TVR 290S

1992 TVR S3 290S

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 27-April 1, 2021

Photo – Brightwells

TVR produced an “S” series of cars between 1986 and 1994. They were the transition between the wedge-shaped TVRs of the 1980s and the insanity of the 1990s. There were four “S” cars powered by V6s, and there was the V8S.

The S2, S3, and S4 all shared the same 168-horsepower, 2.9-liter Ford V6. The changes between the series were mostly cosmetic (or emissions-related), and the S3 was launched in 1990. It got a stiffer chassis than earlier cars as well as longer doors and an interior redesign.

Only 887 examples of the S3 were built through 1992, making it the most common of the S cars. But, uh, they are still not common at all. This is a cheap way into TVR ownership (though there is nothing saying that TVR ownership will remain cheap). The pre-sale estimate is just $8,700-$10,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $8,524.

Chimaera 4.5

1999 TVR Chimaera 4.5

Offered by Brightwells | Online | December 10, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

The Chimaera was TVR’s “tourer.” It was intended for long-distance cruising and was sold between 1992 and 2003. Now, TVRs don’t have the world’s greatest reputation for reliability (so take “long-distance” with a grain of salt), but the intent was still there. Also, who cares. TVRs are awesome. And this one has over 90,000 miles, so take that, reliability skeptics.

There were a number of different power levels of Chimaera offered. We’ve featured a 4.0-liter example previously, and this one is two steps up. The 4.5 is powered by a 4.5-liter Rover V8 rated at 285 horsepower. Top speed was supposed to be 160 mph.

All Chimaeras were drop-tops, and only one model was slotted in above the 4.5. This example is finished in Canyon Red over Biscuit leather. It is expected to sell for between $13,500-$16,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $14,903

TVR Grantura

1961 TVR Grantura Series II

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Online/Somewhere in Europe | June 3-11, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Remember the Griffith? That insane short-wheelbase coupe powered by a huge Ford V8? Well, this is the AC Ace to the Griffith’s Cobra. TVR’s Grantura was built in a number of series between 1958 and 1967. No V8s here – these were all four-cylinder-powered.

Series II cars were built between 1960 and 1962, and like other Granturas, they feature a fiberglass body and mechanical parts from other cars on sale at the time. Some cars used bits from Volkswagens, MGs, Triumphs, or Austin-Healeys. This car is powered by a 1.6-liter inline-four from an MGA. That was a factory option.

With this engine, which produced 79 horsepower in the MGA, the Grantura was capable of 98 mph. Approximately 400 Series II cars were built, making it the most popular of all Granturas. This right-hand-drive example should bring between $27,000-$38,000 when it sells at no reserve. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $19,743.

Griffith 200

1965 Griffith 200

Offered by RM Sotheby’s | Elkhart, Indiana | October 23-24, 2020

Photo Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

RM has rescheduled the sale of this monster Indiana collection for late October instead of the beginning of May. But that’s not going to stop us from talking about some of these great cars now! That is partially because this is more or less the only auction catalog available anywhere on the internet at the moment.

The Griffith is an awesome little beast. They have a short wheelbase, a lot of power, and are notoriously difficult to drive at the limit. It’s kind of like a Shelby Cobra – a British sports car (in this case, a TVR Grantura) with a big Ford V8 stuffed under the hood marketed by an American company. Jack Griffith was a TVR repair guru in the U.S., and he initially tried to shove a Cobra’s V8 into a Grantura.

Eventually, he figured it out and started selling 289-powered Griffiths. This car is actually the only one ever built with a 260ci (4.3-liter) Ford V8. Only 261 examples were ever built, 192 of which were supposed to be U.S.-market cars. The rest were branded as TVRs in the U.K. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $134,400.

TVR Chimaera

1996 TVR Chimaera 4.0

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | March 4, 2020

Photo – Brightwells

TVR offered a range of sports cars in the 1990s as they moved away from their wedge-shaped vehicles of the 1980s. The Griffith was the first one introduced, in 1991, and the Chimaera came next, followed by the Cerbera.

The Chimaera was around from 1992 through 2003 and was only offered as a two-door convertible. They were all powered by Rover V8s of varying sizes. This is a 4.0-liter model that produced 240 horsepower when new. It was the least powerful Chimaera made. Top speed was 152 mph.

In all, about 6,000 examples were produced, making it one of the most popular TVR models ever built. The pre-sale estimate on this car is $12,000-$14,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

TVR Griffith 500

1997 TVR Griffith 500

Offered by Brightwells | Leominster, U.K. | November 27, 2019

Photo – Brightwells

The Griffith is a storied name in TVR history, and it was originally launched by Jack Griffith in the U.S. The idea was simple: stuff a V8 in a TVR Grantura and create a monster. The Griffith Series 200, 400, and 600 were built throughout the early and mid-1960s. They were sold as TVRs in the U.K.

In 1991, TVR introduced the Griffith 500. A range of engines were available, and this car has the best one: a Cosworth-developed 5.0-liter V8. It was rated at 340 horsepower and could hit 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. That was really fast in the 1990s. Especially in this price range.

This generation of the Griffith represents some serious, devilish fun. In all, 2,351 examples of the Griffith 500 were built through 2002. This one should bring between $25,000-$27,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.

Cerbera Speed Six

1999 TVR Cerbera 4.0L Speed Six

Offered by Historics at Brooklands | May 18, 2019

Photo – Historics at Brooklands

I will not hide the fact that the Cerbera is one of my favorite cars of the 90s. It is great looking and, as TVRs tend to be, completely bonkers, unnecessary, and irrational. And this one is purple!

The 4.0L Speed Six model was the “base model” of the Cerbera and is powered by a 4.0-liter inline-six making 350 horsepower. With that naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine, it could hit 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and topped out at 170 mph. Not bad. Later models only got more powerful and faster.

This example received a replacement factory chassis in 2005 as well as a factory engine rebuild. Only about 1,500 Cerberas were produced between 1996 and 2003, with the six-cylinder model being the rarest. The craziest part about these cars is that, despite all of their power, performance, style, exotic-ness, and rarity… they are cheap. This one is expected to sell for between $19,500-$25,000. Just wait until you can start importing them into the US… Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $20,648.

Griffith 400

1965 TVR Griffith 400

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Birmingham, U.K. | January 12, 2019

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

The Griffith is an unusual car. Partly because it has practically zero overhang front or rear, and partly because it has a confusing production history.

An American – Jack Griffith, to be exact – stuffed a Ford V8 into a TVR Grantura Mk 3 and then decided to open his own company to build the car. Just like an off-brand Cobra. The Griffith Motor Company of Plainview, New York, produced the car, using Ford engines and British-built bodies. Okay, less like an off-brand Cobra and more like an exact duplicate of Shelby’s entire business plan.

In the U.S., these cars were sold as the “Griffith 400” (there were other models as well). In the U.K., they were sold as TVR Griffith 400s. This is a right-hand-drive example, thus the TVR prefix. It is powered by a 4.7-liter V8 that was originally rated at 271 horsepower. It’s a rocket.

This car has been active on the historic race circuit and has FIA papers. Only about 300 Griffiths were built in total across all models. Less than 20 were the U.K. RHD TVR variants, making this car quite rare. It should bring between $150,000-$175,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

TVR Taimar

1981 TVR Taimar

Offered by H&H Classics | Buxton, U.K. | November 28, 2018

Photo – H&H Classics

The M Series was a line of cars produced by TVR in the 1970s, specifically between 1972 and 1979. Models included the 1600M, 3000S, and this, the Taimar. But this car is listed as a 1981, you say. Yes, we’ll get to that.

The Taimar was a hatchback powered by a 3.0-liter V6 that made 142 horsepower. It was the second-to-last M Series car to be introduced, going on sale in late 1976. Only 395 examples were built through 1979.

This car is listed as a 1981 because it was the final Taimar registered in the U.K. – and likely wasn’t first registered until 1981. At any rate, it’s described as being in good condition and should sell for between $9,000-$12,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Sold $11,198.

TVR Sagaris

2007 TVR Sagaris

Offered by Silverstone Auctions | Silverstone, U.K. | July 21-22, 2018

Photo – Silverstone Auctions

TVRs are wild – wild in design, appearance, and demeanor. The Sagaris might be the ultimate example of this. And it kind of makes sense that it would be, as it was the final new TVR model introduced before the company fizzled out under Russian ownership.

First shown at the 2004 Birmingham Motor Show, the Sagaris went on sale in 2005 and by 2006 the company was barely in existence so this model had but one year to make its mark. The car features a 4.0-liter straight-six that makes 406 horsepower. Sixty arrives in 3.7 seconds and the car tops out at 185 mph. Despite important EU regulations and recommendations, there is no ABS. No airbags. No traction control. It’s a monster. Oh, and in keeping with TVRs weird sense of design, the rear spoiler is clear and the dual rear exhausts point to the sides. Why not?

With fewer than 200 units produced, the car is quite rare. I remember seeing one for sale in Chicago a few years ago – but its unclear how that car could possibly be in this country legally. The example you see here has been owned by members of the TVR Club UK and is freshly serviced and ready to run. It should bring between $85,000-$100,000. Click here for more info and here for more from this sale.

Update: Not sold.