1987 TVR 280i: Last Year Tasmin


Here’s everything you’ll ever need to know about why I want to own a TVR Tasmin 280i, just like this one found on craigslist by Barn Finds reader TGM: a video of a Tasmin idling and revving out in first gear. How good does that sound?! I’ve always loved these things for the brutal noises they make and the goofy wedge-shaped profile they sport, but also for the low cost of entry – even for a low-mileage survivor like this car. The Ford-sourced Cologne V6 is a healthy engine and as seen above, makes some great noises. Though build quality was always TVR’s Achilles heel, this example appears sound, with a crack-free dash fascia and gorgeous leather seats. I’d love to own a coupe version someday, but they rarely come up for grabs. With only 13,000 miles on the clock, this looks like a deal – what do you think?

Fast Finds


  1. Robert R. Member

    There’s an ’85 I sent to Jesse yesterday for $4,950 here: http://www.hemmings.com/classifieds/cars-for-sale/tvr/280i/1765480.html

  2. Kevin Harper

    I use to work on a couple of these and really enjoyed driving them. They are pretty straight forward to work on with only the front left spark plug giving a problem because it hides under the account compressor. Rear is basically jaguar. One area to watch is the frame as it is basically 1″ square tube. U think it was originally powder coated and by now some of that has cracked and allowed moisture in.
    The cologne v6 is a fine engine but they really needed more power. I would have loved to try one of the euro ones with a v8 or possibly a good engine change would be a modern ford v6.
    Build quality, well let’s say you are going to get wet if it rains. The target top on both the ones I drove had the unique design feature of funneling the water onto the drivers lap. I never tried it but I think you would stay drier with the top off and just driving…fast.

  3. Brakeservo

    The Cologne V6 is a marvelous engine, when revved you’re forgiven if you mistake the sound for a V12 Ferrari. Is that due to the firing order or what??

  4. Jason Houston

    Looks like something home-made in someone’s basement.

  5. Robert Swinford

    I am the owner of the car pictured here. It is not “long gone” as the link indicates. It is for sale on craigslist in Champaign Illinois.

    • Tom

      Some aspects of the TVR do look handmade and since the car is that is a correct observation. I suggest a Miata to those who find that a negative and of overriding importance.

      No one should even be allowed say the name TVR without having driven one.

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