ELE­PHANT IN THE ROOM

One off TVR made for Peter Wheeler to star up north at Manch­ester clas­sic car show

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

No-one who has seen or heard the leg­endary TVR ‘White Ele­phant’ run­ning will ever for­get it.

Now the bizarre cre­ation built in 1988 for TVR man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Peter Wheeler will be one of the stars at The Foot­man James Clas­sic Car Show Manch­ester, at Even­tCity on 17-18 Septem­ber.

The car fea­tures an ex­per­i­men­tal 5.0 litre V8 Holden race en­gine, given to Peter to eval­u­ate by GM’s Aus­tralian equiv­a­lent of Vaux­hall, giv­ing it 400bhp, 389lb ft of torque, a 170mph top speed and a 0-60mph time of four sec­onds.

The White Ele­phant also in­cor­po­rates the nose from a pre­vi­ous pro­to­type and is the first TVR mod­elled us­ing quickdry­ing ex­pand­ing foam. Amaz­ingly, it was only saved from the scrapheap just 10 days be­fore Wheeler sold the com­pany in 2004.

It was then sub­ject to a nineyear restora­tion, start­ing off as a non-run­ner with a tree grow­ing out of the boot and mice nest­ing in the en­gine bay. Af­ter its ex­ten­sive restora­tion it was fin­ished in pearles­cent white coach­work.

Fea­tures in­clude a coun­ter­sunk dog bas­ket lo­cated be­hind the pas­sen­ger seat to ac­com­mo­date Peter’s gun dog, Ned, and a hid­den com­part­ment to the rear of the cabin for shot­guns, car­tridge boots and the fruits of var­i­ous shoot­ing ses­sions. It was the first TVR to fea­ture a hor­i­zon­tally mounted ra­di­a­tor and also the first TVR to fea­ture a num­ber­plate back­lit from in­side the cabin.

‘We are hon­oured to have this car and other rare TVRs among the hun­dreds of clas­sics at this show,’ com­ments event spokesman Andy Rouse. Nick Larkin

manch­ester­clas­s­ic­carshow.com

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