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Dan Rogers' fine TVR 350i part one

Dan Rogers' fine TVR 350i part one

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dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
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Dan Rogers' fine TVR 350i part one



My connection with TVR is a bit strange. In the 70s the M-cars were appealing. Once those long, sleek roadsters with their simple engine's and awesome performance were a fairly common sight and sound in our regions. On a sunny day a 3000M, Reliant Scimitar and a Marcos could well be the possible wheels to add the golden frame around the day. In the early 80s, when dad and I went to Zandvoort every other month our Mk2 Escort was eaten by TR6's and Tasmins blasting by on the twisties towards the track. And unfortunately soon after that TVR's V6 rumble became a distant memory.
Yup, Britains finest was no longer within my range of interest. The study, the alto sax, the work and if all that wasn't enough: girls. I became a regular workaholic: the graphic design jobbie in daytime (your first-in-last-out collegue), a quick meal at the students restaurant and off to rehearsals, band-practise or any bar with a challenging jam session at night time. After a few stuffed years I met my now ex-wife who kept me slightly below redtag-mode.
OK, every now and then a thundering Chim or dropdead gorgeous Griff shifted my attention from Jackie McLean and Dexter Gordon to fierce sounding 8-pot sportscars. But not for long . . . With the '26 Buescher in the flightcase to go, me and my old bicycle often went either too slow to follow or headed the other direction. Which is pretty damn obvious in a city like Amsterdam. Often me and my brass fellow were off to a joint where cars had no place at all.



A new hobby
So what to do when the most beautiful daughter starts to breathe for attention? With this in mind I'd already given up my first alto-seat of The Netherlands best amateur big band. Along with that, moving from Amsterdam to Leusden didn't help with continuing my musical ambitions. Back from a full hours practise a day to a 30 mins a week it was realistic to assume my stamina and saxual athletics would diminish within months. No problemas senor for I had discovered Pistonheads.com. Thank you Ted bow
Wasn't that THE TVR gathering place on the internet those days? yes

OK, I discovered that my often sketched teenage dreamcar was called Cerbera now. The only thing missing was the convertible option. The racebred 4.2 and 4.5 AJP8 succeeded the obsolete Rover V8 which had served TVR so very well since the early 80s. The original 3.5 litre Land Rover engine replaced the 160 hp Cologne 2.8 Ford V6 used in the early fourspeed 80s Tasmin cars. With a solid 197 brake the new lightweight 350i did not only made a firm step up in the soundbyte-category, it also had sufficient performance to eat almost anything three times more money.
Wedges used the RV8 in various forms and all the way up to over 4.4 litres and 300 hp. They were truly the supercar-eaters of their time. With styling already out of date by birth TVR owner Peter Wheeler returned to the classic-stylee introducing the V6 S1 in 1986. The last wedges were more or less specialist cars, racing cars for the road really having kevlar bits and hipo engines. The last wedge (who has it?) thundered out of Blackpool Av. premises in 1991. The RV8 was last used in the Chimaera until 2001.



A bit of history
I dunno exactly how I met Dan Rogers - with a clubhouse like PH you never know - but I thought it had something to do with him wanting a job over here. Anyways, his 350i-story is very interesting. I think he should cut his words up and mail 'em to David Yu's webspace. But then that's only my advice. In short then, before I tell you about my miles in his car: in the 90s Dan was living not far from a TVR-dealer and the sight and sound made him want one of those beasties. With little cash in pocket he decided to just call Blackpool if they had a restoration project to pick up. Those were the days because early May '97 the phone rang with the invitation to come over and have a look at the green and silver Widget.
At the spot it was looking rather messy from the outside but with a little help from the TVRisti around it even started. The chassis was almost perfect and Dan quickly made up his mind.
Ben Samuelson told the interesting history about this one being one of the press/development/staff cars that racked up over 130,000 miles during its time at TVR. All that because the original buyer didn't want it at second thought. Just look at those 350SE wheels: only 20 cars were ever fitted with a set of these! What was he thinking!



A king's car
It was Dan's lucky day indeed for the 350i's current engine had just been rebuilt before the car was parked up in TVR’s yard, obviously waiting for a passionate guy to come and rescue him. The car was piggy back rided home and the next few weeks Dan and Co worked and washed and polished and found themselves a car in actually a not too bad condition. After the MOT was granted the car spent the next years being used most weekends, clocking up a further 30.k miles to various car shows and national TVR events. Even better, to wipe away TVR's infamous non-reliability aura this silver-green one became Dan's daily driver clocking up over 700 miles a week at a Prius-envying 30mpg.


Edited by dinkel on Monday 18th April 09:01

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
quotequote all
Dan Rogers' fine TVR 350i part two
An earlier date to meet Dan and his car sadly failed but in September we shook hands. Now it was only a few weeks before I had a nice evening in the new 380 hp Sagaris. I strongly felt the urge to compare a few things old to new because the orange one was my first ever ride in a T. First of all this wedgie is a proper vert with the roof perfectly stored in the more than ample boot. Secondly the position behind the wheel is absolutely spot on. And last before I stop moaning about the Sag's minuses this '86er has all the nice soundtrack you'll ever need to embarrass any Porker that isn't an RS.
And proper quick it goes too. I met Dan at the 2006 edition of the wonderful Klassiekerrally Winterswijk. I invited him amongst other PHers who occasionally were around. And guess what: they all were surprised at such a glorious event. But that's another story. In advance we'd already made the appointment to take the 350i out when the classics were off rallying. I can tell you this - and probably any other - a 350i won't disappoint in any way.



Now of course you have to love the odd 80s looks. Many don't and in reward of that you can get yourself a wedge for peanuts money these days. Check the classifieds and treat yourself! I know I would if I had some pocketchange. The car is compact and very well balanced. Inside there's room for tall guys like myself. I felt like a king both next and behind the wheel. The grey leather isn't my cuppa but all that is soon forgotten when the ignition key is turned. The 3.5 rumbles into life and even at low revs the urge to get you somewhere is distinctively present. To get you somewhere quick that is.



On the road
To warm her up, after some while standing on the meadow between the older stuff, we cruised along in the direction of a German bordervillage. In a completely comfortable way the car doesn't feel rough or hard or racy at all. Accompanied by the trusted V8-sound we strolled along the rural roads and through the woods. But hey, after a while Dan shifted back and floored it. "Broooaaaammm, broooooooaaaammm, broaam pop bang!" Trees were flashing by and the magazine figure 0-60 in 6.5 secs are best believed. This is a fast one! Dan switched gear ultraquick and smooth because he's so one with his car. It did put a huge smile on our faces to thunder through the peaceful landscape in such a boyish manner. Well peaceful, if Tom isn't out and about in the white Countach or his imaculate Espada. Oh yes, the neighbourhood get their share of V12.



In Germany we found ourselves a pretty spot to take some pics: an empty parking space near a church. A good chance to have a closer look at details. Because inspite of all the fuss about this kind being believed to be the ugliest of TVR's I must say the proportions are pretty much spot on. As is the roadpresence and matching V8 rumble. Looking at the square back the brutal sports exhaust pointing Dirty Harry-ish at ya is an omission. All the evil is coming through these tiny twin pipes looking like they are from the same Granada most of the underpinnings come from. An understated detail, I like that on a vicious car.
The plastic bumper- and spoiler bits have the same decent touch. They are there but never in an exuberant way. Max Power has been kept at a distance and even the rims have that elegant and understated way that makes this 350i want to say: "Hey, I'm here and I'm damn fast but I'm no show off."



Sixties and seventies TVR's were always composed of Ford, Citroen or other brand's bits and pieces and this one is no exception. What TVR was good at was making it look like a decent car without you thinking kit or LEGO. A wedge on a pic may not appeal because it looks as such but believe me it's worth a second look - and hear - in the flesh . . . err, handlaid composite. A wedge is stylish even. I mean, take a look at the interior. OK, it's no match for a Chim, Griff or Cerb but it's a class above the basic racy hard-edge kitcar. And yes, it lacks the class and British air 3000M's have but then this one has the proper 'sit' that made me want to go a lot further than the hours outing we had. I already mentioned a seat in this beastie was way more comfy compared to the 2006 Sagaris. Timewarp!


Dan's ride was chosen for TVR's 60 Anni feature in Jan's C&SC mag. Buy and read!

Well what's left to say is thank you Dan for coming over to the KR'06 and take care of that lovely ride of yours. I love it. See you soon my friend.

Cheers, Dink

stainless_steve

5,908 posts

175 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
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thumbup bow bow bow

klassiekerrally

2,543 posts

172 months

Thursday 4th January 2007
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thumbup

digga951

485 posts

192 months

Friday 5th January 2007
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*Goes all shy*

Thank you Dinkel for the great write up! I'm honoured believe me. Had a really good time that day and we couldn't have asked for better weather!!! So many people in so many different types of cars, from the oldest Beetle to the newest Lamborghini, yet everyone had so much mutual respect for everyone elses wheels. Money really didn't matter, as the whole day was fueled by enthusiasm. As you say, it really did feel like a mini Goodwood!

I reckon there could be scope for a PH weekend away, especially if KR is a 2 day event this year. A tour of the countryside with the autobahns just around the corner... Lots of cars to look at, cheap hotel and prop up the bar until the early hours. You did say you would like to see a line up of TVR's afterall!

Dan.
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klassiekerrally

2,543 posts

172 months

Friday 5th January 2007
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digga951 said:
As you say, it really did feel like a mini Goodwood!
Now I go a bit shy...
A TVR line-up would be great. Besides that: Expect rarer and even more exciting cars this year... Almost can't wait!

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Monday 8th January 2007
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Wim: this is a Wedge-forum, not the Lambo-forum. Oops, I gave it away a bit didn't I hehe

Dan: folks I spoke about it really love the C&SC-article. Shame they didn't put your wedge on the calendar

They picked the wrong car for my birthday-month though: the Lotus is no match for the Countach . . . Aston bow

Can I post down the 16 mb-files (downsized) . . . or would that be a bit risky?

klassiekerrally

2,543 posts

172 months

Monday 8th January 2007
quotequote all
dinkel said:
Wim: this is a Wedge-forum, not the Lambo-forum. Oops, I gave it away a bit didn't I hehe

Hehehe... What I was referring to is Italian. But it's older and got a straight eight! Not sure if it'll show up though...

I'll mail you about it...

HarryW

14,248 posts

186 months

Monday 8th January 2007
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Very very nice thumbup

victormeldrew

8,293 posts

194 months

Monday 8th January 2007
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Lovely write-up Dink, cheers! thumbup

grahambell

2,695 posts

192 months

Tuesday 9th January 2007
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Nice read Albert. So when you getting one then?

justayellowbadge

36,364 posts

159 months

Tuesday 9th January 2007
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Great car and write up. Thanks Albert.

wedg1e

26,736 posts

182 months

Tuesday 9th January 2007
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Nice, but 'most of the underpinnings' are NOT Granada.

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Tuesday 9th January 2007
quotequote all
wedg1e said:
Nice, but 'most of the underpinnings' are NOT Granada.



Major omission then . . . please enlighten me so I can adjust

Thanx for all the nice comments guys.

I must say for a fistfull of dollars I'd rather have a V8 wedge than a tatty 90s GTi . . .

350zwelgje

1,787 posts

178 months

Tuesday 9th January 2007
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dinkel said:
wedg1e said:
Nice, but 'most of the underpinnings' are NOT Granada.



Major omission then . . . please enlighten me so I can adjust

Thanx for all the nice comments guys.

I must say for a fistfull of dollars I'd rather have a V8 wedge than a tatty 90s GTi . . .


You know you want one.....
Just do it: import one from the UK, and if you don't like it sell it in Holland for an additional 5-10.000 Euros.
And if you want something fixed, Blackpool a/d Rijn is probably the place to be.
And a wedge is a V8 GTI (it has injection and 16 valves ;-) ), with a much, much better sound track and has 'junior' gtis for breakfast.
Talking of soundtrack: Got myself a stainless steel exhaust, so hopefully my wedge sound will 'improve' even on Continental standard noise I have at the moment.

And as the rest said before: nice story, and of course very nice pictures.

Rob

wedg1e

26,736 posts

182 months

Tuesday 9th January 2007
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dinkel said:
wedg1e said:
Nice, but 'most of the underpinnings' are NOT Granada.



Major omission then . . . please enlighten me so I can adjust

Thanx for all the nice comments guys.

I must say for a fistfull of dollars I'd rather have a V8 wedge than a tatty 90s GTi . . .


OK.... Granada bits are usually limited to the front suspension. Even then some of it is Cortina rather than Granada. Later (89-on?) cars had Granada column & switchgear. There are also a couple of bits of Capri (coolant header, maybe brake servo, door handles, rear lamps on early cars). Then there's the TR7 headlight motors, steering column on early cars, dashboard switches; Rover SD1 steering column on most of the V8s, SD1 engine and 'box of course, rear lamps on some cars; BL Princess front brakes on late high-capacity cars, dash switches (as TR7 for the most part); Renault Fuego rear lamps on post-85 cars; Jaguar XJ6 differential and rear brakes on all cars. Hillman Imp boot lid hinges, Ford Fiesta bonnet and boot catches, Ford Transit radiator (some cars). TVR did do SOME of the work themselves (or had it made to order): the chassis, bodyshell and panels, driveshafts, prop shaft, rear suspension, glass, roof, seats, carpets, dash and other trim, exhaust system, fuel tanks, electrics.

Think that covers it

Otherwise, a good tale

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Wednesday 10th January 2007
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Phew.



Dan at speed!

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Wednesday 26th January 2011
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http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

Dan and I racked up quite a few miles at last years DSR.

dinkel

Original Poster:

24,207 posts

175 months

Wednesday 26th January 2011
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Updated here.

Transmitter Man

4,025 posts

141 months

Wednesday 26th January 2011
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Albert,

Another trip to the Ace Cafe I think is due later this year.

Hope you can make it over again.

Did I tell you'll be driving ? wink

Phil
420 SEAC