History of the 1965-1979 TVR
TVR was a company with an interesting and at times turbulent history. The name comes from the consonants in the first name of the founder, Trevor Wilkinson. During the 1950s and early 1960s, the Blackpool company busied itself primarily with constructing lightweight race specials with tube chassis and fiberglass bodies. Motivation was usually through MG and Ford Kent cross-flow four cylinder engines.
With the sale of the company to Martin Lilley in 1965, TVR enjoyed its greatest period of prosperity and stability concentrating on the Vixen model (powered by a variety of engines from Ford Kent, MG, and Triumph fours, to a Triumph six) while independent importer Jack Griffith executed the Ford V-8 powered Griffith 200 and 400. These became known as the Tuscan when Griffith’s company evaporated. The 2500M was by far the most successful model of the Lilley era with most going to the U.S. via importer Gerry Sagerman.
The 2500M followed the basic TVR formula of a fiberglass body over a tube frame with various large manufacturer parts bin items making up most of the front suspension while the rear wishbone, independent suspension was a TVR design. Power was from the 2.5-liter straight six that ordinarily lived under the hood of the Triumph TR6. Since the 2500M was a bit lighter than the Triumph, performance was slightly better.
TVR was always at the mercy of other manufacturers for its engines and when the TR6 ended production in 1976, the writing was on the wall. TVR exhausted its supply of TR6 engines in 1977, necessitating a switch to a 3.0-liter Ford Essex V-6, an altogether better powerplant. Around the same time, the car got the opening glass hatchback that it always should have had, and it became known as the Taimar.
TVRs appeal to those enthusiasts with a taste for something different and the patience to locate sources of the cars’ bits. Fiberglass bodies obviously don’t rust, but the tube frames do. It’s the only real headache in TVR ownership.