Britain’s TVR has had more lives than a basketful of kittens. Despite being presented on a trailer, today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 2500M is said to be pretty lively as well. Let’s see if its price still kills it.
Ahh yes, I do drive an Aston Martin V12. To tell the truth, that’s exactly how I roll.
Welcome to Graverobber’s Guaranteed to Work Pickup Lines® #234. Manifesting that yes, you do in fact drive a car like last Friday’s 2002 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage V12 will most assuredly drop panties faster than Taco Bell night at a Sorority. Paying that particular car’s asking price however, proved not to be quite so enticing.
Yep, it was a car with a questionable provenance, at a dealer that was sketchier than doing business with anyone named Trump, and all that made its seemingly low price feel like a trap that Admiral Ackbar could spot lightyears away. That’s why 62% of you voted it a Crack Pipe loss. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here in postulating that 100% of you would still like to take it for a spin.
Britain is a nation famous for two things: James Mays’ shirt collection, and making frustratingly fabulous sports cars. I say frustratingly fabulous because many if not all of them are brilliant to drive… when they’re not broken down. And they do breakdown. A lot. I know, I’ve owned a number of British sports cars and count two among my current driveway-clogging horde.
You know what though, I’d love to add this 1977 TVR 2500M to that collection, even though I’m running out of space. Maybe my wife wouldn’t mind giving up her minivan? Ouch! Sorry dear. It’ll never happen again.
As most of you know TVR was named for TreVoR Wilkinson, who founded the company in 1947. He boogied in the early sixties when the company’s financial situation turned dire, and TVR was purchased by a family of shareholders. Yada, yada, yada, boom, bust, boom bust. For most of its existence, it was a company that should have had a financial defibrillator on call at all times. Today TVR is threatening a rebirth. We’ll see how that goes.
Along that bumpy path, the financially tidal company produced this 2500M. The M series was built between 1972 and 1979 in replacement of the preceding Vixen series. The chassis is a tube frame affair, designed by the company’s technical director at the time, Mike Bigland. Fun fact, Brigand is presently a sculptor.
The body is a bigger, more polished version of the Vixen, and features both a clamshell bonnet and roll-up windows on the coupe. Those nods to function and luxury are just two of the desirable aspects of this sunroof-equipped car. There’s also the sunroof mentioned in the previous sentence, some lovely planking on the dashboard, and the way-cool T-slot TVR wheels. It’s also painted in glorious two-tone brown and rocks a vinyl roof. Yum!
The car is presented in the ad sitting on a trailer, but is described in the same ad as being in great running condition. The seller says that his age and the car’s diminutive size are conspiring to deny him the enjoyment of its use. Seriously, these things are tiny, like tween girl’s charm bracelet tiny.
The car may be running well now, with sync’d Zenith Stromberg CD175s and two electric fans where once there was only one, but this being a British car, you know that’s only a temporary state of affairs. Fortunately all the important parts come from pretty common cars. The engine is a Triumph-sourced 2,498-cc OHV inline six. That produced 106-bhp and 133 lb-ft of torque in TVR kit. Backing up the hairy-chested six is a four-speed gearbox also sourced from Triumph. Sadly, this one doesn’t seem to have the optional OD.
Almost all the other driveline parts are Triumph too, with Alford-Alder uprights in front, TR steering, and pumpkin in back. Other parts have equally common origins. The windscreen is a Ford Consul unit and the tail lights are the same ones used on my Jensen Healey among others.
The interior on this 12,000 mile TVR looks to be in excellent shape, with the notable exception of the grimy steering wheel. At least it’s the original unit so some of that might be factory grime. Smith gauges keep tabs on things—pay special attention to that water temp gauge, these things have a reputation for overheating—and there are the typical electrical gremlins with which to be dealt. Full documentation from new is claimed to come with the car.
Buying a British car (sorry Jeremy) is a roll of the dice. This TVR is rare (only about 2,500 M-cars ever), interesting, and seemingly not on fire or in some other ardor-quelling condition. What is that worth?
Well, the seller seems to think it’s worth $14,000 and it’s now time for you to decide: is he right, or is this one TVR that makes you say, not on your life?
H/T to machineica for the hookup!
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