Long-Stored Sports Car: 1974 TVR 2500M

TVR remains one the most wonderfully nutty vintage cars you can buy, the sort of thing I’m sure someone will figure out a way to ban within the next decade. This 2500M has recently been revived after what sounds like an extended period of long-term storage, and it’s ready to tempt you into doing all sorts of things the local constable has told you to cease and desist from doing. This is the classic case of effectively “wearing” the car rather than driving it, and folks of a certain height and weight need not apply. The TVR is powered by a Triumph-derived 2500cc inline-six, and has been upgraded with triple Weber side-drafts. Find it here on craigslist in Lakewood, Washington, for $19,500.

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Tyler O. for the find. TVR is the kind of company any of us can appreciate, a real bootstraps operation that somehow found a way to build its own sports cars for decades, even when it seemed like the odds were forever stacked against it. Through the years, the combination of lightweight and big power would lend itself to any number of creations with larger and larger powerplants under the hood, and you can find yourself in a seriously quick car with very little in the way of protective safety features in short order. To me, the 2500M with its inline-six is the perfect compromise, offering very respectable acceleration with a lower likelihood of harming yourself.

And, of course, I love anything with triple Webers. This was the feature that made me love my barn find 1980 BMW 320 after an engine rebuild of the 2.0L inline-six left me somewhat disappointed with the end result. It was fine – a torquey engine that got out of its own way – but it felt completely devoid of life. The triple Weber conversion made it a snorty, raspy little thing, that announced its presence with a slight tip-in of the throttle. The synchronization took some time, but once it was dialed in, oh mama – you just wanted to drive like an idiot everywhere you went. This TVR likely offers the same aural pleasures as my E21 but in a much sexier wrapper.

The seller reports the TVR has been thoroughly refreshed after its release from captivity but doesn’t detail what the refurb work included. The pictures show what looks like a very tidy fiberglass body with decent paint, and the cockpit looks to be in good order as well. The roof features a sliding fabric top, just in case the cramped cockpit leaves you feeling a bit confined. TVR ownership brings with it a robust owner network to tap into, whether for spare parts or advice and obviously this 2500M will be welcomed at any number of British car gatherings that will hopefully take place this summer.

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  1. MattR Member

    This looks fun as hell. Sunroof aside, I love the styling. Just put chrome bumpers on it and drive.

    Like 6
  2. RayT Member

    Jeff, I always bring my “protective safety features” with me when I drive. Always have, which has allowed me to drive a few, shall we say, “interesting” cars through the years that some who probably stay away from. My built-in safety systems tell me this car could get out of hand, but that I’m pretty sure I can avoid that.

    Maybe that’s why the top of my TVR list is a Griffith! I seriously doubt I’ll ever have one, though, so this would be a sweet alternative. If it’s as good as it looks, seems well worth the asking price, and the Webers just make it all that much more tempting.

    As long as it has seat belts, decent tires and the brakes work, I’m good to go….

    Like 6
    • Blyndgesser

      Helmet? Depends?

      Like 4
  3. Howard A Member

    TVR’s were such awesome cars. Updated with Webers? Not to me, but hey, you want to pixx away thousands to make the car run finicky, by all means, Jegs needs your money ( I read Jegs does over a million bucks in sales EVERYDAY!!!) Same old thing, leave it alone, the British engineers knew what they were doing, and I doubt it included Weber carbs. I read several forums on that, and many wished they kept the Strombergs. Again, PT Barnum,,,
    TVR’s were, I always thought, a Triumph on steroids, very cool cars.

    Like 7
    • Jack Mack

      Webers over SUs any day…….I’m a retired wrench.

      Like 4
  4. Steve

    TVRs are a blast drive.

    Like 3
  5. G Lo

    I would lose the spare in the front and fit a lighter engine-too much weight out there for really fun handling. Then I would drive the wheels off.

    • Derek

      There’s nowhere else to put the spare. I remember it being a guddle to remove – a mate of mine had a 3000M and we had a puncture on the way back from Knockhill.

      Like 1
  6. RussellS

    Saw this minutes after it hit CL and I’ve resisted calling ever since. Long time British sports car fan here having owned 10 I can’t believe I’ve resisted so far, but a more practical me is looking for a vintage wagon/estate/shooting (give me a) brake instead. Webers might not be the most practicle but they sure look sexy!

    Like 1
  7. matt

    TVR !!!
    When I was 18 to 32 years old I could get in and out of one. Not anymore !!
    My TR6 has the stock carbs, ( and it is plenty peppy ) and a friend of mine learned that the webers were not needed on his TR6 the hard way.
    GLWTS !!

    Like 2
  8. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Several years ago at a local car show, there were 2 TVRs parked next to each other. It was a rare sighting, and a highlight of the show for me.

    Like 7
  9. jokacz

    Stick a Ford V8 in it and make your very own Griffith/Tuscan. Then watch it self destruct. TVR has always had laughable build quality.

    Like 1
  10. Trevor

    Hey Jokacz, give me a break! Educate your self!

  11. JMB#7

    Jeff: reread your BMW 320 comment. Pretty sure you meant inline four. Unless you did an unusual swap. Love the TVR.

  12. Oldcartruckguy

    If you can do basic grade 4 math, Webers, are the way to go. Any time I’ve talked to someone that had trouble with them, they had assumed that the Webers were a a bolt-oon, and they are not. Back in the day, a lot of salespeople, lacking knowledge, sold them without the instruction manual, and walked away smiling. I had a customer who loved his Vauxhall Vive/Envoy Epic, and insisted that he wanted a Weber. The Canadian distributor sold me the recommended Weber, and a manual, and a Mini Cooper (the REAL one) intake manifold, as a Viva/Epic intake was not available. I cut both manifolds until the airflow passages matched, read the manual a number of times, with the Weber in pieces on my desk, did the calculations, order the requisite jets, etc, put it together, and the car went like stink. Enough to impress a former Ford of Britain Competition Works mechanic.

    As for Strombergs, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, et al, seem to lack them. In this area, we had an excellent mechanic, now gone, who was a genius at prepping racing cars, and solving weird problems; he spent quite a lot of spare time analyzing the Stromberg carb, as there was a continuing performance problem that could not be solved. Until, one day, he came to the solution, and then wrote a letter to the factory, pointing out a design flaw, and gave them his reasoning. They never answered.

    Like 1
  13. Oldcartruckguy

    Vauxhall Viva, dammit!

  14. Crawdad

    You can put small chokes ( venturis ) in Weber’s and some dedicated tuning, and they are as docile as any other system, rivaling FI. The problem is most folks have giant chokes meant for full throttle racing.

  15. JMB#7

    Possibly one of the best Haynes publications every. “Weber Carburetors, Owners Workshop Manual”. As I have said before, I have found the dual throat side drafts to be very predictable to set up, both in normally aspirated, and in blown through turbo applications. As “Crawdad” states, the chokes (venturi) needs to be appropriate for the application, and Weber lets you change this feature.

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