TVR. Just three letters arouse the motoring senses of us petrol heads. Front-engined, British sports car with a rumbling V8. No need for fancy electronics like traction control and ABS. Just you, one tactful right foot and good judgement. The only reason it features on our forecourt is because it still remains as one of the very few, good-old ballsy sports cars which is not for the ladies amongst you.
Encouraged by the popularity of the ‘retro’ shaped TVR S, owner Peter Wheeler asked his designer, John Ravenscroft, to design another ‘traditional’ looking car for their new model. The prototype was shown at the British Motor Show in 1990 and judging by the number of initial orders taken became an immediate hit.
It still took two years to get the Griffith to the market; time well spent developing and honing the car, because the factory was still busy supporting the Tuscan Challenge series as well as keeping up with orders on the S. Not only had TVR produced a beautiful looking car, but they had stylishly blended door handles and fuel filler caps into the bodywork. Not only this, but the car was cheaper to build as well – something that would work against the Griffith in later life.
Peter Wheeler had switched from Ford to Rover power to suit the lucrative Middle Eastern market and although the Rover V8 initially packed 240 bhp in the 4.0 litre ‘base’ model, later the 280 bhp 4.3 litre became the more popular engine choice.
TVR were now competing in terms of style and performance on the world market with the Italians and Germans, albeit at ‘bargain’ prices.
Throughout its 10 year life, the Griffith remained virtually unchanged apart from the 5.0 litre engine being introduced and PAS being offered as an option.
This in itself proves you cannot improve on perfection.
Overall, 2,265 Griffiths were built, less than half the number of Chimaeras, but it is still TVR’s best ever creation.
Even though they’re dogged with terrible electrical issues, water leaks when it rains and reliability problems, the TVR Griffith is still one of the greatest ever British sports cars. And although a mint example will set you back £20-grand plus, if you’re prepared to put time (and lots of money) in, you can pick up a bargain. Speaking of which…..
1992 TVR GRIFFITH 4.0-LITRE, 78,000 MILES, RED, GREY LEATHER SEATS, BLACK CONVERTIBLE ROOF, STAINLESS EXHAUST, STEREO, REMOTE LOCKING, MOT, ROAD TAX, HPI CLEAR,
REQUIRES SOME TIDYING, DRIVES WELL, ENGINE SOUNDS GREAT, WAXOYLED. £6,495