TVR's owner, Nikolai Smolenski, has bought Italian superbike maker Benelli. Although the acquisition appears to have been cemented some time ago, only recently had news emerged.
Details are still scarce -- it's not even clear if the acquisition was made by Smolenski or TVR -- but the price is yet unknown.
Sources close to the factory said that it was very much a personal project of Nikolai Smolenski, owner of TVR. "Nick was very excited by it, and it's why areas of the factory were cleared -- to make Benelli bits", said PistonHeads' source. The source also suggested that the reliability questions that continue to swirl round TVR are very similar to those that that surround Benelli.
The bike company was started in 1911, but its modern reputation was built on machines made in the 1970s. As a company, Benelli appears to have had a rollercoaster ride again similar to TVR's with interruptions to production over the years resulting from financial crises.
It remains to be seen if Smolenski's focus on TVR will be as tight as it has recently been following his latest acquisition, and that issue has already been raised by some TVR owners.
Benelli fans are enthusiastic though. One Benelli biker said in a forum: "That's the best news I've heard for a long time. It looks like the future of Benelli could well be assured in the hands of him if TVR is anything to go by. I don't think us Benelli owners could have hoped for a better result. Well done Nikolai!!!"