TVR is one of the British pioneers of hand-built sports cars that were futuristic in terms of technology and performance from the very beginning. TVR sports cars had everything that the industry expected from a powerful machine at that time. It was founded by Trevor Wilkinson in 1946 when he was only 23 years old. The manufacturing company was initially called Trevcar Motors, which they later renamed as TVR Engineering in 1947. At this time, TVR was focused on making aggressive sports cars with aerodynamic bodies while other companies were focusing on designing more exotic but conservative cars.
In 1949, TVR built its first car, which they name TVR One. It ran on a 1172cc engine of a 1936 Ford van, which was tweaked to increase the horsepower to 35. The car faced a crash before even before the bodywork was complete. Instead of building a new chassis for the car, TVR decided to fix it and attach new body panels to it. TVR One was sold for 325 pounds.
In the next year, TVR decided to build their second car, using the ideas and parts from their first project. Most of the car was similar to TVR One. The only new thing TVR added to the car was the wishbone suspension. The car was bought for the racetrack, but it also encouraged the buyer to use it on the road. The third car of TVR was built for Trevor Wilkinson himself for his daily commute.
In 1953, TVR started building its first sports car. They sold twenty cars, and three of them had the fiberglass body. Their first sports car made its debut at the Morecambe Rally from 21 to 23 May 1954. TVR raced their car in several competitions for the next decade to market their design and engineering.
By 1956, TVR was creating custom chassis for its customers with a compatible and easily sourced engine that they could find. TVR was keen on using its original design with chassis of newer cars. Their design was known as TVR Open Sports, but it was not an official name. During this time, TVR built three to four cars that became popular among the likes of Francis Penn, an Autosport Magazine driver.
The mid-60s was a great success for TVR because of their Griffith 200. It produced 267bhp and reached 0-6-mph in 3.9 seconds. The car had a top speed of 150mph, which was a huge achievement during the 60s. The short wheelbase and lightweight body made the cars difficult to handle, but it did not stop TVR from growing its appeal among the customer for the next three decades.
TVR did pretty well in acquiring its market for a long period considering its competition in the market. There are a few new Griffith models under development, which can soon hit the market. TVR has become a collective asset rather than finding its application on casual road trips. New Griffith is expected to be out in 2020 that will bring us new surprises. Until them, we can keep learning more about TVR and how it became one of the most popular British car manufacturers in history.