Founded in Blackpool, England by Trevor Wilkinson, TVR is one of several great British cottage-industry car companies that sprouted up in late 1940s. Much like Cooper, Lotus, Marcos, and others, TVR got its start modifying passenger cars into racing and hillclimb specials. TVR actually built its first original chassis in 1948, utilizing independent front suspension, Morris Eight rear suspension, and a Ford Sidevalve engine. The car was crashed before it was even finished, but Wilkinson immediately set to work improving the design for his second car, and from there on, TVR the car manufacturer was born.
TVR Cars have almost always been known for being fast, rowdy, loud and somewhat hastily constructed. The development efforts usually focused on handling and performance with less attention paid to ergonomics and build quality. But the raw, visceral nature of TVRs is what has endeared them with so many fans. Styling has also followed suit with the hardcore performance of the cars. The engines are set well back in the chassis, lending TVRs a traditional, even exaggerated, long hood/short deck appearance, usually with plenty of scoops and vents for good measure.
From 1972 to 1979, the M-series was TVR’s mainstay. The M-Series rode on a freshly designed and remarkably strong backbone chassis with independent suspension at all four corners and with components such as brakes and steering borrowed from the British Leyland parts bin. A variety of engines were offered, with choices for power ranging from a relatively mild 1600cc Ford Kent engine to the 3.0 liter Ford “Essex” V6. A handful of cars were offered with Ford 5.0 liter power, a car likely reserved for the truly insane. In the middle of the range lay the 2500M which utilized the sweet 2.5 liter Triumph inline-six shared with the TR6. The Triumph mill is one of the best of the period, with smooth power from tickover up through redline, a glorious throaty exhaust note and plenty of grunt to give the lightweight TVR a surprising turn of speed.
Our featured 1974 TVR 2500M is a truly amazing example, and is arguably one of the best TVR’s of its kind being offered today. This Triumph-powered 2500M has been restored by a passionate and meticulous enthusiast who we know very well as a producer of some of the finest restored cars in the hobby. The stunning metallic silver-gray paintwork has been beautifully executed with gorgeous, deep reflections. Panel fitment is exceptionally precise, particularly considering this is a fiberglass bodied car. Lamps, lenses and body gaskets have all been replaced with new parts, and the fitment is outstanding. Bumpers and trim have been restored and the brightwork is virtually flawless. It rides on a set of fabulous Minilite-inspired Konig wheels with polished rims and carbon black painted centers, wrapped in meaty 215/50-16 radials. Beyond the wheels, the only other non-standard item on the body is the addition of a custom grille which does look quite sharp.
The same level of precision and meticulous detailing is carried over to the cabin where black leather, carpets and fittings have been beautifully restored. A period correct Mountney steering wheel greets the driver along with a set of correct, restored Smiths instruments, and the audio system has been updated with AM/FM stereo CD player and modern speakers.
Under the clamshell bonnet lays the 2.5 liter Triumph engine which again, has been detailed to an amazingly high standard. It is correctly fitted with dual Stromberg carburetors and topped with a polished alloy rocker cover. A few minor improvements have been made such as braided oil lines but it remains largely stock. The engine breathes through a custom exhaust system which undoubtedly helps this 2500M live up to the raucous image a proper TVR.
There are only so many superlatives we can come up with to describe this amazing automobile. Although TVR’s rough-and-ready nature is what has endeared so many fans over the decades, there is no denying the exquisite quality of this incredible 2500M.