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USERNAMETAKEN GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/25/18 11:55 a.m.

Yes, I committed to buy the blown TVR featured right here.  I've wanted one forever and this one looks like a fun project.  Gotta arrange the shipping and send a cashier's check to Florida, but it's all in motion now.

Still deciding what I want to do for engine.  Part of me wants to fabricate my own turbo exhaust manifold and EFI intake for the TR6 motor, and then do a megasquirt or something.  This seems like a bit of a long road though.

My current latest/greatest plan will be to swap in a 1.8 Miata engine and trans.  I'll likely add a FMII Turbo kit too.  Maybe even as part of the initial swap.  I think 250-ish HP in this lightweight chassis would be pretty awesome.  And a modern engine and EFI would be a big bonus.



AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
2/25/18 11:59 a.m.


Ransom GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/25/18 12:19 p.m.


I'm wondering whether manifolds for the installed engine is actually a much bigger lift than a swap to a different drivetrain, but I also think it'll be awesome either way.

OldGray320i GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/25/18 12:40 p.m.

God bless Joe Gearin.

Although, I do wonder in part that he wasn't hired by GRM because of his last name... (GEARin).

I like TVRs.

TRoglodyte UltraDork
2/25/18 1:15 p.m.

If it has a tr6 engine you can buy a blower, plug and playdevil. Tr6 motors are fairly stout anyway.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/25/18 1:54 p.m.

We're going to need a LOT of pictures. I've never seen the guts of one of these and would love to have you walk us through what makes a TVR a TVR. 

LanEvo HalfDork
2/25/18 2:32 p.m.

That was a caged car. Whatever you do, try to keep it Vintage legal.

Personally, I’d drop another TR6 engine in there. Strong and reliable. Maybe swap in triple Webers just for the sturm und drang of it. 

dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/18 3:48 p.m.

I always liked those. I pondered it for a moment or three actually but I am currently knee deep in another project. 

USERNAMETAKEN GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/25/18 4:44 p.m.

Definitely still undecided on the engine.

I like the idea of keeping the TR6 block in there - for historical correctness.  I'm not exactly clear on what's wrong with it, but I would assume it would need a full rebuild.  I did rebuild a 1296 Spitfire engine about 20 years ago, and it was fun to do.  Though I was looking at engine rebuild parts and that stuff seems to add up - never mind nickeling and diming, that stuff will $20 bill and c-note you.  Plus block machining, etc.

Then I was looking at low-mileage JDM Miata engines, and it looks like I could get a full engine/trans for less than $2k.  Or I could buy a crashed parts car and take what I need.  The swap would certainly be more involved.  And I imagine the vintage guys would frown on that one.


wlkelley3 UltraDork
2/25/18 8:05 p.m.

The sound of triple Webers on the Triumph inline-6 is sweet.

Decide what the planned usage is for the car to decide which engine.

I like TVRs too. Have too many projects around here to even think about another one.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/25/18 8:44 p.m.

This is very cool. I can’t wait to see more. 

There is a house around the corner from where I work that I drive by every day. One day, I saw that they had pushed a ratty, dusty TVR 280i out of the garage. It was there for a day or two and then it disappeared back inside. If I ever see anyone in the yard, I’m going to stop, inquire about it and maybe make an offer on it. 

JoeTR6 HalfDork
2/26/18 6:35 a.m.

Thank you for saving me from temptation.  This should be a fun project.  Can't wait to see what you make of it.

NOHOME UltimaDork
2/26/18 8:55 a.m.

This thread needs a LOT more pictures.



Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/26/18 10:05 a.m.

It's my pleasure to be an enabler!   The more I looked out my window at that thing, the more I was horsetrading in my head,  figuring out a way for me to buy it.  You are really just saving me from myself!  I mean it's right there.... across the street....staring at me!  

The owner seems to be a very decent, cool guy.  To say he's conflicted would be an understatement, as he's had the car since 1978!   He designed and built the turbo system, but since the engine got tired a few years ago....the car has sat.   It will be great to know it's getting the love it deserves, and will be back on the road!    In case any of you missed when we posted it, here it is:

wspohn Dork
2/26/18 10:32 a.m.

How about an Ecotec (this one in a TR)?

More expensive but looks right- BMW 6, 340 bhp.(this site, last Fall)

For real creativity, a TVR with a BMW V12.....it's been done.

Frankly, if you must swap a Toyota 2JZ would be rather nice!

NOHOME UltimaDork
2/26/18 10:47 a.m.

Do the bodies come off the chassis or are they glassed on permanently?


After 40 years of messing with the things, I have unfortunately turned an emotional corner on British drivetrains and hence strongly advocate for  a modern EFI fe 4 banger with a  six speed swap of some sort.



stan GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/18 10:57 a.m.

Regardless of what you decide to do with it, I'll be watching..!



BoxheadCougarTim GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/26/18 10:59 a.m.

In reply to NOHOME :

I may be wrong because TVR did it both ways over the time they existed, but IIRC you may have to cut some glass to remove the body. It's at a level where it's part of a normal repair though, not "cut up 2/3rds of the body to extract the chassis".

USERNAMETAKEN GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/26/18 12:03 p.m.

My understanding (which is limited at this point) is that the body will unbolt from the frame and lift off.  I reserve the right to be wrong.

The seller told me this morning that this car never had an SCCA logbook.  He just autocrossed it and also drag racing, by the looks of this picture he sent today!

As far as what I want: I want to drive it lots!  I want it to start and run smoothly, and be able to use it in summer or winter.  I will probably try some autocross too, and maybe do track days.  No road racing plans at this point.

I intend to spend a great deal of time pondering paint colors.

Car gets shipped on Friday!


NOHOME UltimaDork
2/26/18 1:16 p.m.

This particular pic is of an autobox version, but you might want to consider a 3.6L LFX powertrain out of a Camaro. Should be abe to get a complete drop-out for about what it will cost to rebuild the TR6 engine.

Keeping it under the hood might be the biggest challenge. The Miata guys at V8 Roadsters have tamed the engine control side of things and it makes a great swap into a Miata.


The exhaust manifold being cast into the head makes for an easy swap IF it aligns with the space available, or makes it impossible if it does not.

Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/26/18 1:39 p.m.

This is so awesome. I approve of this car and this thread. 110%.

USERNAMETAKEN GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/26/18 3:39 p.m.

If I were to go with a Miata engine / trans, is there a concensus on which one is best for swaps?  I'm tempted by a 1999/2000, but I don't know a ton about all the variations.  Is one year better for a turbo conversion?  I read something about the 99's having lower compression.  What about the 6 spd vs the 5 spd? The only Miata I've had was a 92 with a 1.6 and a 5 spd.

crankwalk GRM+ Memberand Dork
2/26/18 6:34 p.m.

I vote a Soarer half cut and put a stockish 1JZ in it. Or even an R32 or Z31 half cut with an RB20det. Cheap, turbo, twin cam, good power and tunability right off the bat.

USERNAMETAKEN GRM+ Memberand New Reader
2/26/18 7:11 p.m.
crankwalk said:

I vote a Soarer half cut and put a stockish 1JZ in it. Or even an R32 or Z31 half cut with an RB20det. Cheap, turbo, twin cam, good power and tunability right off the bat.

I know approximately nothing about the RB20det motor, but it looks pretty cool.  Would be nice to have the turbo and everything come already installed and set to go.

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
2/26/18 7:40 p.m.

That's the coolest thing I've seen all day!

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