Off The Road Since 1985: 1971 TVR 2500

Reader Peter R. sent in this cool TVR 2500 find. It’s not as bad as it looks, as the seller has stashed the extremely expensive rear window and the windshield somewhere else for safe keeping. The car is listed for sale here on eBay and is located in Houston, Texas. I was surprised to see the car listed at no reserve, and bidding is just over $1,000 at this point. That’s right, only three zeros.

Although the car is only showing 17,642 miles I’m pretty sure it’s either 117k or the cable was broken for a long time. This fiberglass damage will obviously have to be fixed, but fiberglass can be fixed at home if you are willing to take some time about doing it. I doubt that whatever did this caused any real structural damage to the car. And if you are wondering, those are either MG Midget or Triumph Spitfire sidelights, and even though they have slightly different contours, I suspect either would replace this damaged one.

The 2500 was only produced for a short time with the Vixen type body work before being updated to the 2500M model with a reshaped nose and tail. Both, however, are very small designs. The tubular frame mounts mostly Triumph TR6 components although the rear suspension is TVR’s own design and has better geometry than the TR6. The frames are prone to rust but the seller tells us they see no holes in the frame.

You can see the Triumph TR6 engine here. Most Triumph-engined TVR’s do not have the wonderful Laycock overdrive fitted, but they do use the 3.45:1 rear end from european TR6s versus the 3.9:1 used in North American specification cars. The seller has neither tried to start the engine, and the car doesn’t have a title, so bear those two negatives in mind when you think about this car. You can readily obtain a running TR6 engine for $500 or less, so that probably won’t be a huge issue, but the title might slow you down a little.

The interior is toast. Really toast. However, since the cars’ interiors were similar to kit cars in construction, it’s not unrealistic to think you can put something together. Just remember how skinny those seats are–I know, I ended up not buying one that I wanted because it was so difficult for me to fit into (my problem, not the car’s)! So do you think this seat would be a good fit for you?

Fast Finds


  1. sir mike

    The broken tail lamps are MK2 Cortina.

  2. Wayne Thomas

    I think a newer LFX V6 out of a modern Camaro wouldn’t be too big and make the right amount of power.

  3. ClassicCarFan

    @Wayne Thomas. Yeah, it might be the simplest route if you had a good donor drivetrain handy… you could argue that an engine swap isn’t too out of the spirit of the thing, as TVR used a wide variety of donor engines over the years.

    Personally, I’d want to keep it original spec and overhaul the Triumph six. OK, I’m biased as I have old Triumphs and like them, but that like old straight six is a decent motor and they sound fantastic with the right mufflers. They are simple to work on, very conventional design, all cast-iron and push rods. The parts are easy to find and not generally too expensive. If you are not stuck with complying to smog specs, it’s fairly easy to build one of these engines up to get a reliable 150+ bhp (the non-federal cars with the Lucas PI were 150 bhp gross originally). I appreciate that’s not muscle car type numbers, but in a car this small and light it’d be exciting enough.

  4. Bill

    I can’t imagine glass will be very easy to get for this car.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      The listing says the glass is included :-)

  5. rustylink

    Be a great donor car if you had one already. Beyond that it’s a lot of work to bring this one back to life. Having sat in one and being 6’3″ – I would need to have my ankles removed to drive it.

    • bog

      rustylink – same here, along with big feet. Tried to “shoehorn” myself into the Griffith 289 V8 when they first came out (same basic car), and were presented at the Chicago Auto Show. Laughable. Everyone gathered around to watch me squeeze in. I was a LOT more flexible then. Actually fit into my friends Lotus Europa more easily…that had plenty of leg/head room once inside.

  6. Jubjub

    Cool. Pretty ratty, but pretty rare and special. A doable and worthwhile labor of love for somebody. I’d be seen in this with fiberglass repairs and some primer patches! And don’t forget, TVR is to be back with a 2018 model.

  7. John D

    My bucket prefers a wide bucket

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