The Tam-what? Despite being one of the later TVRs, the Tamora is also one of the more obscure. Designed as a more affordable and – whisper it – sensible alternative to the Tuscan, it still featured a 360bhp version of TVR’s own straight six engine in a car weighing less than a diesel Ford Fiesta. Engine issues aside, its biggest problem was that it looked odd. It was okay from the front but positively weird at the back, representing a rare off day for TVR’s designers. On the road, it was perhaps the nicest of all the later TVRs to drive, thanks to almost sensible suspension and a power output somewhere close to the capabilities of the chassis. Pay from £19,000.
Brave for those who bought one, braver still for TVR, which decided that what it needed most in order to establish credibility in the marketplace was to abandon the strong, powerful, sweetsounding Rover V8s, which had provided such splendid service for so long, in favour of a new V8 designed exclusively for TVR by the somewhat eccentric Al Melling. The new engine, dubbed AJP8, was as long on power as it was short on manners. It was an engine designed according to racing principles, and while it provided the Cerbera with outstanding performance in both 4.2 and 4.5-litre guises, it is at least arguable whether it was a more suitable motor for a road car than the Rover unit. Construction issues aside, the rest of the Cerbera was great. Pay from £16,000.
8. Griffith 200/400
During the 1960s, Jack Griffith, who ran a tuning shop in the US, persuaded TVR to supply him with chassis in order to satisfy his desire to perpetuate the tradition, started by the AC Cobra, of powering very small British sports cars with very large American V8s. Like the Cobra, the Griffith gained its power from Ford and in race trim could provide close to GT40 outputs in a car with the wheelbase of a supermarket trolley. Prized by historic racers today and a devastating weapon on road or track, original Griffiths are probably the most desirable TVR production cars.We could find just one for sale at the moment in the UK: an FIA-approved racer priced at a cool £150,000.
One of TVR’s most successful cars wasn’t even road legal. Instead, the Tuscan racer was the subject of an extremely well-supported, highly regarded one-make race series that lasted for 16 years in its original form. Early Tuscans were powered by Rover V8s, but later cars featured TVR’s own AJP engines. Tuscans weren’t easy to drive in the dry and could be notoriously unforgiving in the wet, but a tight set of regulations meant you couldn’t buy speed or disguise a lack of talent; good drivers did well, journeymen did not. Today, and even if just used on track days, a Tuscan racer is ferocious and potent and suffers fools not at all. Pay from £25,000.