Right, so here's how I see it.
Firstly as a serial 90's V8 TVR fan I need to start by taking my emotions out of the equation, or it'll just be the bias ramblings of yet another Griff/Chimaera enthusiast.
I'll try & be objective, so lets start by analysing the recipe for an appreciating classic.
It's pretty conclusive the best performing classics are typically:
That's because a classic car is effectively a toy, an emotional purchase bought by people who are realising a lifelong dream, a sports convertible will always sell well in a market like that.
History plays an important role too, ask yourself:
- Was the car an icon of it's period?
- Did it have a successful competition history?
- Was production low volume?
The more of these boxes you can tick, the more likely the car will become a classic of the future.
So how does the TVR Chimaera/Griffith score?:
- Sports car = YES
- Convertible = YES
- Period Icon = YES (for some & the Griff more so)
- Competition history = NO
- Low volume production = YES (& the Griff more so)
As a recipe for an appreciating classic, that's a pretty good starting point.
Take this good starting point & let history be your objective teacher to give us an idea of how long it will take to mature.
My theory is what I call the "30 Year Rule", look at when the price of cars from the 1960's started to take off, it was 30 years later in the early 1990's.
Just look at what's had a strong rise in the last 5 years, you'll find a lot of cars from the 70's & early 80's in that list.
Now we've established a Chim/Griff nicely fits the appreciating classic recipe, simply take the 30 year rule and work it forwards.
So the theory is a 1995 Chim or Griff should come good in 2025.
As I've already pointed out, a classic car purchase is driven by emotion, and the key emotion here is nostalgia.
It therefore makes sense to try and understand exactly what nostalgia is all about.
For me nostalgia seems to be all about recreating a feeling for perceived happier less complicated times long past.
When most of us look back at when our lives were less complicated, we typically find ourselves reminiscing about our early/mid twenties.
The reality is while we may have lusted after a TVR in our twenties, not many of us had the wherewithal to buy one.
So the sweet spot is where the classic car buyer's nostalgia years finally meet up with a point where his disposable income can tolerate a frivolous emotional purchase.
That 25 year old who was lusting after a new 1995 TVR will be 55 years old in 2025, his kids would have grown up & his mortgage would have been mostly paid off.
But his salary will be at a lifetime high so his disposable income will be at it's peak, he may therefore find himself with a bit of spare cash in the bank and feeling the desire to realise that lifelong TVR dream before he gets too old to enjoy it.
Ask any classic car dealer & they'll tell you that 55 year old guy is a very typical customer, take a look around any classic car show and a good percentage of the owners exactly fit this profile too.
The mid 1990's V8 TVR's have the right appreciating recipe, history tells us classic cars start to mature 30 years after manufacture, and the customer base comes good about 30 years after production too.
So don't expect your Chim or Griff to double in price in the next year like the journalist from Autocar suggests, that's plain ridiculous.
No, you'll need to hang on a few more years for that.
But get ready for 2025, that £5,000 Chimaera I linked to above (in lightly refurbished condition) will be worth £18,000 and a time warp condition Griff will be £45,000 easy.
Remember though £45,000 in 2025 will be more like £25,000 in today's money, as a 13 year investment it's actually not an earth shattering return.
My advise is dont buy a TVR as an investment, buy one now while they're good value because you want one, and then enjoy driving it.
If by 2025 you find you've made a reasonable profit, that's just a bonus following your 13 years of TVR driving pleasure.