TVR Chimaera – Classic Car Reviews | Classic Motoring Magazine

15 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on TVR Chimaera – Classic Car Reviews | Classic Motoring Magazine

TVR Chimaera

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Pros Cons

Chimaera is to be the soft option to the brutal th, but it’s still a pretty core motor. This TVR is becoming particularly attractive to classic car fans, who are drawn to its looks and are reminded of the Big Healeys of youth. And, if ever a car has the spirit of a Big and beefy Healey, it’s the Chimaera, which is literally, for pennies when to the Austin.



Until when the company was bought by banker Nikolai Smolenski (is it that long ago?- TVR had been through the most 20 years of its normally tumultuous However, its last saviour, the Peter Wheeler, had just had of trying to keep the sports car going through all the diffi of modern motor manufacture.

purchased TVR in 1981, Peter the company going in the short by improving existing models and with different engine and his fi rst real breakthrough was the 1989 Griffith V8 concept. More a hundred visitors ordered on the but it took two years to get it to launch.

By August 1993 the Griffith had uncompromising sports car. identified that there was a market for something ‘softer’, practical and classic in shape, the Chimaera. Styled in-house the car was two longer than the Griffith and a much larger boot.

with modified 4.0 (240bhp) and (280bhp) versions of the Rover V8, the gear was Griffi th 4-litre softer springing, Bilstein instead of Konis, an anti-roll bar and converters. In February 1994 the Warner T5 gearbox replaced the one although it didn’t filter to production cars until and, in August of that the new ‘Serpentine’ engine employing a poly-vee belt driving a new power steering and water was fi tted, to provide better and reliability. From late the 5-litre (325bhp) was offered and at one there was a choice of 4.0, 4.5 or fat 5-litre versions to suit all of speed freaks, while steering became an option, later becoming a standard

There is little visible between the first cars and the in 1996 the door opening were moved to the mirrors, the lip lengthened, the rear panel and the grille divided. In February the number plate lights changed, 12 months later the hinges were hidden in 2001, the headlights were in and the seats were greatly in comfort.


It’s a how brutish these cars that even the owner’s gave details on how to drive the car and that’s with respect but not Yes the tail can be played with, but the recommended and time-honoured ‘slow in, out’ technique and the Chimaera is a placid understeerer. The power is geared at just 2.2 turns, in the most wonderful response over-sensitivity which can affect set ups.

Cars without it are much work – much like a

For a sports car with few compromises, the is amazingly compliant; this is no like a TR6 for example. You immediately at home in this car, a precise, lightweight clutch The gearchange, while hardly lightweight, is rifl e-bolt

So let’s talk about – something any Chimaera has in spades. the ‘base’ 240bhp 4-litre to 60 in under six seconds, and the ton in a wink 11. The question is how fast do you want to go?

more important is the sheer of the engine, which provides of power, care of 270lb.ft of in any gear, for safe overtaking; how 50-70mph in top gear in 5.8 seconds The ultimate is the 5-litre but, you’re into track (something the Chimaera is ideal for it has to be you have to question whether you anything larger than the option.

Thankfully, the ventilated are just as exceptional, hauling the car from high speeds fuss, although bear in that no TVR has factory-fi tted so good old fashioned cadence is required.

As a tourer, the Chimaera is remarkably suited. The good ride, to a plush comfy cockpit GT motoring highly satisfying and cost conscious; expect on an early car if you don‘t hare all the time and as much as 30mpg + if careful reckons the owners – which is excellent going for a serious sports car.

The is effective, too, but you won’t it up most of the time, since it one of the best sounding sports ever made!


are probably as cheap as they are going to be, so it‘s best to the plunge now.

Chimaeras can be for as little as £6000 and as much as and, with some made, there’s a car to suit budgets. As with all prestigious sold at temptingly low prices, you get you pay for, meaning that a probably won’t look so once you’ve factored in to bring it up to speed; some can be expensive. It’s best to buy the you can find, and this is probably the cheapest route in the long

Typical price for a good car is £9000-£12,000, irrespective of engine and (i.e. full not half trim). If you’re looking at a and the vendor says it’s the compression engine option, for check it’s as described as the owners club reckons this figure was always wildly optimistic anyway!

some say that the smooth 4.3 is a all rounder, the general view is the 4.5-litre is the best of them all if you can run to it and around town than the unit.


You mean you more speed? For the vast of us, a good Chimaera is quick for today’s roads and, in all as these cars become scarce originality will to the fore. Rather than to tune and improve this well sorted sports we’d make sure the basics, such as the TVR’s geometry, are up to spec along a good session at a TVR specialist.

Obviously the chassis can be poly-bushed but you are looking at track days be not to spoil the TVR’s agreeable Checking that the car still has the expensive, Bilstein dampers and they are in good order is a move but some say the modern from the likes of Gaz, Pros, Nitron and AVO are better. Top tyres used to mean S02/but these haven’t available for about five

Current favourites seem to be T1Rs but it is proving increasingly to get any tyres in a Z speed rating in the sizes. Most specialist companies acknowledge this and approve the fitting of lesser V tyres.

But do talk to your first!

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