upon request I'll relate the stories concerning my TVR Griffith project which I've recently embarked upon. First, though, a little history.
For the people in other parts of the world, the TVR Griffith may not be a well known car. It's the car that made the small car manufacturer TVR a success well beyond the UK borders when it was first shown in 1990. Our fellow FLer Vitalone described the car as "the thinking man's Cobra for the '90ies" and that is pretty much correct. It's a glassfibre car with a Rover V8 in front, and was produced in 4, 4.3, 4.5 and 5.0L versions. With between 240 and 340bhp, the just-over-1-ton car is always seriously quick and can be seriously deadly. As mentioned - a modern day Cobra.
When the car was launched in 1992, I saw Tiff Needell testing it for Top Gear and he spoke the magic words "this is not a car for wimps". I was immediately captivated. Raw V8 power, no electronic gizmos, convertible, and one of the best shapes ever carved into automotive propelling force.
So, many years later with some money in the bank, I was ready to try these cars out. This was August last year. I went to the Dutch TVR dealer (not strictly a dealer anymore since TVR went bust) who had 2 Griffiths for sale. One was a low mileage 4.3L from 1992, and the other a brutal 500 (5.0L) that had been bored up to 5.3L and also had received suspension and brake upgrades.
I did not think I would like the 500 - its specs scared me (even though I had plenty of experience with my 485 bhp Maranello). So I tried the 4.3L. If I'm kind, I will say that I "intensely disliked" the car, from the moment that I "tried to" turn onto the on-ramp. The steering was so heavy that I had to use both hands to get it to turn in. And it pulled left under braking. So - I decided to try the 500. What a revelation! The power steering, upgraded brakes and suspension made the thing a joy to drive - inspiring confidence rather than scaring me. It was faster than my Maranello but totally benign with great turn-in and progressive throttle. Within 5 minuts I was chucking the thing like I knew it for years, and that drive is one of the most memorable of my life. Considering that I drove a classic V12 Ferrari for the first time ever
, only a few hours later, that says a lot. Yes - it was a good day!!
Anyway - I decided to buy a Boxer instead after driving 3 of them a couple of days later (see FLQ #10). But last March I saw the car was still for sale, and I had been dreaming about that test drive for 6 months. I decided to take the plunge and I picked the car up on the 20th of March 2009. Here are some shots of that day.
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