As TVR's new management team shed more light on their sports car plans, we look back at the history of this British icon
Steve Cropley Autocar
3 June 2015

As the new management team behind once-great TVR reveal plans to restore the company to its former glory, here's a brief history of the TVR brand.

See the first pictures of TVR's new sports car

1946 - TVR starts life in Blackpool as Trevcar Motors, a car repair and engineering business founded by 23-year-old Trevor Wilkinson.

1947 - Name changed to TVR Engineering.

1949 - TVR builds its first original chassis for TVR One, a car with a 1172cc Ford engine.

Early 1950s - Wilkinson and partner Jack Pickard launch a new chassis. With a glassfibre body, it becomes known as TVR Sports Saloon.

1955-1958 - New semi-spaceframe chassis is produced. It uses a central backbone and has suspension from a VW Beetle. Aluminium-bodied cars sold in the US as Jomars.

1958 - Better-looking fastback-bodied Jomar coupé develops into the first well-known TVR, the Grantura.

1962 - TVR bankrupt after rising costs, expensive race programmes and low sales. Rescued by associate, Grantura Engineering.

1963 - First TVR Griffith, with 4.7-litre Ford V8 and named after US importer Jack Griffith. Instant hit but import problems scupper US operation.

1965 - TVR Trident appears with Ford V8 power and body by Fissore of Italy.

1965-1968 - Martin Lilley takes control and stabilises TVR. Firm benefits from PR-grabbing race wins by Gerry Marshall; launches new Tuscan V8 and four-pot Vixen.

1972-1978 - TVR growth ebbs and flows, but the company moves to bigger premises in Bristol Avenue, Blackpool, and launches the desirable M-series.

1978-1981 - All-new Tasmin, designed by ex-Lotus man Oliver Winterbottom, becomes fastest TVR yet. Then a new owner, Peter Wheeler, takes control.

1981-2004 - Wheeler changes focus back to V8s. Launches Chimaera, Griffith, Cerbera, T350, Typhon and Sagaris. Builds own V8 and six-pot units.

2004-2006 - TVR sold to Russian investor Nikolai Smolenski, but owners are in retreat due to chaotic quality plus appeal of Porsche Boxster.

2006-2013 - TVR dormant apart from activities of various UK-based restoration operations.

2013-present - Consortium led by entrepreneur Les Edgar acquires TVR and embarks on a new project with Cosworth and Gordon Murray.

Read more:

TVR plans new sports car range for 2017

Tempting TVRs from £5 to £50k

Blog - Can TVR's new plan really work?

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