1973 TVR 2500M Coupe
Trevor (TreVoR = TVR) Wilkinson built his first Special in 1947, but did not produce a significant number of cars until the late 1950s, with the introduction of the TVR Jomar. The basic design and concept of the Jomar--hand welded tube chassis, double wishbone suspension, unstressed fiberglass body, drivetrain sourced from large manufacturers--was retained all through the Sixties and Seventies. Whimsically named Grantura, Tuscan, and Vixen--as well as the wild, U.S.-assembled Cobra-Killer, the Griffith of 1964-66--were finally succeeded by the M-Series of 1972-1979.
Power plant of choice for U.S.-bound Ms was the 2.5-liter Triumph straight six; the car was aptly named 2500M, the "M" being a nod to TVR's owner at the time, Martin Lilley. Introduced at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1971, just 946 2500Ms were assembled during the next six years. Aficionados consider the 2500M to be the last classic TVR.
Almost 35 years after the final "M" arrived on these shores, it's hard to unearth a decent TVR. Many of the few remaining examples are either in need of full restoration or have been modified to great extent by well-meaning but misguided novice owners. To find a bone stock, well-kept example from sunny California, such as this one, is almost a miracle!
Built in Blackpool, England, the 1973 TVR 2500M presented here, Chassis Number *2728TM*, was designated for export and sold new in the United States.
Lightweight fiberglass coachwork is straight and smooth; due to its composite nature, you'll never have to worry about corrosion! One neuralgic spot are the doors: here, they fit very well, without any sagging. All glass and weatherstripping is in excellent condition, the windshield having been replaced recently.
Just like its sports car cousins, Jaguar's E-Type and Triumph's Spitfire, the TVR features a large, forward-opening bonnet for easy access to the mechanicals. Engine bay looks factory correct and quite clean, which comes as no surprise, considering the car's California history.
A delight for the d.i.y. mechanic, the Triumph TR6 power plant has a stellar reputation as being bullet-proof and easy to maintain. This one looks bone stock, with the exception of a PERTRONIX breakerless ignition system.
TVR looks tough and muscular; its factory Alpine White color suits it very well. Paint is just a couple of years old and in excellent condition, with just a few minor blems and virtually free of hairline stress indices.
Wheels are the most attractive period TVR light alloys, shod with a brand new set of COOPER radials of the size 185/60-14.
The ultralight TVR, with its space frame chassis, race car-derived suspension, rack-and-pinion steering, and low center of gravity provides a uniquely exhilarating driving sensation. Here you are, inside a comfortable, well-equipped fiberglass cocoon, propelled by one of Britain's most rugged motors. Lots of torque and not much weight = a heavenly combination! The factory claimed a top speed of 119mph and 27-32mpg. Add to this the fact that the car runs on unleaded petrol, is smog exempt in California and qualifies for most affordable classic car insurance, and you truly have the best of all worlds!
The 2500M drives, steers, shifts, handles, and brakes with aplomb. There are no rattles or shimmies. Its looks and sounds ascertain that you'll get noticed everywhere. Needless to say, being a very rare specimen, the TVR is a great conversation starter and well regarded at any gathering of collectors' cars.
Laguna Beach, California, U.S.A.
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Posted: 17 May 2011
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