I have a dirty little secret, one about wanting to own a car from one of the most reputedly unreliable and heartbreaking car companies ever – TVR.
I remember reading about them in CAR Magazine when I was a kid and they sounded so incredibly engaging. And fast. And exotic. And the good news is they really are all those things, but some people also claim they fall to bits.
Personally speaking, I’m sceptical of all the pessimist talk. I know one couple in England (who own a rather famous Saab 99 Turbo) who used to have a TVR. It was the wife’s car, mainly, and she had only wonderful things to say about it. TVR strikes me as one of those brands that has fans that love it, forsaking all others. Fans that will defend it to the death because despite its faults, the TVR does its good things exceedingly well.
Put simple – TVR has character.
TVR started as a small engineering company the same year Saab decided to make cars – 1947. They did a bunch of kit cars over the years and then developed a formula for light weight, big power and increasingly exotic looks.
A TVR might be the ultimate fun car.
The company struggled as sports cars became more and more sophisticated. It’s hard to keep up with the big boys unless you charge Koenigsegg prices. TVR was bought by a young Russian banker in 2006 with a vision for a new range of vehicles. None were made, however, and just last year, in 2012, an announcement was made that there would be no new cars.
If you’re a Saab fan, you’ll enjoy the irony of the TVR name about to be used on wind turbines – true story.
The image at the top of this post is the current front page of the TVR website. Rumours have spread over the last few days about TVR being sold back into British hands, though official channels are silent right now. The story from Auto Express:
It has emerged that Mr Les Edgar, a businessman based in Dorking, Surrey, recently bought the rights to the TVR name, as well as to manufacturer parts for existing cars, from the former owner, Nikolai Smolensky. Edgar wouldn’t reveal the price he paid for the deal, but did confirm that he will be “following up with more information, extremely soon.”
Edgar said he was under a strict non-disclosure agreement so couldn’t reveal the timeframe, only that it will be “as long as it takes to get this right.” He added: “There’s a lot of planning and forethought that’s gone into this. Watch this space.”
A small car company that builds cars to a much-loved philosophy making an against-the-odds come back to build cars for a small, but dedicated fan base?
Who could possibly be against that?
I don’t have a TVR on my automotive bucket list, but I wouldn’t mind placing one there, one day. It’s almost the ultimate indulgence – a car with little technical merit but exotic looks and plenty of blunt-force appeal.
I wish them all the good fortune in the world.