Spotted: TVR Griffith 500 SE

This Griffith SE could be yours
This Griffith SE could be yours

It’s autumn. The clocks go back on Sunday, and the leaves from the trees are nestling on the ground... which is usually damp. An ideal time then to take a look at a powerful, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive V8 car famous for having no driver aids whatsoever.

It's number 55 of 100 made
It's number 55 of 100 made
It’s hard not to love these things. I found a Griffith for a friend recently and taking it out for a spin reminded me just how much riotous fun they are to drive. They’re not to everyone’s taste, sure, but when you get back from a test drive and feel a faint pang of genuine sadness after you’ve turned it off, you know that it’s managed to touch you in a way which so many cars don’t.

There are even some fans of Trevors who consider the five litre Griff’ to be the one to have. This one from our classifieds is number 55 of the 100 Special Edition models produced to mark the end of Griffith production, and has been owned by TVR club members and maintained by Racing Green TVR. There are only 26,600 recorded miles and it looks like a very good example.

Most of the differences over the regular 500s were just cosmetic; rear lights, door mirrors, interior… In fact the only area to get a performance upgrade was the headlights, but with 350bhp to propel little more than a thousand kilos the 500 wasn’t exactly crying out for added poke.

Understandably there’s a small premium to pay for an SE over other 500s, but if you don’t yearn for the added exclusivity and do want some extra performance then this beasty might be of interest. It has been raced, although as you can see from the photos it appears to have been thoroughly prepared and the asking price is a full seven grand less than the SE.

But before you decide that a Griffith might be the autumn/winter vehicle for you it’s also worth noting that a modestly priced Tuscan like this can be had for a lot less than either of the earlier V8 cars here. Will fit and healthy Tuscans get much cheaper than eleven grand?

Of course, any of them would be something of a leftfield choice to drive around in at this time of year. The low ground clearance, wide tyres, rear-wheel-drive, and a sizeable dollop of torque are exactly what you don’t want when the weather gets really bad. Mind you this is PH, so someone must be considering one?

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (81) Join the discussion on the forum

  • RoseyG21 26 Oct 2011

    My first experience of the Griff was a gliding instructor who would hare around the perimeter track before parking up...oooooh the sound! I feel that they are going to be the classic car of choice in the future!

  • Owlwood 26 Oct 2011

    That Griff's a beauty alright.

    Been a while since I look at Tuscan prices though. It's said a lot on these boards but it's so much car for the money. Man o man....

  • BlackCup 26 Oct 2011

    Older TVR's don't really do it for me but that Tuscan is just gorgeous, and at 11K you could afford to have things go wrong!

  • RoseyG21 26 Oct 2011

    The Griff is older and somewhat more delicate...if thats possible for a TVR? A bit like these old marines you hear about on the news. Old, maybe past their best but still have the agression!

  • uncle tez 26 Oct 2011

    BlackCup said:
    Older TVR's don't really do it for me but that Tuscan is just gorgeous, and at 11K you could afford to have things go wrong!
    It looks like it went wrong for someone already. 30k and its already had an engine rebuild. I wonder when the next one is due

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