The shape is distinctive, at least here in the US, but it was probably the color that caught my eye as I was walking down the main street in our town last week. Or perhaps I should say colors, as the hood/bonnet doesn’t quite match the rest of this TVR roadster. As it turns out, there are other things about this car that don’t quite match up.
This basic model has been touched on here before, but this may be the first actual curbside spotting posted at CC. My day had started with an 8AM dentist appointment, not usually something to get excited about, but walking home I saw not one but TWO Isuzu Troopers, in front of different homes, one each of first and second generation. Definitely CC’s, but covered here before and not really worth digging my phone out to photograph. Although, interestingly enough, I saw a third Trooper, a 1st gen, later that day. But this TVR which I encountered on a walk with my wife that evening, warranted breaking my stride to take a few pictures.
I knew immediately it was a TVR, despite the lack of any badging, but I couldn’t quite remember the model names from this time period. At first I guessed it was a 2500, powered by the straight six from Triumph’s TR5 and TR6. But a quick search showed that those were coupe only, followed by the similar looking 3000, with Ford 3.0 V6 power. That in turn was replaced in 1978 by the Taimar, which added an opening rear hatch to the 3000’s coupe body. Yohai71 covered the Taimar here with pages from Road and Track’s road test from December 1978. But the Road & Track car was a convertible, which Wikipedia says was actually marketed under the 3000S name. And Wikipedia’s photo’s of the 3000S show curved door sills and a different dash, matching the R&T car, but different from the one that I saw.
In addition, the deck lid on the car I saw is quite different from what’s pictured in both R&T’s Taimar test and various online photo’s of the 3000S, with no visible hinges … perhaps it’s just a panel to hide the roadster top? To further confuse things, in the mid-80’s TVR built the S Series, which has some design similarity to these older cars, with the smaller hingeless deck lid and a hood scoop like the car I saw, but of slightly different shapes. As an aside, the S Series, launched under new ownership at TVR, seems like a retro throwback to the classic shapes of the ’60’s and ’70’s after some more modern wedgie TVR’s met limited success. A little bland, but I like it.
And the side vents on the yellow roadster match those on earlier 1600 and 2500 M coupes. Could this be an older coupe, converted to a roadster? Or an undocumented (or little documented) one-off or limited production factory roadster?
This photo of a 1977 Ford Kent-powered 1600M shows a similar door sill profile, and the rear window cut-out shape does seem to match the panel outlines on the yellow roadster. So, ultimately, I’m not quite sure what I saw. A fairly quick scroll through some TVR Owners’ Club sites revealed nothing. And Wikipedia isn’t necessarily correct; furthermore a small company like TVR would probably make undocumented changes based on parts availability. And the same is true of an owner, especially as body parts might be fairly interchangeable across a few generations. For that reason I didn’t name the car in my post title – I just described it as I saw it. If anyone knows more, please comment.
Did this car leave the factory as a coupe ? It really doesn’t look like a factory soft-top model.
That’s what I speculated in my second-to-last paragraph. Either factory or owner modified.
My vote goes with converted coupe. Note the top of the windshield frame and the A posts. It looks like it was simply cut off. It was made as a roadster, I don’t see any latching device on the top of the windshield frame, and it looks like metal caps were placed on the door to cover the window glass openings. It’s still a work in progress, but I like it that the owner is using the car while it’s being finished.
I vote for a converted coupe also. The shut line round the “boot” lid is very clearly the hatch, and different to the factory roadster and as Jose Delgadillo points out the screen looks very cut off. There are many other visuals differences to the nominal convertible as well, including the apparent lack of a hood and the addition of a rigid tonneau cover.
The rear lights intrigue me too – they look properly integrated but I’m struggling to recognise them, especially with that prominent bead on the corner. Any ideas?
The 3000S name was used twice on visually similar but essentially different cars (look at the red and blue cars above and spot the changes) – from 1978 to 80 and then as part of the newer S series from 1986 to 94, partly as a reaction to polarising angular styling of the Tasmin wedge cars.
I think the rear lights may be the same as the US spec. Triumph TR6
Saw this one several years ago
A friend has a 1974 (?) TVR 2500 M. These TVRs really are factory-built kit cars. I suspect no two are completely alike. They diverge over time as resourceful owners come up with hacks to keep them running.
Comparing the rear quarter views, I’d agree the convertible is probably a converted coupe.
Thanks for the comments. Yes, converted coupe makes sense. FYI, although these taillights are probably TR6, as Bernard noted, some years used Ford Cortina lights which had a more square shape.
Got to admit, dman, that most TVR’s look to me as if someone might have cut off some part of it, so to pursue an enquiry as to whether or not this one was or was not inflicted with an aftermarket roof removal shows courage, especially considering that this is a product of a low-volume English carmaker and thus that whatever you feel was missing – including the entire roof – may simply have just fallen off.
Hehe… True, but still this one takes the artisanal feel to a degree rarely seen on the street. Door handles? Gone. Two close but different shades of bright yellow. Convertible top MIA. Home-made bootlid made from welded tupperware…
Amazing stuff. And very much in the spirit of TVR, all joshing aside.
The ultimate example of this would be the front turn signal area of the TVR Chimaera where according to legend Peter Wheeler’s dog bit a chunk out of the foam styling buck and they cleaned up the edge and used it in production.