Griffith 400/500 (1991-2002)
Although almost mechanically identical to the sister car, the Chimaera, the Griffith had a smaller, meatier body that differentiated it. Using the same principle of fibreglass plus a Rover V8, power sat at around 240bhp for the just-over-a-tonne Griffith giving a healthy power-to-weight ratio.
Today it represents a throwback to a different era when power was brought in through bigger displacement, rather than the introduction of forced induction. Today, a naturally aspirated 4.0-litre V8 is reserved for only the biggest of production cars, think Ferrari. While some wince at the idea of owning a TVR, truth be told, with the right servicing and a mechanical sympathy, TVRs can be trouble free, or at least no more troublesome than any other performance car. It offers brilliant performance and handling and still garners enough of the right attention from members of the public.
The 500 offered further performance still, with TVR fettling with the 4.0-litre V8 from Rover enlarging it to 5.0-litres in displacement. This boosted power to 340bhp, making it enough to keep up with the supercars of its day. Prices today vary little whether it’s the 4.0-litre or optional 4.3-litre engine from 1992, all hovering at around the £16-20k mark. A 500 is easier to find for sale and a good example is priced between £20k and £25k.
TVR Tuscan (1999-2006)
First things first, the Tuscan has no door handles. Apparently there (or not there) to not hinder the cars sculpture, to keep the body’s lines clean and as good looking as they possible could be. To some it’s cool, to others it’s questionable. Instead of handles, there’s a button underneath the door mirrors which operates the door.
No V8 here with the Tuscan, instead it’s a six-cylinder engine which is apparently half of the V12 featured in the Cerbera. The engine itself, like the big-12 is shared from BMW, but unlike a BMW, which focusses on refinement, the Tuscan is raw and loud. It also came in so many different power formats that it’s impossible to list here. In fact, there are roughly 10 different variants of the engine, varying from 3.6-litres in displacement to 4.2-litres in T440R form (440bhp). Like with the rest of the TVR range, it features a fibreglass body to keep the weight down, which means the power-to-weight ratio speaks volumes about the cars true performance, which hits 60mph from standstill in four seconds and onto a reported 185mph top speed.
Very few Tuscans are available to buy at the time of writing, which is most likely due to the low volume of cars sold, but the asking price today is roughly between £25k and £35k for a 4.0-litre S version. Budget around £30k and you’ll get a 4.0-litre engine in standard form.
TVR Sagaris (2005-2006)
Arguably one of the most breathtaking TVRs built and certainly one of the most outrageous designs has to be the Sagaris. Bulges, air-vents, sharp edges and curves result in a cacophony of aggression and beauty. The lunacy continues at the rear with a see-through spoiler and rear-side exit exhausts; it’s a car that just screams performance and demands constant attention. Everything about the Sagaris is geared towards aggression and performance; even the namesake, which is the Greek name of a lightweight battle axe use by the Scynthians to penetrate the enemies armour.
Performance comes from a similar straight-six engine found in the Tuscan, this time produce 406bhp. Again, the body is fibreglass and again the real world performance was brilliant. At a time when engine downsizing and lunacy was being honed back, TVR stood up and brought a car to the market that quite literally stuck two fingers up at the competition.
Today, though, you’ll need a large budget to land one in your garage as the cheapest example we found for sale was £84,995 for a 13,000 mile 2005 example.