Think of TVR’s ‘wedge’ series of cars from the ’80s and you’ll probably picture a thundering open-topped V8-powered creation. The range started off though with the much less hairy chested Tasmin, which essentially debuted Oliver Winterbottom’s wedgy body style but with the more subtle engine options of either the 2.8-litre Ford Cologne V6 or even briefly the four-pot Pinto and the ‘TVR 200’ badge.
In traditional TVR style, the car employed a tubular chassis with a fibreglass bodyshell and underneath much of the suspension was sourced from the Ford parts bins, with Cortina/Sierra suspension and steering and Granada front brakes. The rear differential was donated by the Jaguar XJ-S and the car was distinctive for being one of the first with a bonded windscreen.
Launched in 1980, the Tasmin was one of the last TVRs to be offered as both a convertible and a coupe, with the coupe available as either a 2+2 or purely two-seater.
The Ford V6 produced 160 bhp and crucially for TVR, had been certified for US-market emissions, meaning the Balckpool firm was able to return to the US market after a lengthy absence.
The Tasmin was overhauled into a series 2 car in 1981 and was renamed 280i in 1984, eventually being replaced by the 3.5-litre Rover V8-powered 350i in late 1983 after the firm’s new owner Peter Wheeler demanded more power. The adoption of V8 power set TVR on the path to its ’80s glory and the V6-powered Tasmin as a result remains one of the rarest TVRs out there.