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TVR S1 – S4 (1986-1994)

TVR 280S

TVR S1 – S4 (1986-1994)

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Retro looks and awesome power all from the TVR S

Trevor Wilkinson’s ‘Trevcars’ have been building light weight sports cars for over half a century now. With many a wedge shape model through the early eighties thanks to Peter Wheeler hitting the mark at the time. It was in the late eighties we saw TVR creating a sports car for the buying market. With the introduction of the S1 and its Ford Cologne V6 engine for the early models then in 1988 the 2.9 ltr with the launch of the S2 model being more powerful. Soon came the S3 along with an updated interior and longer doors for easier access. We then saw the much heralded V8S with the help of Rovers 4.0 ltr fuel injected engine creating a powerful super car at relatively budget cost out pacing Ferrari Testarossa’s and Aston Martin Virage’s in its wake.

1992 saw the last of the S models run for a further two years with TVR making plans for its Griffiths, Chimaera and Cerbera models. Onwards and upwards for TVR.

Specification for TVR S1 2.8 V6

Years Produced1986-1988
Performance0-60mph 7.6 sec / Top speed - 128mph
Power & Torque160 bhp / 162 lb ft
Engine2792 cc V6 / 12 Valves
Drive-trainfront engine
TransmissionFive speed manual
Weight987kg

Specification for TVR V8S

Years Produced1990 - 1993
Performance0-60mph 5.0 sec / Top Speed - 150mph
Power & Torque240 bhp / 275 lb ft
Engine3950 cc V8 fuel injected / 16 Valves
Drive-trainfront engine / RWD
TransmissionFive speed manual
Weight1020kg

Valuation Guide

 Launch201220132014201520162017
Concourse£19,499£8,000£9,000£10,000£12,000£15,000£18,000
Excellent£6,000£7,000£8,000£10,000£12,000£15,000
Good£5,000£5,500£6,500£8,000£9,000£10,000
Fair£2,000£2,500£3,000£3,500£4,500£5,000

A Buyers Guide

Older TVR’s can start to look a little tatty if unloved so we’re here to make sure you buy the best TVR for your cash; so let’s start with the obvious TVR bodies don’t rust but can take a battering when it comes to stone chips as well as the usual starring and cracks look out for drop doors as this is common on S1 & S2 models.

The chassis on the S models is constructed of a tubular steel space frame and can rust. Earlier models are more susceptible with no mud guards behind the front wheels allowing exposure to water and mud behind the wheel arch. Make sure you check underneath the car.

The ford 2.8 and 2.9 are sweet engines with more than enough power and with good service history are long lasting. Check for burning oil and listen out for camshaft wear. Oil pressure should be between 50 to 70 psi and make sure the fan kicks in as it should. Brakes on the V8S and the S4C are discs all round, although every think else has rear drums. Make sure brake fluid has been changed and ensure the brake discs are not warped. Nylon steering columns were used in earlier models but later cars were replaced by steel that are harder wearing and need to be with the amount of stress on them due to tyre size.

Electrics are prone to suffering from a leaky bulkhead so check thoroughly. Full or half leather seats are the options just check for any sagging. The fascia should be in good condition, if not check for DIY electrics and make sure all the switchgear operates correctly.

Insuring a TVR S

As with many cars of the 80’s and 90’s the TVR S is now becoming a collectible possession of this era with both power and agility you can see the reason why. Its performance was staggering for back then and still is today. Let’s take a look at how much you can expect to pay for classic car insurance on these retro light weight beasts.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 60.

Annual premium – £130.54 with a £150 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 45.

Annual premium – £160.58 with a £150 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 30.

Annual premium – £181.31 with a £150 accidental damage excess.

*NB: All insurance quotes are based on the same criteria: The vehicle being garaged overnight. Accident, claim and conviction free and a limited mileage of 3000 per annum with full use of a main car daily. All quotations are based on an Agreed Value of £10,000. Prices may alter depending on individual criteria. Quote carried out August 2017.

Interesting Fact

Vehicle models ending with “C” were used to denote vehicles which were fitted with a catalytic converter. Only the S3 and S4 were fitted with catalysts. Cat standard in the UK was only introduced in August 1992 at K registration; catalyzed earlier cars were intended for export to markets with tighter emissions standards.

Mark Wilkinson (Managing Partner of Heritage Classic Car Insurance)

says, “The TVR is a committed sports car manufacturer that has maintained its credibility for over 50 years and the enthusiasts who own them know what they’re talking about. No other British sports car manufacturer has stood the test of time building uncompromising performance cars like TVR. Long may they continue.”

insuring a TVR S1 – S4 (1986-1994)