TVR Sports Cars
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1600M, 2500M and 3000M 1972-1979
From the spring of 1972, a new basic chassis-frame known as the M-Type chassis, was standardised for all new TVRs. The M-Type range consisted of 2500M, 1600M, 3000M, Taimar and Convertible derivatives. The most successful in production terms was the 2500M, with 946 examples leaving the factory between 1972 and 1977. Most of these went to the United States and consequently the 2500M is little known model in the UK. The 3000M is more likely to be encountered on British roads. With its Ford V-6 engine 120mph was possible, and in turbocharged form, a rapid 140mph.
The series-production Grantura Mk1 was revealed in 1958 and like all Granturas built until mid-1962 ( Mk 1, Mk 2 and Mk 2a) was based on the multi-tubular chassis-frame which Trevor Wilkinson had begun to design in 1955. The principal engine was the Coventry Climax type FWE although Ford and BMC units were also fitted.
The Anglo-American Griffith combined TVR's Grantura Mk 3 body with Ford's small-block V-8 engine to produce a shatteringly quick motorcar. The original, later known as the 200, was far from fully developed and, following serious overheating and quality problems, was replaced by the 400 from April 1964. The Griffith 400 featured the new Manx-tail body style with familiar Cortina Mk1 tail-lamp/indicator units. Fitted with a 289 cid/4727cc engine, in "High-Performance" tune (271bhp), the top speed was in excess of 150mph with 0-60 coming up in only 5.7 seconds. Enough to severely embarrass E-type jaguars and Ferraris.
TVR Vixen 1967-1973
Released at Earls Court in 1967 and basically a Mk IV 1800S with an engine transplant, the Vixen signalled a further advance to stability by the Lilley family. The S1 Vixen outsold the 1800S, with 117 examples between October 1967 and October 1968. When the S2 Vixen was released TVR announced 75 detail improvements, the two main ones being the new longer 2295mm wheelbase giving easier entry to the cockpit and the fact that the superstructure was no longer rigidly attached to the chassis allowing easy removal for repairs. S3 Vixens were produced between 1970 and 1972, with a total of 168 cars. The S4 was an interim model with just 23 built, using S3 body-shell and M-Type chassis.
Turbo, Taimar and Convertible 1975-1980
Completing the M-Series family in the mid-Seventies were the Turbo, Taimar and Convertible. The TVR Taimar was introduced in 1976 basically as a hatchback version of the 3000M, the Convertible being produced in 1978 and 1979 only. From 1976 to 1980, a turbocharged option was available on the 3000M, Taimar and Convertible. It was the first British car to use turbo-charging on a regular production basis and raised performance to "Supercar" levels for the M-cars so equipped.
TVR Tasmin to 450SEAC 1980-1991
The Eighties saw a new and dramatic looking replacement for the M-Series, the Tasmin. Following the usual TVR design philosophy and layout, there was a space-frame chassis, with all independent coil-sprung suspension and rack-and-pinion steering. The first of the breed was a wedgy two-seater hatchback coupe, with a derivative 2+2 and convertible following within a year on the same 94inch wheelbase. TVR first used Rover V8 power in 1983 in the new 350i convertible to produce a top-of-the-range model beyond the existing Ford 2.8-engined 280i. From Sept. 1984 the 390SE represented the move to bigger engines and the ultimate 450SEAC.
The TVR Chimaera was released in 1993 as a less aggressive sister car to the mighty Griffith, with 4 or 4.3-litre V8s only, slightly softer suspension and a less raucious exhaust note. The chassis and interior are basically the same, but it is a bigger car with increased luggage space and whereas the Griffith is an out-and-out sports car, the Chimaera offers the best of both worlds, a sports car come tourer, capable of dealing with 99 percent of challengers with good levels of refinement. The bodywork is delectably curvaceous on both the Chimaera and the Griffith, reminiscent perhaps of the AC Cobra of the 1960s. Classic status is assured.