Now that TVR has been saved, and that a new two-model range is in the works for 2015, the company can look to rebuild its former glory.
But how hard is that going to be? TVR has been responsible for some of the best British-built cars in recent years. Can it ever return to those days? New boss Les Edgar certainly thinks so.
TVR began in 1947 when Trevor Wilkinson, an engineer, built himself a light alloy special based on an Alvis Firebird rolling chassis. The first production TVR was then sold in 1949.
By the mid 1950s TVRs were being sold in the US, and doing well, and in 1958 the Grantura joined the range. TVR began to blend its signature design of a tubular steel chassis and bold bodywork into each design.
The 70s saw the introduction of the M-series, and in 1980 TVR’s Tasmin was introduced. Power came from a 2.8-litre Ford unit, which was placed in both coupé, convertible and 2+2 models.
In 1982 Peter Wheeler took over management of the company, introducing the first Rover V8-engined TVRs in the form of the 350i. 1987 also saw the Type S being introduced.
The second-generation Griffith, effectively a rebodied Chimera, put TVR on the map in the UK when it was launched in 1992. “It looked great and went like stink,” said then-boss Peter Wheeler. The Chimera is arguably the most successful TVR ever. Powered by the Rover V8 it outsold most of its competitors in 1998. To this day it remains TVR’s most successful model commercially.
The introduction of the Cerbera in 1996 spelt the beginning of the end for TVR. That said, purists agree it was also TVR’s finest hour, and linking back to it will be key for the new owners to re-establish the iconic brand.