Unique of the Week: 1978 TVR Taimar

Classic Cars / Comments

With no shortage of TVR fans, this mind condition Taimar will likely find a new owner very soon.

As its global fan base is well aware, TVR is one of the biggest icons of the old British automakers. Sadly, too many of those brands are no longer with us, but TVR has managed to survive in the form of a new company owned by Russian billionaire Nikolay Smolensky. Yes, it's not exactly the same as it once was, but the company is now offering complete overhauls on all TVR's as well as 'reborn' Sagaris, Tuscan, Cerbera, and Griffith models which are now powered by a GM small-block V8.

And while the current state of the company may not please many fans, there was a time when TVR built some of the most unique sports cars in the market. Founded by Trevor Wilkinson in 1947, TVR (short for Trevor) began as a small engineering firm. In 1949, their first car was completed, which was an alloy-bodied two seater built on a tubular chassis. It wasn't until 1953 did they begin to build cars with fiberglass bodies, which became their trademark that continued throughout their history. In 1954, their first production car, the Mk1, which was later called the Grantura, was introduced.

Power came from a four-cylinder engine with less than 100hp. Jumping ahead a few years to the 1970s, TVR's 'M Series' was launched which saw the introduction of a greater variety of engines. At the time, TVR was under the ownership of Martin Lilley who bought the company in 1965. The M Series, like previous TVR models, had a front mid-engine, rear-wheel drive layout and body-on-frame construction. The Taimar, introduced in 1976 at the London Motor Show, was actually a hatchback design, but had the same mechanicals as the 3000M, which was powered by a 3.0-liter Ford Essex V6.

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Its name came from the combination of 'Tailgate Martin' and thanks to its hatchback layout, it eliminated the difficulty of placing luggage over the seats into the rear cargo section. Instead, the rear hatch is opened electronically using a special latch that can be released when the driver presses a button. All told, only 395 Taimar's were built and one of those is now for sale on eBay. According to the seller, who's the third owner, this particular Taimar was imported to the US in 1978. Power comes from that 3.0 Ford V6 with 140hp and is mated to a four-speed manual. The car is in mint condition and has been re-painted in its original red.

The restoration work comes courtesy of the car's second owner who was supposedly a British car fan from New Jersey. The car was also shown at the TVR Woodwork Convention where Martin Lilley himself signed it. In terms of defects, the seller says the only issues are a horn with an intermittent short and the fuel gauge that reads full with the needle being at the half tank mark. With a 'But it Now' price of $20,000, this Taimar should interest any TVR fan with the cash to spare. Photos courtesy of ebres63081

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