TVR is coming back and I can’t wait. Because if you don’t like the idea of owning a TVR then I suspect that you don’t really like cars very much.
A failure to be moved by the sight and sound of these wonderful beasts really makes you a firm non-petrolhead.
However, the idea of owning a TVR is always going to be more appealing than the reality of it: breaking down, in other words. 'TVR' and 'clockwork reliability' are rarely mentioned in the same sentence. To own a TVR is to live with constant fettling and sudden unexplained electrical failures.
This is all part of the ownership experience, and what an experience it is. Owners can and do complain about the marginal economy, poor reliability and sheer bloody expense of running a TVR, but hardly any regret the experience.
There have been many glorious models over the years, but here are some of my favourites.
If there ever was such a thing, here was TVR’s bread and butter model, which was pretty to look at and mad to drive. A sort of MGB that had been to rehab and really didn’t care what anyone thought.
Yet with its 4.0-litre V8 it is relatively docile for a TVR. If you can live with one of these and put up with the inevitable grief, whether it be insurance or reliability, then you can graduate from there to the bigger and far more frightening stuff.
Deviating slightly from its core customers, TVR launched its idea of a family car in the low-slung and always menacing shape of the Cerbera. A 0-60mph time of 4.0sec is a sensational conversation starter – and stopper – in the pub.
It looks like pure evil and needs getting used to, if that is ever possible. While everyone forgives a Ferrari for its thoroughbred foibles, a Cerbera gets it in the neck, but pound for pound you won’t ever get more supercar for the money.
It’s got a sensational six-cylinder engine, it is fantastically quick and it looks like it’s landed from another planet. Just three good reasons to go Tuscan right there, then, but there is another: it became very affordable very quickly.
The Tuscan taxes your driving skill like no other car and is worth it for that alone. There are, though, lots of things to concern yourself with, and the list of what to look out for on used models is almost endless.
Wonderful wedge styling and powered by the specialist Brit manufacturer’s favourite powerplant in the shape of the Ford V6, although the Rover V8 engine was eventually installed at new owner Peter Wheeler’s insistence.
There is a practical hatch and even a 2+2 model. You really should dare to be different and pick up a solid coupé for much less than you thought.
The 420SEAC was the most insane budget supercar of the 1980s. It was powered by a Rover 4.2-litre V8 engine producing 300bhp and easily managed 155mph.