1974 TVR 2500M Driveway Find

In case you don’t remember, Barn Finds has a good relationship with white TVR’s with black stripes! While this earlier 2500M is a little rounder, it still has the same spirit of British sports car that the Tasmin had. This particular one is located in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina and is listed for sale here on eBay where the buy it now is $6,000 and there are a lot of watchers already.

If those tail lights look familiar, that’s right, they are from a Triumph TR6. So are the bumpers, although they are cut and welded to get to a different shape, and the license plate light. If you look under the pretty fiberglass body, there’s a lot of TR6 as well. More about that later.

As you might well imagine, there’s a tubular frame under the body. Like any good British cottage industry car manufacturer, (see Morgan, Bond, Fairthorpe, etc.) TVR took mass market mechanical components and attached them to a frame. You can see the Triumph’s differential in this shot. One major worry about TVR’s is rust on the frame. In this photo, the surface rust doesn’t look too bad. The owner states that the frame is solid with “no rot”.

The pitting on the surfaces of these tubes and plates qualifies to me as at least surface rot. Those are some pretty deep craters! I think to truly know that you’ve got a safe car for a long time to come, you’d end up separating the body from the frame and either dipping the frame or blasting it, then repairing spots like this. However, that’s just my opinion and you are welcome to feel differently!

The 2498 cc Triumph inline six fits comfortably under here. It’s nice to see all five original TVR wheels with this car; they have frequently been replaced and I think they add a lot to the looks of a 2500M. The seller tells us the engine will run on starting fluid, so you’ll have to check out and probably flush the fuel system.

Naturally, the interior is pretty cozy! The seats will require reupholstering for sure, as well as carpet, and some other things. I have to admit, the coating of rust on the shift handle and brake handle make me wonder about the environment this TVR has been stored in. But I still think it’s worth while–how about you?

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Comments

  1. Trent Poole

    I’m guessing just a few years down at Murrell’s Inlet could explain any rust issues. ;)

    • Britcarguy

      True. I’ve lived in the Myrtle Beach area for 30 years and any car parked close to the ocean or inlet will rust like this one did fairly quickly. It doesn’t necessarily mean the car was flooded . . . but, anyone seriously interested in this car should find out where it was parked in November, 2016 and then check the flood maps to see if the particular area was affected.

      Pete L made a note about TVR treating the tubes on the inside for rust. I heard the same thing. The version I heard was they they used oil at the factory as the preservative. Don’t know if that is true or not.

  2. PeteL

    The 2500M did treat the inside of the frame with some degree of rust inhibitor, so that save a lot of the later 2500 series cars. That said, always safer to pull the frame and clean up as you suggest and treat for rust on all sides. Although quite complete, this price is a bit high…seen the market from 2500-4500 and unless a clean-up of an old garage queen, then the price goes up. Complete and well sorted these are $15k to $20k so unless doing it yourself, that top dollar can get there quick. BUT, these are reputed to be a good ride and better handling than the TR6 and many other similar cars of the era. Bring cash and make it happen!

  3. Squanto

    Never realized how much the front end looks like a 240Z.

    • Dolphin Member

      Funny you should say that about this looking like a Z-car. Every time I see a TVR I think about replacing the TR engine / transmission with a Z-car engine / 5-speed transmission. The advantages are that it would likely be an easy fit, although I have never tried it, and likely lighter than the TR parts.

      Plus the 240Z engine is easily modified with stock parts + a header system to produce lots more power than the original, and it will definitely rev much faster & higher than the TR engine.

      I used a 280Z block bored to accept oversize stock flat top ZX pistons, and my original ’70 240Z E31 aluminum head with the large ports that had larger 280Z valve seats installed to accept the larger 280Z valves. Inexpensive, all stock parts, and a great performer.

      I have wondered whether anyone has tried to swap a Z-car engine / transmission into a TVR…..with apologies to TR fans of course. I would keep the TR engine / trans to be able to put it back to stock…..

  4. richard g

    rust on the shift lever, parking break handle, and lower half of steering wheel looks like flood damage to me.

    • Squanto

      Great point. Didn’t they have some massive flooding there last year?

  5. Car Guy

    You are right Hagerty says a #1 is 24 to 25 , 000. The Grantura is closer to 155,000 for a number 1 , of course the Grantura has the bigger motor. As collectors go the are starting to increase in value, as people are starting recognize the handling and performance capabilities these cars have. In a later interview with Carrol Shelby he was asked what he thought of the TVR and he said “If they had gotten the support of Ford at the time when we were building the Cobra we would have been out of business, as the V8 models were better handling and faster than what we were producing early on.”. Pretty impressive for a little boutique manufacturer in England.

  6. rustyvet

    cool little car in good shape. I don’t see 6k for this as it needs a little too much work for that price. I would like to see more of the sunroof and how that works.
    The dash could use a shot of Benadryl !

  7. Larry K

    The insulation in pick #5 is wet. You can see that it was just washed, so how did the water get inside.

    • Bruce Best

      They do not seal that well and if you push a carwash jet too close water will get in and far more than you might expect. The sunroof can have similar problems if not seated properly Generally this is not a problem when you drive one but only with the high pressure jets from a car wash. Good catch on the photo

  8. Doug

    Oh boy! Google Murrells Inlet flooding….
    They area looks like it got hit pretty good. The rust in the interior needs to really be checked out. The electrical system would be s major concern.

    • Car Guy

      Keep in mind they all had Lucas electrics, so damp plus Lucas could spell, a rewiring job in the future, but that being said wiring on these things were pretty basic so not so difficult in ditching the Lucas electrics, and wiring harness.

  9. Bruce Best

    I would assume that even if it was a flood car it would be an easy restoration as all the parts are available if some of them do take some time to find. I have not owned one of these but I have purchased a pair for different friends over the years and they are a blast to drive. Especially if you get some additional power out of that TR-6 engine than what came from the factory. That is not difficult and with more power they will keep up with a lot of newer far more expensive cars.

    The ride is generally good as is the handling and ride. The fall down is they can be hot in the summer and it helps not to be much over 6′ tall. Every body I knew that had one put huge numbers of miles on theirs as well as keeping them for extended periods. Of the two that I helped friends purchase on is still owned by one of my friends and that was over 30 years ago. He has painted once, put two interiors in (the first one was a cheap rebuild the second was first class work and materials).

    Assume many new electrical parts and new loom and take a chance. This is one of the best smiles per miles car you can purchase and far more durable than you might expect. Even if you have to restore it with a total frame off you will know what you have and you will have a car that could out last you.

    Good luck.

  10. Jim Vogel

    The bumpers are cut and capped Triumph Herald units, not TR-6 as stated. This is significant because chrome bumpers for a Herald are much harder to find in the USA than TR-6 units.

  11. Tman

    Hey. It is $6K. In my book, they only made about of these, and about 700 were probably left hand drive. It would need a complete resto from top to bottom, but $6K for any TVR in my view is a good deal. They are a solid platform to restore or to install a V8! But I am partial as I have a 73 2500M. You have little chance of seeing another on the road so if you want a unique car that handles like it is on rails, you can’t go wrong. 50/50 weight distribution, tubular chassis, 4 wheel independent suspension, etc.

  12. Jubjub

    I’m familiar with that other white and black TVR from last year. Need to send some updates.

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