A Brief History Of TVR | Rev Reviews

14 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on A Brief History Of TVR | Rev Reviews

A Brief History Of TVR

The history of TVR is a long one, founded in 1946 the firm was initially named Trevcar Motors, upon joint ownership in 1947 the name was changed to TVR.

Trevor Wilkinson founded the car firm and 3 years after buying the workshop and founding the company, TVR built it’s first original chassis. The TVR Number 1 didn’t get off to a great start,  a designer called Les Dale was hired to create the bodywork for the car and decided to take it for a spin, he crashed the car and the chassis then had to be repaired before being fitted with aluminium body panels.

The car was tuned to 35 BHP, painted British Racing Green and sold to Wilkinson’s cousin for £325. Not long after it was crashed and scrapped for parts.

TVR Number 2 after being refurbished.

The TVR number 2 was very similar to the TVR number 1, the same chassis was used along with the same engine and the car was purchased by a car enthusiast from Blackpool for competition racing, in 1952 the car was registered for road use. Upon being registered for road use the car received a small scale revamp, the nose cone was changed to a lower style and a spitfire tachometer was installed along with Marchal headlamps.

Shortly after the sale of the TVR number 2, TVR begun work on the TVR number 3, while the same chassis and suspension design was used for this model, the engine was switched for a 40 BHP 1.2 litre Austin A40 engine. With the extra power the car was entered into competitions and was driven by Wilkinson, after winning several awards the TVR firm started to gain some reputation. During the competitions Wilkinson was introduced to David Hives, a man that would have a big role at TVR in the future.

After enjoying relative success in the late 40s and early 50s, Wilkinson and Pickard starting working on a new chassis for a TVR sports saloon. The most significant aspect of this car was the lack of an upper body frame, instead the car was sold with a fibreglass body to fit over the chassis. Around 20 of the new chassis were produced, however, only 3 were sold as the kit that Wilkinson initially chose for the car.

At a cost of £650 (approximately £3000 today) the car boasted a 0-60 time of 13 seconds. After Wilkinson enjoyed success in several rally races and track races the company began receiving enquiries about whether the car was available with different body shells. The Firm then enjoyed success selling the chassis with the different body shells selected by customers.

The firm had a turbulent time over the ensuing 30 years, seeing controlling shares change hands and the company seeing failure on an international racing front.

TVR collapsed in 1965 and the company entered liquidation. Martin Lilley took up ownership of the firm and started work an a new TVR Tuscan racer. With a 0-60 time of 8.3 this car was fast for the period.

In the 1980s Peter Wheeler took control of the firm and began work on a TVR original engine which was finished in the 90s, the AJP8.

TVR Griffith

The most important thing to come from Wheeler’s ownership was the investment in design of vehicles, the Chimaera, Griffith, Cerbera, Tuscan, Tamora, T350, Typhon and Sagaris designs were all produced in the 90s and helped to keep TVR in the public eye.

In 2004 Russian, Nikolay Smolensky, purchased the company for around £15 million. After demand fell the firm was moved to Turin and only engine production remained in Britain. The TVR company was split up in 2006 and the iconic TVR name was used in the production of wind turbines.

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