Falling head over heels for new TVR
Gareth Butterfield is looking forward to the return of a legendary British firm
I’M a big fan of Volvos. I’d sell various parts of my anatomy to own a Range Rover, and I’ve always had a guilty pleasure for the Rovers that were on sale in the 1990s. But the one marque that will always hold a special place in my heart is TVR.
Here’s a properly British company that’s got a story so fascinating it could be turned into a film. Started in the 1950s by a bloke called Trevor who did away with his own vowels to create the “TVR” brand, its fortunes peaked and troughed until the glorious days of the 1990s, which saw the Blackpool-based outfit peddling some of the wildest, weirdest and most wonderful cars you’ve ever clapped eyes on.
I was a pre-teen petrolhead in the making when, under the direction of Peter Wheeler, the firm launched the gorgeous Griffith, and then his dog helped him style the marvellous new Chimera (true story), and the wonderful V8 era came to a crescendo with the Cerbera - my all-time favourite car.
In the mid-2000s the company was bought by a Russian businessboy barely out of puberty and the madness was turned up a notch with the likes of the Sagaris and the Typhon - but the economy took a nosedive and the rot set in.
For years I never lost faith in the fact that TVR might one day return. And, in the last few years of this unbearable dry spell, some very exciting noises have been coming out of its new base in Wales.
Gordon Murray, an absolute hero in motoring circles and the guy who designed the legendary Mclaren F1, is now part of the outfit and there’s been a tie-in with another legendary brand, Cosworth, to create a new Ford-derived V8 engine.
So the recipe for the newcomer has always been good, but any recipe is simply a collection of tasty products until it’s served up as a fully-prepared dish.
We’ve now had a fresh set of official pictures of said dish and, crikey. There’s going to be a new Griffith.
It’s a rebirth; a renaissance, the dawn of what could be a whole new era for my favourite firm of all.
It looks brilliant. There’s plenty of nods to the TVR era I fell in love with, without any silly “retro” nonsense, and a generous enough helping of TVR madness, but with plenty of modern creature comforts.
Deposits are being taken now and it should finally, after years of teasing, break cover officially this year.
It will, I guarantee, be brilliant. It will be fast, loud, pin-sharp and bonkers. It will, I’m almost certain, become my new favourite car. Welcome back, TVR. We’ve missed you.
The new TVR engineered by Gordon Murray Design.