With the birth of the 1990’s we saw TVR go back to the drawing board with their new creation. The trick was producing a short chassis sports car producing in excess of 230 bhp capable of speeds over 150 mph. They of course did and it was called the TVR Griffiths.
The Griffiths was a sign of things to come for TVR with 70% of the factory in Blackpool devoted to Griffith production. With sales so good in 1992 the factory had to temporarily suspend production to help clear the backlog of foreign orders. By 1993 the 4.0 and 4.3 ltr models were axed leaving the 500 the only model carrying the flag for the Griffiths.
The Griffiths 500 is the full fat versions of the famous TVR with 320 bhp and a 0 to 60 time of just over 4 seconds, a real Ferrari killer. Values are currently increasing with the 70th anniversary of the TVR; now’s the time to buy before prices are hard to reach.
As the TVR Griffiths was built between 1992 and 2001 it isn’t that old a motor car and there are still plenty of good examples for sale at the right price. Let’s take a look at what to expect if you’re looking to buy one of England finest sports car. The first thing to check is the bodywork of course; it won’t rust but glass-fibre can start to look tatty in time so look out for stone chips especially on that vulnerable snout as well as any badly repaired accident damage. Any Milkiness around the windscreen edges means it’s starting to delaminate requiring a new screen, make sure no water is getting in to the cabin through the hood or the door seals and the back plastic rear screen should be scratch free.
Check the chassis thoroughly as this is made of steel and can and will rust. Stones can get thrown up between the bodywork and chassis which will cause rust in time. The space frame chassis is coated in polyester which wears in time exposing the frame to the elements.
The V8 engine put the TVR Griffith in the supercar elite but look out for oil leaks and broken rocker cover gaskets a common fault on these Rover engines. Radiators last around 25,000 miles with clutches lasting about 30,000 however the camshaft needs replacing after around 50,000 miles and is an engine out job although it does give you a chance to look at the state of the manifold as they are prone to cracking. Interiors are reasonably hard wearing especially in the later models, make sure the gauges all work as its small electrical problems that dog most TVR’s of this age.
TVR made the last 100 Griffith models as Special Edition versions known as the Griffith 500SE. This model was given a hybrid interior consisting of a Chimera dashboard and Cerbera seats together with a Special Edition rear badge.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“Nothing else says Great British Bruiser more than the TVR. All that power through a burbling V8 with a beautifully sculpted body what could be better.”