About the TVR series 1, 2 and 3 models
1986 - Although some of the 50’s TVRs and Jomars were open topped, through the 60s and 70s all TVRs were fastbacks, apart from "specials" such as Martin Lilley’s one off M roadster in the mid 70s. Finally in 1978 the TVR Convertible was available – the 3000S, and even a turbo version. That Autocar test made a teenager's day. Only a few hundred were built, many going to the USA before the M series was dropped to be replaced by the Tasmin 280i FHC.
A change of owner and the move to “larger power plants, more luxury fitted items and a wider customer option list have seen the prices slowly rise”. TVR again needed a “entry level model that would be the introduction to the TVR line up.” A statement in the Handbook that is as true now as it was 16 years ago. The entry model was inspired by the 3000S but with mechanics inspired by the outgoing 280i. The roof was a split panel version of the Tasmin and real wind up windows in-place of the removable side screens in the 3000S. The other major difference to the driver was the fitting of a 5-speed box and the first TVR essay in curved dashes.
1988 - TVR S1s, that is the cars with a 2.8 litre engine are becoming increasingly rare. The writing was on the wall for the TVR S1 model when the Capri 2.8 Injection was dropped by Ford and with the Sierra XR4 and Granada moving to the 2.9 litre engine. TVR had to act and brought out a TVR S2 model fitted with a Ford 2.9 litre engine, with the first 2.9 litre engine for the S2 being built by Ford on 29/9/1988.
1989 - The S3 followed this trend with larger doors, a more traditional dash arrangement and yet more trailing arm tweaks. A catalyser was offered on the S3c cars with the added attraction of fog lights – but of course these were an option on the S3 cars too….
1991 - The series didn’t develop in a vacuum at Blackpool and at the time V8 powered Wedge cars were also being built on the same “line”. TVR having been banned from production car racing, decided to start a one make race series. The Rover derived 4.5 litre Tuscans were unleashed on the circuits. The ingredients were in place for the success of the 90’s. The 1990 Motorshow allowed the customers to decide the direction TVR would take, on offer was a the smart Speed 8 based on the Tasmin cars or the Griffith a styling exercise on the S series, but with Rover power.
The customers voted with their deposits for the V8 Griffith. TVR returned to Blackpool to make a few improvements. These take time and almost as a spin off from the development the V8S was delivered with an improved chassis and a bonnet hump. The new chassis found its way in to the last of the V6 cars – the S4, which also had a new bonnet with side vents similar to the Chimaera and all round disk brakes like the V8S.