TVR is back in British ownership!
It’s been a long time coming, but legendary performance car manufacturer TVR is finally set to return to making cars again, this time under British ownership.
For those unfamiliar with the TVR saga, the Blackpool-based sportscar manufacturer was originally started by a chap called Trevor Wilkinson who lent his first name to the name of the company (TreVoR). Next up was Martin Lilley, then in the 1980's the company was sold to Peter Wheeler who is the father of modern TVR as we know it. He decided to sell the company is 2004 to a young Russian oligarch called Nikolai Smolensky, much to the annoyance of TVR fans world over – TVR was, and should always be British, they said. But many promises were made by the Russian and nearly all of them broken – there was no new investment, he ended up closing the Blackpool site and selling off stock and jigs, tooling etc to the highest bidder. By 2007 TVR was pretty much dead.
Many little press releases were sent out, promising GM LS3 V8 powered versions of the Sagaris and Tuscan, but these eventually died too with the final nail in the coffin being that Smolensky planned to use the TVR name on wind farms and give up on cars altogether.
Fast forward to 2013 and we have now had the announcement that the entire TVR company, lock, stock and barrel has been bought off Smolensky by a British entrepreneur called Les Edgar. Edgar made his not inconsiderable fortune in the computer games industry, but his only real automotive experience has been bank-rolling Aston Martin’s return to Le Mans in 2002. But from what we’ve read he seems to be very committed to returning TVR back to its former glories and for that we’re extremely happy.
The task he faces is quite sizeable though. TVR’s have always been small and lightweight with lots of power – with no driver aids. If he wants TVR to succeed the cars will need to be the same mix of power, looks and drama but with reliability (a previous big issue), high quality and an ergonomic interior. We can’t imagine that he’ll be able to sell this sort of car for less than £70,000 which puts it straight into the firing line of some very serious sports cars like the new Jaguar F-Type, the Nissan GT-R and the Porsche 911.
But we wish Mr. Edgar the best of luck with the new TVR and we’ll be asking for a test drive as soon as it’s ready!
Image courtesy of TVR