What on earth is happening to Griffith prices?

What on earth is happening to Griffith prices?

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Discussion

griffster

44 posts

42 months

Sunday 8th September
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When I was deciding between pre-cat and 500....back in the day - I was offered examples of both slightly used at the same price...

Now, naturally I was clearly tempted to go for the younger higher power car....until I drove them, back to back.....to me, chalk and cheese - I was besotted by the 4.3 even though the throttle broke and we were trailered back! - I then took the 500 out...lets just say, very very quickly indeed I knew it wasnt for me

The sound was not even in the same ball park, the eagerness to scream around the rev band was not there - replaced with clumsy amounts of torque, waiting to throw you through the nearest roundabout exit hedge / armco..

The ride felt fidgety, with what appeared to be over damping..the windscreen view to road endlessly chopping up and down a small amount nervously - the 4.3 is more laid back and comfortable (but prone to being a bit oversprung and underdamped giving occasional larger bounce over poor road surfaces)

Power steering - Really?, why wood you dilute that '911' writhing of correctly tyred pre-cat (ok parking is near Herculean task..)

Ask John Eales, the original Griffith engine builder which is the better engine - He is quite adamant that the best of the bunch is the 4.3, the others being varyingly compromised - He didnt even rate the BV as any better so wouldnt agree to mod an existing 4.3 - 'Horses mouth' smile - Good enough for me and exactly what my ear & rear tell me smile

Also always liked the sound of the S V8, SEAC + 430 Wedges smile

citizen smith

481 posts

126 months

Sunday 8th September
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griffster said:
When I was deciding between pre-cat and 500....back in the day - I was offered examples of both slightly used at the same price...

Now, naturally I was clearly tempted to go for the younger higher power car....until I drove them, back to back.....to me, chalk and cheese - I was besotted by the 4.3 even though the throttle broke and we were trailered back! - I then took the 500 out...lets just say, very very quickly indeed I knew it wasnt for me

The sound was not even in the same ball park, the eagerness to scream around the rev band was not there - replaced with clumsy amounts of torque, waiting to throw you through the nearest roundabout exit hedge / armco..

The ride felt fidgety, with what appeared to be over damping..the windscreen view to road endlessly chopping up and down a small amount nervously - the 4.3 is more laid back and comfortable (but prone to being a bit oversprung and underdamped giving occasional larger bounce over poor road surfaces)

Power steering - Really?, why wood you dilute that '911' writhing of correctly tyred pre-cat (ok parking is near Herculean task..)

Ask John Eales, the original Griffith engine builder which is the better engine - He is quite adamant that the best of the bunch is the 4.3, the others being varyingly compromised - He didnt even rate the BV as any better so wouldnt agree to mod an existing 4.3 - 'Horses mouth' smile - Good enough for me and exactly what my ear & rear tell me smile

Also always liked the sound of the S V8, SEAC + 430 Wedges smile
I have to agree about the aural soundtrack of the 4.3, but get a good 500 and the sheer grunt wins. Having owned both types, I would say that the 500 felt more mature to drive. Some could say tamer, not raw enough but I am an old bloke - just a cruiser not a racer.

Perhaps the 500 that you drove had a few issues with the engine/suspension. It's hard to find good examples of these cars, but when you do find a good one all the effort is worth it.

yonex

15,082 posts

113 months

Monday 9th September
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Given the fact all Griffs are so tweakable suspension wise it seems barely relevant? Unless you drove a knackered 500 and ‘good’ pre-cat? Same chassis and geometry aren’t they, with fresh shocks they should be capable of broadly the same feel?

As for John Eales, I’d say his 5.2 is the way to go. But, I’m biased smile

phazed

18,181 posts

149 months

Monday 9th September
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Exactly. It doesn’t matter what model you have. It is highly unlikely that it’s underpinnings are all original. If they are, they are in no doubt in need of replacement/refurbishment/upgrading.

Given the above , The only difference an individual will notice from going from one car to another is whether one has power steering or not.

Having done many, many track days, a very basic observation of all types of similar car that have been set up correctly is that they all go round bends at a very similar speed.

Obviously effort has been made to make these as good as they can be and unless you are in something like a lightweight Caterham with sticky tyres, you reach a limit of any cars capabilities and any upgrade is only absolutely minor in handling performance.

QBee

16,986 posts

89 months

Monday 9th September
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The biggest difference I have noticed in handling is when you put the right driver behind the wheel.

I was hitting around 125mph at the end of the Bentley Straight on Thursday's Snetterton trackday, running 320 bhp in my 4.6 turbo Chimaera.
Mat Smith, who races a Chimaera, took out Trev4's standardish 4 litre (therefore 240 bhp), which is on similar dampers and similar tyres to my car, and came back in announcing (much to Trev's dismay/amusement) that he had topped 130mph in the same place. I imagine Trev wasn't breaking 120mph, though he might like to embarrass me further.

Which means that Mat must have got the car out of the previous corner at least 10 mph faster than me, despite me trying my best.

griffster

44 posts

42 months

Wednesday 11th September
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just as a point of reference, both examples were low mileage and i think the 500 was 2 yrs old and the 4.3 3yrs - both offered by TVR's main dealer down N London way and in excellent order.

As you say the suspension is customisable for a thousand or two and would be the way to go - I just found the 500 lacking in sparkle engine wise where as the 4.3 (and similar) is at the other end of the aural spectrum smile - It wakes the soul as soon as it starts and idles (I was hooked from that moment on..)

phazed

18,181 posts

149 months

Wednesday 11th September
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Apparently Mole Valley in Surrey have just sold a 450 Chimaera with 11,000 miles on the clock for 25K.

griffster

44 posts

42 months

Thursday 12th September
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my Griff is nearly 30 yrs old and I thought 20k miles was low!

phazed

18,181 posts

149 months

Thursday 12th September
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Many years ago I bought a Vauxhall Carlton estate, one-year-old with 72,000 miles on the clock. Obviously an ex-company car that was a good price at the time!

By comparison, my 20 year old chim has averaged 2.5 K miles per year since it was built .

Ducati0

129 posts

79 months

Thursday 12th September
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As I said in another thread I started, I have owned 2x 4.3 & 1x 500 and for me the 4.3 wins. I love the rawness of it and especially the engine....pre-cat sounds sensational. Suspension I think very similar and as many say, adjustable anyway. I prefer the dash of the 4.3 with original style clocks, the Wheels....either the 5 spoke or OZ, no power steering. Both my 4.3’s felt far more planted at the front than the 500, albeit, I know early 500’s had a front end issue with lifting at speed and that was very disconcerting ! I personally disliked a lot of the interior changes on later 500’s and equally the change of rear lights to pepper pot styles, but that’s just personal taste. The engine is just so good in the 4.3 and that is a huge part for me.

urquattroGus

1,078 posts

135 months

Friday 13th September
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BJWoods

4,908 posts

229 months

Friday 13th September
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very hard to compare like for like,especially after all this time..

I had a totally standard 4.3 for 6 years from new, and directly replaced it with a totally standard 500..
Noise wise sounded very similar (tiny bit less volume in 500 (a good thing - on long drives)
and I specced my new 500 with PAS, and it is much better for it.. imho
If you eve lose the back end in a griff. it is MUCH easier to catch it with the PAS rack....
power wise
a good 4.3 265-275 bp ish?
a good 500, 270-280 bhp ish?
(again, everything totally original) and a bit more torque

Mine is a late 500,(Oct 98) and I always felt it handled much better than my 4.3.. Early 500s very similar to 4.3s

Again that is just my opinion/experience on two cars that I know for certain were totally standard/OEM.

(wrt PAS, you eed to try one, they ddo not feel super light like modern cars, you might not even feel like it has PAS, until you drive one without and try to park it at low speeds)

phazed

18,181 posts

149 months

Friday 13th September
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Goop post thumbup

Toprivetguns

2 posts

Sunday 15th September
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Lots of great information as always. It's great to see such a dedicated forum, which I'm sure to be relying on after my purchase (at some point).

MikeE

1,431 posts

229 months

Sunday 15th September
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Getting back onto prices, I understand Fernhurst sold the final Griffith SE (allegedly one of the three SE number 100 TVR built biggrin) for £75K a couple of years back, what do we think the top price for a pre-cat could be?



Edited by MikeE on Sunday 15th September 10:14

900T-R

20,236 posts

202 months

Monday 16th September
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BJWoods said:
If you eve lose the back end in a griff. it is MUCH easier to catch it with the PAS rack....
But also much easier to lose the back end with PAS in the first place by over-driving it. The liberating thing about not having it is not having to think about moderating your steering inputs (and also the unassisted steering being consistent with all the other control weights, so everything takes a similar effort). That, and despite that the Chim/Griff PAS is a successful installation on this count, it's still easier to feel into the amount of front end grip you have, without it.

All in all, it's completely dependant on the driver smile

phazed

18,181 posts

149 months

Monday 16th September
quotequote all
900T-R said:
BJWoods said:
If you eve lose the back end in a griff. it is MUCH easier to catch it with the PAS rack....
But also much easier to lose the back end with PAS in the first place by over-driving it. The liberating thing about not having it is not having to think about moderating your steering inputs (and also the unassisted steering being consistent with all the other control weights, so everything takes a similar effort). That, and despite that the Chim/Griff PAS is a successful installation on this count, it's still easier to feel into the amount of front end grip you have, without it.

All in all, it's completely dependant on the driver smile
Had both, used both on track and road and would never go back to a manual rack. Yes, the power assisted rack is light that you quickly get used to this and adjust your grip and feel of the steering wheel.
With a manual rack you are literally hanging onto the wheel and giving yourself a great workout which is made evident by being bathed in sweat after 20 minutes on track!

I understand the theory of what you are saying but in my world the manual rack is appallingly heavy and makes quick corrections impossible. Not just my opinion but the opinion of a race driver who used my old non PS chim on track.

Obviously, each to one's own and we have read on here the input of many people who prefer a manual rack, (obviously they are all wrong wink ).

All in my opinion...........

magpies

4,069 posts

127 months

Monday 16th September
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QBee said:
Griff and Chim are by a fair way the best bang for the buck going - supercar performance for 3series money.
Therefore it's quite logical that they are the best bang for 1.25 bucks as well.
TBH I think the S Series gives the best performance per $ or £