After struggling to find any cars for the past few days one of the Elves has hit an automative jackpot; previous bloggee Harry Gravett has published no less than seven TVR sports cars in one go to MOCpages! Here we pick two of our favourites.
TVR were founded in 1947 in Blackpool, England, producing cars in kit-form as well as turning existing production cars into specials. Soon they were building their own sports cars, using mostly off-the-shelf components from larger manufacturers such as Ford and Rover, and then hitting the race track with their products.
One of TVR’s most loved early models was the Vixen, as built by Harry in the above image. Powered by a little Ford 1600 engine from the Cortina, and later by the big Triumph six-cylinders in Tuscan form, the Vixen sold well, with around 1,000 produced between 1967 and 1973. Quite a few survive today too, as plastic bodywork meant the Vixen didn’t suffer from the no.1 British classic car killer; rust.
The seventies ushered in a new era of wedge-shaped Rover V8-powered sports cars, like the 350S pictured below. Small, and always seemingly on the brink of financial crisis (like most independent British sports car makers of the time), TVR continued right up until the mid 2000s, by which time they had developed their own engines, raced successfully at the highest level in sports and endurance categories, and created some of the most stunning shapes ever seen on road cars.
And then it all went horribly wrong. The architect of TVR’s modern era, Peter Wheeler, sold the company to Russian millionaire Nikolay Smolensky. The new ownership lasted less than 3 years before Smolensky first tried to move production out of England, and then folded the company altogether. And thus TVR became yet another victim of the clueless millionaire ownership club.
In the subsequent years many rumours circulated of TVR’s return to vehicle production, all of which amounted to nothing (like most independent British sports car makers of the time) and TVR quietly disappeared from the public conscious, save for the occasional child-delight when a distinctive straight 6 or V8 sports car rumbled past down a British street.
In 2013 Nikolay Smolensky decided to sell the dead TVR name to British businessman Les Edgar. Edgar has now started the long process of developing a new range of sports cars with the aim of reviving the once legendary name.
Here at TLCB we’re not expecting much (or indeed anything) to result in this well-meaning revival attempt – history is not on Edgar’s side – but we wish him the very best of luck. Who knows, one day we might even hear a new rumble…