Tamora buying

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Sevenman

Original Poster:

740 posts

192 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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Following on from my thead on 350 / Tamora differences, I thought I would put information and questions on my Tamora buying here.

Went to see the first car today, closest one to me for sale - 2003 with only 9000 miles on the clock for £19k.

Silver 2003 Tamora

First Tamora we have seen, and it is a tidy example. Silver paint is in good condition (although an unexciting colour) and the interior is fine.

I don't like the service history - 200 mile service in 2003, 900 mile service in 2003, then 6500 mile service in 2008 (a few services since then). Who thinks it is a good idea to go 5 years between oil changes as the car covers 5600 miles? Last service was 14 months and 200 miles ago.



Having a look round the car, decide that the seating position is fine, and that the boot is a good size, but the roof panel makes it a bit awkward. Brake disks all look good, plenty of pad material. Toyo Proxes all round with lots of tread left. Wheels in good condition.

Drive - no smoke on start-up. Sounds nice. Handbrake ratchet has stopped working, so it won't lock up.

Garage are not that familiar with the hood. When folded down, no rear-mirror visibility. Seems tricky to avoid getting sharp creases in the plastic.

Responsive throttle pedal and more brake pressure required than most cars. Gear change fine. Can't hear indicator noise other than when stationary, which is new to me. Ride not bad at all on assorted country roads given low-profile tyres on 18" wheels. Steering responsive - after a few minutes, feels quite natural.

Seems easy to drive, give it some revs, up to 6000, feels quick enough smile

With sunglasses on, can't see any of the LCD display (which says something about a fuel sensor error), and find the speedometer (0, 2, 4, 6) interesting.

Overall impression when we are done is that we would like a Tamora, but need to see a few more. There is then a bit of a hard-sell that seeing a few more could be a mistake since this is the best, but that doesn't make sense to me.

Few questions for the forum:

- Given concerns about service history - is no smoke on start-up a good thing, or just normal?
- Should the hood obscure the rear-view mirror when folded down, or was it not folded properly?
- It is low mileage, but £19k seems a bit high given the big gap in the service history and the fact it needs a service immediately (assuming they fix the handbrake and sensor error.

Edited by Sevenman on Saturday 15th October 19:47

GlennT

160 posts

177 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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A lot of money for a Mk1. Go for as later one as you can, they got better, engine and suspension wise later in the production. Also I can see out of my rear view mirror perfectly with the hood down, so something isn't right there.

rico23

362 posts

160 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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I use the LCD speedometer most of the time, except when the suns on it and you can't read it! You can adjust the brightness and contrast in the settings menu.

No smoke should be normal on start up. With the roof fully folded it does not obscure rear visibility at all so suggests this is not right or not folded properly. You can use a towel tucked across to avoid damaging the plastic.

Although I'm loathed to drive down Tamora prices since I own one 19k is too much considering the gaps in service history and that it needs a service. Would probably not sell mine for that much and its an '04 with full history and no issues. If it was inspected by a renowned specialist they would probably find more things that would need doing too.

Smooth Smith

431 posts

164 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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I may not be as qualified as some to comment as I have a Tuscan but here's my two penneth:-

I quite like the colour so that wouldn't put me off if it was a good one.

I think the price is too high for a 2003 car. I suspect their reasoning for this is the low mileage but this is not necessarily a good thing for a sp6 car. They like to be used & seem to have less niggles when they are. I note it's only done 200 miles in the last 14 months so it looks like it's spent a lot if time in a garage/on a driveway.

I hate to keep banging on about sp6 cars without a rebuild as it's reputation for unreliability is unjustified at times. A car with that mileage would however scare me. I also don't like the fact that it hadn't had an oil change in 5 yrs!!

I haven't looked at the other cars they have but the dealer doesn't ring any bells as being a TVR specialist. I would only consider buying one from one of the trusted specialists or from an enthusiast on here.

If you are considering it, I would get an inspection done by a Tiv dealer to make sure the engine is healthy.

Oh & I hope you warmed the car up properly before revving to 6k wink

Good luck with your search.

Mattt

16,661 posts

218 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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Plenty of good cars around at that money, but that doesn't sound one of them.

Sevenman

Original Poster:

740 posts

192 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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Thanks for the feedback and information on Tamoras.

There seem to be very few Tamoras for sale with a engine rebuild. This might mean that the engine holds on relatively well...

The next cars I want to go and see are for sale by enthusiasts / specialist garages. Might be a lot of miles in the Mondeo next weekend.

Smooth Smith said:
Oh & I hope you warmed the car up properly before revving to 6k wink
Normally I would just hold it at the rev limiter straight from starting, but I took it easy in this case wink
I was at a Supra track day (not in a Supra, but a better car), and one chap really was doing that to warm his engine before going on track...

Probably 20 mins of driving before the 6000 rpm, it is brisk enough using low revs.

The chap from the garage did the first 10 mins, and I was worried he would feel the need to show me how fast it was before it was warmed up, but he was in no hurry, so that was ok.

Lubermans

201 posts

175 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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Not much to add other than to wish you luck with your search and hope it ends with a purchase - will be starting my search for one in the new year once I've got the final few pennies in the bank! Will be following with interest.

The one at Hilton & Moss in the classifieds caught my eye - looks immaculate with a good service history. Imagine someone here saw it today with the open day they held smile

Smooth Smith

431 posts

164 months

Saturday 15th October 2011
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Sevenman said:
The chap from the garage did the first 10 mins, and I was worried he would feel the need to show me how fast it was before it was warmed up, but he was in no hurry, so that was ok.
Good to hear. If any seller gives it the beans before it's warmed up then walk away.

There isn't that many Tamoras around due to the numbers built so take you're time & find a good one.

Getsis

1,537 posts

216 months

Sunday 16th October 2011
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If you can afford to pay £19K for a Tamora you will definately find a better one than this. I would keep looking for a MK2. The dash is useless with the roof down on a sunny day. No smoke on start up suggest the car was warm before setting off. Try to ensure the car is cold before any test ride to see how it ticks over. If it needs to be held on the revs for a while then it needs a service. If possible try to buy one that's just had the 12K service done. If not and buying from a dealer make sure this is done as part of the deal. Check the underside of the front valance, there is usually some marks but if excessive factor in the cost of repair. Doors can sag, watch for the door dropping a little on opening (both sides) there not easy to adjust by yourself. Some Tams leak, check carpets for water marks/damp. if you see some I would walk away.

Sevenman

Original Poster:

740 posts

192 months

Sunday 16th October 2011
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Getsis said:
I would keep looking for a MK2
Can someone summarise the key differences between Mk1 and Mk2 and when the change happened, or point me in the direction of an existing thread? I haven't been able to find a summary.

Getsis said:
No smoke on start up suggest the car was warm before setting off. Try to ensure the car is cold before any test ride to see how it ticks over.
Car was most definitly cold - came out of the showroom soon after they opened, and I had already looked under the bonnet. I will make sure I check engine temp / smoke on future cars.

Getsis said:
Check the underside of the front valance, there is usually some marks but if excessive factor in the cost of repair. Doors can sag, watch for the door dropping a little on opening (both sides) there not easy to adjust by yourself. Some Tams leak, check carpets for water marks/damp. if you see some I would walk away.
Thanks for the useful advice. I guess the nose of the car is quite low so could get caught, one reason I don't like excessively low suspension.

Targarama

14,635 posts

283 months

Sunday 16th October 2011
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Sevenman said:
Responsive throttle pedal and more brake pressure required than most cars. Gear change fine. Can't hear indicator noise other than when stationary, which is new to me.
Few questions for the forum:

- Given concerns about service history - is no smoke on start-up a good thing, or just normal?
- Should the hood obscure the rear-view mirror when folded down, or was it not folded properly?
- It is low mileage, but £19k seems a bit high given the big gap in the service history and the fact it needs a service immediately (assuming they fix the handbrake and sensor error.
TVRs are less servoed than most modern cars. The harder you push the more it brakes. The brakes work very well.

Indicator volume can be adjusted in the menus, from BL00DY LOUD to silent. Mine is set to silent as I hate the sound.

No smoke at startup - sounds fine to me. The engine is not any different to any other car in this respect.

The hood may go down a bit more than you managed on the test drive, but they do stick up a bit. Grow a bit taller smile

Handbrake shouldn't be a hard fix. Fuel sensor might just be a warning as the garage is running the car low on fuel?


rico23

362 posts

160 months

Sunday 16th October 2011
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This thread has some information on the mk1 and mk2 Tamoras:

http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=828...


Sevenman

Original Poster:

740 posts

192 months

Monday 17th October 2011
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Keeping up momentum with the TVR buying, I am off to see 2 cars this weekend.

One for sale with TrackVRoad, and one for sale privately (but serviced by them) Link here.

The one for sale by the garage is a 2002 car with 13,000 miles on at £16,750.

This seems to have a very extensive service history from an owner who didn't mind spending money. Recent 12k service and all new springs / dampers. The head came off in July as there was a gasket leak, and apparently the engine all looks good, but the chap from the garage did state that it was hard to tell when there might be problems. Could do 45k miles, could do much less... But if it is on 13k and in good condition, I would hope for a decent number of miles before problems. Apparently everything about the car is in good condition.

The 2nd car is a later 2005 model, with 35k miles for £19,000. This was also known to TrackVRoad, and the previous owner used it for a lot of road trips and much more regularly than many TVRs. Again, sounds like it is in good condition, but there is likely to be a bit more wear due to the higher miles.

It has de-cat pipes fitted. I don't think I need the extra noise or issues with swapping at MOT time.

There are a few little differences between the model years, but the only one I think of that is important is the engine. I guess it is a an unknown which out of a 2002 engine with 13k miles, or a 2005 engine with 35k miles, will last. The only certainty is that a rebuilt engine with a 5 year guarantee should last, and I need to keep some money set aside.

Thanks for humouring my TVR questions / ramblings, I appreciate the input of those who have lived with the cars for a while smile

Edited by Sevenman on Monday 17th October 15:33

Mattt

16,661 posts

218 months

Monday 17th October 2011
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You've certainly got yourself the dilemma there, the early car must've sat around for extended periods of time, which would make me nervous. But then the car on 35k, once you've used it for a while and maybe look to move it on will be a high miler - and residuals may well suffer.

garreth64

663 posts

221 months

Tuesday 18th October 2011
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I sympathise with your dilemma, as I went through a similar buying process just over a year ago.

Personally, I would not consider the silver car if hadn't been serviced in 5 years, even if it had only done 5600 miles. It implies to me that previous owners were not that bothered about keeping the car in top condition and history up to date. I would definately wait for a car with FSH at the required intervals.

No smoke sounds fine, but the hood should pretty much retract all the way down and definately not obscure the rear view mirror. I try to be careful when folding the plastic to avoid sharp creases (easier when it's warmer smile ), but you can also use a rolled up towel as others have mentioned.

Throttle travel is a lot more than most modern cars, and you almost 'forget' sometimes that there is more power available if you plant your foot a bit more! Brakes are more progressive and need a bit more pressure, but to me they feel much better than the on/off brakes in my modern BMW.

LCD screen is useless in sunlight with the roof down, but fine with the roof on or in less bright conditions. They also suffer from missing lines on the LED, mine has a few now that have developed since I owned it. It seems to get worse with the cold/damp weather as I dont think it is airtight.

There does seem to be a gereral consensus to go for a later model as possible for condition and reliability, but I would say this isn't always the case. I looked at a very tired 2004 car, and also a 2003 and whilst they may have been mecanically sound, visually they weren't in what I would call great condition.

I ended up buying a late 2002 car which is immaculate, and has been well cared for with a full service history, plenty of receipts for work done, and low miles for year. So far in just over a year (touch wood) I have had no major issues. (Only thing that has needed replacing is the speed sensor)

Talking of mileage, some say low miles are bad due to lack of use, some dont like high miles due to wear and tear on the engine and other components. I think it is a matter of choice but I would alsways go for a lower mileage car if everything else was the same. When I bought my car at 16k miles it had recently had a new cluch, alloy radiator, ECU, Battery, plus various other bits and bobs, so I would try and find out what work has already recently been done on any car as it is work you won't most likely need to do for a while.

With regards to engine rebuilds, a lot is said and written, but my view is if you buy the best you can find without a rebuild that seems to have been treated well, look after it by not skimping on maintenance, be sympathetic when warming it up then you minimise any possible risks you can. These cars don't seem to be depreciating at the moment, so if you factor in you may need a rebuild during the lifetime of your ownership, over several years this is not a huge cost compared to the depreciation that other cars suffer. Alternatively if you are worried, get one with a recent warrantied rebuild from a respected supplier.

Re de-cats, mine was decatted when I bought it and after hearing others I didn't like the sound. It now has a JP sports exhaust, and with the decats it's a bit loud. Not to everyone's tastes but I love it biggrin

Good luck with your search and keep us posted.



alex_gray255

6,313 posts

205 months

Tuesday 18th October 2011
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I can't advise on Tams as I don't know much above them, but there are two good examples for sale that I have seen.

One is mentioned above at H&M. I've seen it on their open days and looks in good nick, although you would need to research into it.

The other one is a Cadbury colored one at Bespoke Performance in Ware that we saw on their open day.

Again, both garages have respected histories and know TVRs inside out. They would not sell you a lamp duck. The Cadbury one was my favorite as it looked mint. Again however, you would need to check the histories yourself.

Hope that helps

Sevenman

Original Poster:

740 posts

192 months

Tuesday 18th October 2011
quotequote all
Thanks again for the advice.

I had called about the Cadbury coloured one - apparently there is a small crack in one of the front wings and the wheels could do with a refurb. I don't know anything about GRP bodywork and the effort involved in fixing it, but a wheel refurb is easy and not too many £.

The H&M car looks good. No mention of air-con, which I would quite like - there are times when it is sunny and the roof will be up.

gareth64 - thanks for the extensive info, I think I will be buying on condition, bearing in mind that later cars are better in some areas, but a well cared-for earlier car might be a sensible purchase.

I had a chat with Dom at TVR Power about these cars, since that is where I would go for future servicing and maintenance. He was more positive about the longevity of the standard engines than much of the general forum discussion.

I just want to buy one now, and hope for a few sunny days, with salt-free roads, throughout the winter months. Roll on the weekend and some car shopping. And a 350 mile round-trip drive frown

Smooth Smith

431 posts

164 months

Tuesday 18th October 2011
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I haven't seen the particular you have mentioned at Track v Road but everything I've seen there is prepped to a high standard.

They're rather choosy as to what they sell so I would imagine it will be a good one.

Sevenman

Original Poster:

740 posts

192 months

Sunday 23rd October 2011
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The Tamora buying thread is coming to an end.

Next weekend we are picking up our Tamora from TrackvRoad.

It was a long drive up on Saturday. We saw 2 cars, but the one at TrackvRoad was my favourite.

Very good condition, full service history, and the previous owner has not skimped on it - everything had been done and there were some comprehensive bills to prove it.

Engine runs sweetly and drives well. It is a 2002 car so the more fragile engine, but it has done 13,500 miles, had a new head gasket at 13,350 and everything looked good. Compression test was apparently 240psi across the engine.

Richard and Chris were great. They spent a lot of time with us, talking about the cars, answering questions (2 hrs) and test-driving (1 hour - 30 mins for each of us).

The sports exhaust is loud. it is the one thing I am not really sure about, but I will live with it for a while to find out.

All the cars they have look great, and their workshop space is immaculate. We felt very happy buying from them.

I can't wait until next Sunday when we have another 300 mile round trip to collect.

rico23

362 posts

160 months

Sunday 23rd October 2011
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Congratulations thumbup I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

You'll get used to and should learn to love the sports exhaust. Have just changed to standard on my T350 for the track and it's so quiet! You'd find though that even the standard exhaust is still quite loud.

Enjoy your new car smile