You Need This: Blown TVR

Don’t you just love it when your neighbors have an interesting taste in cars? This TVR appeared across the street from associate publisher Joe Gearin’s house this past weekend. It’s a 1973 TVR 2500M, and it’s been with the current owner since 1978. The car lived almost all its life in San Diego. What do we mean by blown? Well, we mean it in the good and the bad way. The 2.5-liter Triumph engine has been turbocharged, and predictably enough it’s also been blown up.

The fiberglass body is intact with some minor crazing. It comes with a roll bar and racing belts. The frame looks clean, with just one small (non-stressed) spot of rot that appears to be an easy fix. The underside of the car looks nice.

The owner needs to sell, and is asking $6000 OBO. With nice examples bringing over $30,000, and #4 cars valued at about $9000 by Hagerty, this seems like a fair deal. Contact Joe Gearin for more details. He is not selling the car, but can put you in touch with the owner.

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Comments

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fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
2/6/18 12:03 p.m.

How tall is too tall for this car? Always loved these.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
2/6/18 1:40 p.m.

Anyone see the guy that used to work at TVR on The Grand Tour?  That was some funny stuff, there.  I wonder if this is the car with the giant penis on it.

NickD
NickD UltraDork
2/6/18 2:19 p.m.

I'm assembling a 240+hp supercharged Mazda BP currently. Seems like this would be a great recipient for that engine.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/6/18 2:29 p.m.

This car is begging for an engine transplant of some sort.   Another "warmed up" TR6 engine would be fun, and sound great----- but it is really a blank canvas.

 

I'd think 250 hp would be plenty with that tiny wheelbase, and only 2K pounds to motivate.  Of course there are always those of the "too much is never enough" camp.  For those guys.....I'm sure an LS would fit.  

The bones really do look nice.  It's a great candidate for a killer project.

 

When I saw the interior...... I knew it had been a well-loved car.  Original (and perfect) door cards, a nice (un-cracked dash),  these are things a neglected car does not have......  and of course....TURBO for the insane!   

 

again....not  mine, no affiliation..  Just trying to help a new neighbor

 

Cotton
Cotton PowerDork
2/6/18 3:31 p.m.

I love that...very cool.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/6/18 3:41 p.m.

Honestly being this is a tvr it’s begging for some sort of v8 swap. The old Buick/rover v8 definitely could go in there or an ls motor for modern compactness. But a ford small block should work out just like the original griffin and the 5000m which was the same car with the 302.

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/6/18 3:47 p.m.
fidelity101 said:

How tall is too tall for this car? Always loved these.

It depends on your build----- but it's not roomy.   I'd think 5'10" would  be pushing the upper limits.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/6/18 3:51 p.m.

It’s interesting many cars this small have such A giant console in them.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
2/6/18 3:53 p.m.
MotorsportsGordon said:

It’s interesting many cars this small have such A giant console in them.

There's not much console, its mostly transmission tunnel.

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/6/18 3:56 p.m.
Stefan said:
MotorsportsGordon said:

It’s interesting many cars this small have such A giant console in them.

There's not much console, its mostly transmission tunnel.

True guess it just shows that small cars should have transaxles.

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
2/6/18 4:02 p.m.
MotorsportsGordon said:
Stefan said:
MotorsportsGordon said:

It’s interesting many cars this small have such A giant console in them.

There's not much console, its mostly transmission tunnel.

True guess it just shows that small cars should have transaxles.

Yeah, except that companies like TVR and Lotus who build cars like that can't afford rear mounted transaxles and the required torquetube and the ones that can afford it, build slightly larger cars to reach a wider audience.

TiggerWelder
TiggerWelder Reader
2/6/18 4:04 p.m.

Looking at the turbo system, I can't imagine why it blew up!  Probably did well until pushed!

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/6/18 4:05 p.m.
Stefan said:
MotorsportsGordon said:
Stefan said:
MotorsportsGordon said:

It’s interesting many cars this small have such A giant console in them.

There's not much console, its mostly transmission tunnel.

True guess it just shows that small cars should have transaxles.

Yeah, except that companies like TVR and Lotus who build cars like that can't afford rear mounted transaxles and the required torquetube and the ones that can afford it, build slightly larger cars to reach a wider audience.

In fairness they do now but transxles were fairly new at that time and rare on any front engine car.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
2/6/18 4:13 p.m.

I would be inclined to repower it with a Japanese turbo 6 cylinder to keep the spirit of the previous build but add some reliability and more power... I really like the styling of these, but the price is too steep for me right now.  Joe, please keep us posted if the asking price is reduced!

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/6/18 4:16 p.m.

I googled tvr 2500m engine swap and the first one to come up was an ls6 lol.

the first page was actually all v8 lol ls,sbc,sbf,ford modular,rover etc.

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
2/6/18 4:31 p.m.
Cotton said:

I love that...very cool.

 

Buy this so I can buy it from you next year. I'm full! 

LanEvo
LanEvo HalfDork
2/6/18 5:31 p.m.

I want that so bad ...

As far as I know, the TVR 2500 is basically a rebodied TR6 right?

RoddyMac17
RoddyMac17 Reader
2/6/18 5:43 p.m.

As far as I know, the TVR 2500 is basically a rebodied TR6 right?

Not really, the engine and gearbox are TR6, the steering rack and front uprights are of Triumph origin,  diff might be Triumph but I can't remember (it's been probably 10 years since I've been under a 2500M).  The rear uprights are TVR along with all the suspension arms, chassis, body etc.  The rest is from various UK parts bins.  

And I do agree, a Japanese inline 6 would be a great swap.

aussiesmg
aussiesmg MegaDork
2/6/18 6:29 p.m.

I have a 331 sbf, built T5 and clutch sitting around begging for this type of platform

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon Reader
2/6/18 7:14 p.m.
RoddyMac17 said:

As far as I know, the TVR 2500 is basically a rebodied TR6 right?

Not really, the engine and gearbox are TR6, the steering rack and front uprights are of Triumph origin,  diff might be Triumph but I can't remember (it's been probably 10 years since I've been under a 2500M).  The rear uprights are TVR along with all the suspension arms, chassis, body etc.  The rest is from various UK parts bins.  

And I do agree, a Japanese inline 6 would be a great swap.

They had a few versions of the same car. The 1600m used a ford 1.6 Kent engine,the 3000m seed a ford Essex 3.0 v6. A turbo version of the 3000 was developed aswell and the 5000 with the 302 for North America.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVR_M_Series

 

jdoc90
jdoc90 New Reader
2/6/18 8:36 p.m.

it screams 3 rotor wankel  20b anyone?    

te72
te72 New Reader
2/6/18 10:56 p.m.
jdoc90 said:

it screams 3 rotor wankel  20b anyone?    

The award for nutjob who figured out a way to make a TVR even more deadly, this guy^^^ ! =P

 

In seriousness though, that would be a hoot. Too bad the 20b costs about as much as the car itself, last I checked.

dherr
dherr Reader
2/7/18 5:11 a.m.

Yes, this is one on my bucket list for sure. I have a friend with one that has a 347 Ford small block in it. Wish there was room here (and budget) but not now....

The turbo setup on this is unique, have not seen anything like it on a TR6 motor. Looks like it was a draw thru design, and the carb is missing?  Definitely a time bomb, but there are much better motors for this car and well done engine swaps are the norm for these cars so don't detract from the value too much. 

Someone here needs to buy this!

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 HalfDork
2/7/18 6:52 a.m.

A turbo on a TR6 motor?  My guess is the bearings are in the sump along with the big ends.

I'm thinking triple rotary here.  Keep it light and balanced.

Has CMS ever done a TVR project car?  If not, might I suggest they consider one.

stan
stan UltraDork
2/7/18 8:04 a.m.
JoeTR6 said:

A turbo on a TR6 motor?  My guess is the bearings are in the sump along with the big ends.

I'm thinking triple rotary here.  Keep it light and balanced.

Has CMS ever done a TVR project car?  If not, might I suggest they consider one.

Agree with the project suggestion. Just look how much money they would save on transportation costs!

fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
2/7/18 9:39 a.m.
Joe Gearin said:
fidelity101 said:

How tall is too tall for this car? Always loved these.

It depends on your build----- but it's not roomy.   I'd think 5'10" would  be pushing the upper limits.

so 6'4" all legs is out of the question then :(

 

I was also thinking rotary but I am biased.. and I also have enough random crap laying around to slap together a 130-150hp engine for less than 300 dollars.

 

Joe Gearin
Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
2/7/18 9:44 a.m.

To anyone interested----- the owner is eager to sell, so make him an offer.  Obviously this is a solid, decent car, so he's not going to take 1/2 of what he's asking.  BUT.....You may be able to fetch this for less than  his full asking price. 

 

An all aluminum BMW straight six would be a sweet swap too!   Although a rotary would be compact, light and really----in a 2000lb car, 250-300hp would be ridiculous!   Any more power, and that tiny little wheelbase might bite you in the keister!  

dherr
dherr Reader
2/7/18 9:57 a.m.

It needs more than 130-150 HP in my opinion.  Factory versions in other markets had  V8 engines, so the chassis is more than capable

oldeskewltoy
oldeskewltoy UltraDork
2/7/18 10:10 a.m.

Having owned a Vixen (Cortina 1600 - 97hp)  You don't need 300hp... in fact I can't think of a better chassis to swap in a warmed over 4AGE, and a T50.   

 

too far... and I already bought a new "toy"

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
2/7/18 10:44 a.m.

I wonder if he'll take 4k. 

A 13b + turbo seems like it be more than enough for such a car. But, I'd love a NA inline6. I wond. er what options would there be

JoeTR6
JoeTR6 HalfDork
2/7/18 11:59 a.m.
yupididit said:

I wonder if he'll take 4k. 

A 13b + turbo seems like it be more than enough for such a car. But, I'd love a NA inline6. I wond. er what options would there be

True.  Maybe just find a FC RX-7 turbo motor.  215 hp stock, and revs to the moon.  That does sound about right.  Unfortunately, I'm up to my eyeballs in Triumphs right now.

yupididit
yupididit SuperDork
2/7/18 12:36 p.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

I kind of want this car. But I have way too many cars and not all of them are here in this state. I need to wrangle them in. 

pres589
pres589 PowerDork
2/8/18 12:44 p.m.

Daewoo XK 2.0 inline six seems quite appropriate for this.  Too bad I have no idea what bellhousing bolts to that motor to allow for a RWD installation.  And then there's building an exhaust header that works in this chassis.  And and and...

kb58
kb58 SuperDork
2/8/18 4:35 p.m.

Ugh, not what I need to see. I live local to that car and there was a time I realllllly wanted one because to me, they were sort of an already-completed kit car with good suspension. Alas,that was back in the crazy 1980s when I was a broke student and the price of anything exotic was crazy high. Decades later I ended up building what I wanted from scratch, so while the attraction is still there, times have changed.

Sort of reminds me of the closing scene in "American Graffiti", where he's flying out of town on the way to college, looks out the window and sees the woman he thought he was in love with driving out of town as well. And so it goes.

USERNAMETAKEN
USERNAMETAKEN
2/13/18 7:36 a.m.

I used to post on the GRM board a bit way back in the late 90's, but it's been a long time.  Lately I've just lurked, and this is a new login.

I'm actually thinking hard about buying this car.  I talked with the owner for a good half hour the other day and he sent me a bunch more pictures.  I've wanted a TVR forever, and this one is pretty original and not too expensive.

I'll admit I'm a bit intimidated by the whole process of buying a non-running car in a state 2/3 of the way across the country.  I'm in Denver, so it's not like I can just pop over and have a look.  I suppose I could get a $200 flight into Orlando and go have a look.

Payment would be another question.  If I did fly in, I could give cash.  If I didn't, how have people done this?  Paypal?  I guess that would be manageable if the owner is savvy to that kind of thing.

I did get quotes on shipping - seems like the magic number is $950.

Not even broaching the subject of where the car would go at home, or what engine might go in it.  That's beside the point right now!

If I'm lucky someone else will buy it and put me out of my misery!

- Scott

RossD
RossD MegaDork
2/13/18 8:15 a.m.

It would be neat to put a 2.5 liter Volvo I6 in there.

jstein77
jstein77 UltraDork
2/13/18 9:52 a.m.

In reply to JoeTR6 :

Tim once restored a TVR Griffith to show-quality condition and sold it for a bundle.  I was at the Bithlo dragstrip when he ran a 12.9 with it on a shakedown run.

FSP_ZX2
FSP_ZX2 Dork
2/13/18 11:47 a.m.
Joe Gearin said:
fidelity101 said:

How tall is too tall for this car? Always loved these.

It depends on your build----- but it's not roomy.   I'd think 5'10" would  be pushing the upper limits.

I'm out

 

crankwalk
crankwalk Dork
2/13/18 6:09 p.m.
pres589 said:

Daewoo XK 2.0 inline six seems quite appropriate for this.  Too bad I have no idea what bellhousing bolts to that motor to allow for a RWD installation.  And then there's building an exhaust header that works in this chassis.  And and and...

Just curious why that Daewoo inline 6 would be appropriate for this?

 

 

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