What 'my first TVR'...

What 'my first TVR'...

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Discussion

rix

Original Poster:

2,405 posts

157 months

Friday 11th June
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Is there an obvious choice?

I have always, always lusted after the marque but was never rich enough whilst they were current nor brave enough since then. Horror stories about the AJ6 point me towards something RV8 flavoured but both the tuscan and maybe more so the tamora/350 are those which I feel the most love for. I'm not much of a tinkerer so is the concept of a tvr as some sort of mostly reliable 2nd car a daft belief? I'm quite near Castle sportscars at Stansted - any experiences of them as a retailer/specialist?!

Budget very flexible but it's more about the cost of ownership, i.e. Depreciation plus maintainance... What would you do?!

m4tti

5,012 posts

122 months

Friday 11th June
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If you can’t spanner it will be expensive… otherwise very cheap.

Cascade360

10,427 posts

52 months

Saturday 12th June
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I bought a Tuscan as my first TVR. I don't intend to do any work on it myself.

From a bit of research and discussion with Str8Six, I'm expecting 1 to 2k a year in maintenance assuming no cosmetics, chassis work or engine work.

Car i bought had a str8six full rebuild in 2018 and the chassis is clean. Bought it from str8six so get a 12m warranty. As far as i can tell cars with a recent rebuild and service history should be reasonably reliable.

Depreciation should be low; expect id have to sell privately for less than i paid str8six if i tried to sell now, but prices are only going one way.

Life is short and my Tuscan is great fun. Do it. Though expect it to be more expensive to run than a RV8 car.

Byker28i

35,540 posts

184 months

Saturday 12th June
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I bought a cerbera, because thats the TVR I always wanted after seeing it launched at the motor show.

Depends on Mileage, but £1k a year is reasonable for service and other wearable items. I was told a Cerbera cost £3k a year to run, so put £250 a month away in a savings account. Lets face it, thats the cost of a lowly car on a monthly private lease...

Having cost nowhere near that, it did mean over my 15 years of ownership it's allowed me to pay for anything that needed doing, when it needed doing, full body off chassis restoration and rebuild, engine rebuild etc... It also meant I could buy another family car out the pot as well biggrin

Depreciation is minimal or none at all...fellow owners are brilliant, one of the friendliest bunch of owners around. A TVR will always get you a smile from people...

brownspeed

439 posts

98 months

Saturday 12th June
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+1 for what he just said!. In my case; a Tamora. You may even grow into "tinkering about" as a bit of a hobby. Depreciation is negligible to negative. This probably offsets any running costs if you're ever unfortunate. Buy with your eyes open; get the best you can afford.
Life really is too short; go for it

Oldwolf

529 posts

160 months

Saturday 12th June
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I bought a Chimaera 500 because for me that V8 was a must.
I'm only 3 months / 800 miles into ownership but it's awesome, like riding in a thunderbolt 😁

As the others say, go into it with your eyes open, remember it's not a brand new car so allow that it will have foibles.

Carpe diem (oh and post pics!)

Classic Chim

11,194 posts

116 months

Saturday 12th June
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If you have the budget I’d get myself down to one of the better dealers to test the various models forsale and hopefully settling on at least one of them.

In the case of a non mechanical type buy the best you can and often paying a bit more for a very sorted example will pay dividends in the longer run by far.
Using specialists to simply restore one costs more than buying a restored example by a long way which should only need servicing / small repairs as you go.
That’s far more fun than constantly visiting Tvr service centres sorting out a myriad of niggling issues.
It’s all relative as other brands a service can cost more than an ECU upgrade on say the RV8 powered cars such as Chim V8S and Griffith.
The later cars are more sophisticated in electronics but still very much made the same way so logic says they will cost marginally more to maintain but that really depends on how good any given model is now and how well it’s been looked after/ serviced/ updated/ upgraded.
There is a big difference from the pups to the fully sorted cars but not that much of a difference in price so buy the best and avoid big bills later on is my advice.
Many cars have had 20k and more spent on them yet only valued a few k more than cars that will need 20k spent on them someday.
Rebuilding them makes no sense but people love them and want the best so buy a car previously owned by a great owner, buy through a dealer and you won’t go far wrong.
The good dealers know and like to sell the best cars so they know what to stock in the first place.

Amore cars comes to mind.









lockhart flawse

1,883 posts

202 months

Tuesday 15th June
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I have a Griffith and it's cheap as chips to run. It doesnt use brakes or tyres and parts are cheap and easy to fit in general.

The Tuscan on models however seem to cost quite a bit to run.

I would start with the best Chimaera you can afford and see how you go.

e42

150 posts

155 months

Tuesday 15th June
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I’ve had 5 TVRs, a 3000M, S1, S2, Griff 500 and currently a Griff 4.3. I find them all to be very similar in feeling like an older generation of car, which I really like, but wouldn’t suit everyone. I’d suggest driving a Griff/Chim/ S series vintage and also a Speed Six ‘newer’ gen car, the difference in the driving experience may be helpful in choosing. I bought my current Griff from Amore, no connection other than a satisfied customer, Mark will have examples of most variants under one roof!

350Matt

3,623 posts

246 months

Tuesday 15th June
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I've had 3
a wedge which I tuned quite a lot
a Cerbera which needed no tuning
and a 4.3 griff

the Cerb and the other T chassis cars do feel a lot more modern although all are old cars now
whereas the wedge and griff felt quite similar in terms of chassis stiffness and handling and of course a bellowing rather than screaming V8

I'd say to drive a rover engine car 1st and then try a cerb / tuscan to see what you're after
a well sorted example of any is not slow but all of them need a lot more attention / driving than anything else built in this century

ric p

327 posts

236 months

Tuesday 15th June
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I’ve been guilty of owning a few. And just about to collect a pre-cat 4.3 Griff.

If it were me, I’d go for a high teens Chimp or low 20s Griff. Engine size pretty irrelevant. If that were a bit high then a nice sub 10k S3 is a great car.

Either way, great sound, easy self maintenance and tinkering and zero depreciation. Good luck.

PuffsBack

2,369 posts

192 months

Tuesday 15th June
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Rear wheel drive, manual gearbox, naturally aspirated engine and hydraulic power steering (or no PS) - from now until the end of time there are only a limited number of cars with this proper sports car configuration and very few to be made from now until then.

Nearly all TVR's are this configuration (bar the odd auto) - so depreciation will be a non event. Don't worry to much about running costs, compared to the cost in depreciation of a new car, it will be peanuts.


de Sade

59 posts

168 months

Wednesday 16th June
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Like others have said,test drive a few and see what you like.Both Tuscans i have had have been brilliant,both on original engines,the first was on 61,000 miles before someone hit it,the latest one i have is on 38,000 and going strong.I know nothing about the mechanics but in general allow £1,000-£2,000 a year as others have said.Barnet TVR that became Bespoke Performance and now amalgamated with Castle TVR have been excellent in all my experiences .
Good luck,happy hunting and enjoy the summer in one of these fantastic cars!

MuffDaddy

1,195 posts

172 months

Wednesday 16th June
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As others have said, condition condition condition. I have a Chimaera because I wanted the V8, the roof off and a boot. In all fairness I bought it in 96 whilst waiting for a Porsche Boxster to be built so it wasn't supposed to stay that long.

Now I wouldn't be without it. I did place an order for an early Tuscan and my friend ended up buying it. Totally different car and a bit too manic for me. I'm in for a chassis refurb and a lot of 'whilst the body is off I may as well' and a respray, and a trim, and some goodies. That will be the thick end of £20k+ The man maths re easy, less than a grand per year of ownership and it will never be sold so I can't lose money.

Hence condition, buy the absolutely best you can, whichever model you end up going for. I'd take a documented chassis refurb over good paint.

All of that said, buy one, you won't find as much fun for the price anywhere else.

Classic Chim

11,194 posts

116 months

Wednesday 16th June
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MuffDaddy said:
As others have said, condition condition condition. I have a Chimaera because I wanted the V8, the roof off and a boot. In all fairness I bought it in 96 whilst waiting for a Porsche Boxster to be built so it wasn't supposed to stay that long.

Now I wouldn't be without it. I did place an order for an early Tuscan and my friend ended up buying it. Totally different car and a bit too manic for me. I'm in for a chassis refurb and a lot of 'whilst the body is off I may as well' and a respray, and a trim, and some goodies. That will be the thick end of £20k+ The man maths re easy, less than a grand per year of ownership and it will never be sold so I can't lose money.

Hence condition, buy the absolutely best you can, whichever model you end up going for. I'd take a documented chassis refurb over good paint.

All of that said, buy one, you won't find as much fun for the price anywhere else.
Ha, if someone had said a bag of sand a year and you can use it then 25 years later it will still look and probably drive better than new you’d have took that. Brilliant cars.
thumbup



MuffDaddy

1,195 posts

172 months

Wednesday 16th June
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Exactly the maths I used to justify the spend, that and I don't have your skills😉

Cascade360

10,427 posts

52 months

Wednesday 16th June
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I think the conclusion is buy the model that you lust after the most and spend more to get the best condition example you can.

There isn't much point in trying to pick the most reliable or cheapest to run if you always think "oh i wish I'd got a Tuscan over a Chimaera" or whatever.

QBee

18,206 posts

111 months

Wednesday 16th June
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Buy the one you fancy owning.
I bought a Chimaera 9 years ago, as I only had a £10k budget, and have had a lot of fun in it, and have made a good number of real friends through owning it.
I do sometimes wish i had bought a Tuscan just for the looks, but my Chimaera is the kind of car I wanted - V8 up front, handles well and is a pleasure to drive on road and track.

Squirrelofwoe

2,993 posts

143 months

Thursday 17th June
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QBee said:
Buy the one you fancy owning.
This ^^^.

And I wouldn't get too hung up on the differences in potential running costs between the models- if you buy well you can mitigate these on any of the models. Likewise if you get unlucky you can get stung with any of them.

I'd always wanted a Tuscan, but when I was looking to get my first TVR 5 years ago I couldn't stretch to one (not a half decent example anyway), and was terrified of potential Speed-6 engine issues without having a large contingency fund. So I took the 'safe' option of buying a decent Chimaera that had recently had well over £5k spent on it sorting a lot of the usual issues.

It's been huge fun, but it has also royally spanked me financially over those 5 years, racking up £8k (conservatively) worth of bills in that time, including a full engine rebuild at 80k miles. Yep even the trusty RV8 can need rebuilding.

After becoming somewhat numb to TVR running costs (or maybe Stockholm syndrome?), we finally decided to buy a Tuscan last June- in fact we put the deposit down a year ago today! Aside from the post purchase big service which was negotiated into the price we paid, my cost spreadsheet is showing just £260 in maintenance for the first year of ownership. Obviously it's very early days and I fully expect further financial meltdown in the years to come, but it goes to show the importance of buying a good example.

Others may disagree, but my one bit of advice for buying a TVR which I will adhere to so long as I continue to buy them, is to buy one that has had an engine rebuild. IMO it's pretty much the single biggest potential cost with any of the models and even the youngest TVR is knocking on 16 years old now.

I disregarded a 100k mile Chim with rebuilt engine to buy my 65k mile example for slightly more money. What I now realise is that 100k mile Chim was much closer to 'as new' condition than my 65k mile one was, as pretty much everything that wears out on them had been replaced- at someone else's expense! Plonker rotate

shorts!

644 posts

221 months

Friday 18th June
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Squirrelofwoe said:
I disregarded a 100k mile Chim with rebuilt engine to buy my 65k mile example for slightly more money. What I now realise is that 100k mile Chim was much closer to 'as new' condition than my 65k mile one was, as pretty much everything that wears out on them had been replaced- at someone else's expense! Plonker rotate
Very good point.
Low mileage on quite an old car ponts to a lot of time when the car has been 'inactive' as well. Realistic mileage may show that the owner(s) used and appreciated (and cared for) the car. Condition (and history) more relevant than miles...IMO.