVR chassis with minimal bodywork to maximize the agility and power-to-weight ratio. Agility and maximum power-to-weight 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 own unique, high-power specifications.
That began to change in the early 90s with the birth of the TVR Speed Eight V8 engine that, in 1995, became the world 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'. '0-100 mph in 9 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 show-cased the TVR Speed Six engine, a very modern take on the quintessentially British, growing 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 in the Hollywood movie 'Swordfish' with John Travolta and Halle Berry.
The Speed Six is also the power plant of the T400R, with which TVR returned to the Les 24 Heures du Mans in France in 2003 and 2004. Both Speed Six-powered T400R finished this most grueling 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 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. The process that began with the Speed Eight-powered Cerbera 4.2 of 1994 was completed with the Tamora and T350 of 2003. 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, ever other Great British marque went the other way, sharing engines with sister marques.
This 'reverse trend' is deeper than 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 savored but the amazing buying experience is but a prelude to the wonder of ownership.
A TVR is engineered to invite your skill, judgment and 'feel' to unleash the purest, most exhilarating and involving motoring experience: the spirit of driving.