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The rise and fall of TVR – Part one

6 days ago

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Writer:

Andrew English | Journalist

Date:

11 June 2024

It is 1992 and about 11pm on an early spring night. Mrs English and I have been having a belated birthday celebration at the old Wheelers restaurant in Brighton and I’m driving us home in Fast Lane magazine’s road-test TVR Griffith, registered J524MHG. It’s making a lot of noise.

Up over Devils Dyke, the town-drain-sized exhausts from the 280bhp, 4.3-litre Rover (née Buick) V8 blasted the Downs. You could play tunes with the stiff gearlever attached to that modified Rover Vitesse gearbox and I was. That car always sounded like the Grimethorpe Colliery Band reacting to complaints from the hard of hearing at the back of the hall and the Griff was giving it all as I throttled down into the roundabout at the bottom of the hill: wappety pop! Bangety bang! The hedges behind us lit up with the exhaust flames. We had a name at Fast Lane for this sort of car: fadangrillang! This all-new TVR was more than living up to that description…

Out of nowhere, a very large policeman stepped out of the hedge and held up a hand. Eek! Where on earth had he come from? I jammed on the anchors, locked a wheel (Griffs didn’t have ABS) and as the engine grumbled I prepared for my fate.

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