One Of 128! 1967 TVR Grantura 1800S

There is an entire legion of British sportscars that are referenced in the past tense. One that isn’t, is the TVR, a company that has continued auto production since 1946. TVR, founded by Trevor Wilkinson, has produced mostly sports and performance cars, a low volume specialty builder that has been steered by several different entities over the years. One of their rarest models is the Grantura 1800S and that is exactly what today’s find is. It is located in Sykesville, Maryland and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $12,101, reserve not yet met.

The Grantura, produced in Blackpool England between 1958 and 1967, saw a total production of approximately 800 copies, with the 1800S, like this auction example, yielding a total count of only 128. Yes, this is a rare car and the owner states that it is one of only 38, left-hand drive versions known to still exist.

The seller describes his car as “driver” quality as the finish has some bubbling and cracking. There are some close-up images included that bear the seller’s claim but the imperfections seem minor. The seller indicates that the wire wheels have been refinished and from what can be seen, they appear to be in fine nick. One of the more notable exterior features of this TVR is the rear styling, it is known as a “Manx tail” due to its abruptness. The taillights were sourced from a Ford Cortina.

Under the bonnet is a 98 HP, 1.8 liter, in-line, four-cylinder MG engine which the seller states as being mechanically sound. He adds that the carburetors have been refurbished along with new brake hoses, new rear shoes, wheel cylinders and adjusters, new front wheel bearings and seals, and new wipers. The standard transmission employed is a four-speed manual unit.

The interior presents itself well, some trim work is referenced as having been completed but not specifically detailed. The gauges, minus the tachometer, are all operative. The black vinyl upholstery is showing some wear, the passenger seat is bearing a Frankenstein-style stitch repair, but all-in-all it looks pretty good. The door cards and center console, in particular, liven up the appearance, perhaps they are not original? Often British sports cars of this era use genuine wood, burled Walnut or something similar, for their instrument panels. What passes for wood trim in this TVR looks more like contact paper – it’s OK, it just doesn’t have a high-quality depth to it.

In the last hour, the bidding for this TVR has jumped $2K, obviously, there is interest. The upside to a rarity like this is that you will seldomly encounter another, and being MG powered should ease the burden of sourcing engine parts. The downside is sourcing everything else that is probably unique on such a limited production vehicle that now exceeds half a century in age. If you would like to know more about TVR, here is the link to their website; great to know that they have survived not only the test of time but all of the other impediments that make small, independent auto manufacturing close to impossible in the 21st century. It would be interesting to know if any BF readers have ever owned a TVR, and if so, would they consider sharing their ownership experience?

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Comments

  1. Poppapork

    I almost bought the v8 version of this platform back in 2008 but got scared of buying thru ebay and buyng a car that might be difficult to maintain parts and information wise (torque specs, DIY instructables etc)
    Pirce was right- tad under 8k

    Shoulda got it but getting into vintage cars for the first time i decided to get a c3 vette (said in a regretful voice)

  2. MattR Member

    What an interesting car. I think I would prefer a convertible version than this coupe. That said, I can’t stop staring at that back window. Replacing that would be expensive I imagine. I can’t decide if I love or hate those taillights and that stick-shift looks awfully small from here. I had joysticks in the ’80s that were bigger than that.

    • CMS

      There were no convertible versions of early TVRs, only coupes. TVR didn’t make a convertible until the late 70s.

      • Poppapork

        I was about to comment the same these or anything similiar from tvr was never a convertible. Plus knowing how TVRs are i would rather expect them to make a roadster version rather than a convertible.
        Also i dont understand his rear glass comment? How often do you have to replace the rear glass – looks to be in good shape on this car. Do other limited production exotics have unexpensive windshields or what….

      • MattR Member

        That’s unfortunate. They would have been nice. @Poppapork – what I was trying to say is that the rear glass looks unique, hard to replace and most likely expensive if there was an issue. To your point, perhaps that is a common issue with limited run exotics.

  3. DRV

    I prefer the Griffin version, but this is cooln too.
    The price is right at the moment.

    Like 1
    • John

      Griffith.

      Like 1
  4. ken tilly UK

    @MattR. I must agree with your thoughts on the tail lights. On a Mk 1 Ford Cortina they look great, on this TVR Coupe, not so much.

    Like 1
  5. luke arnott Member

    TVR haven’t made any cars recently.

    Like 1
  6. Bruce Frazier

    Would like to find front & back glass for my 1971 TVR Vixen

  7. gerardfrederick

    If you like British sports cars, you got to love this one.

    Like 1
  8. Skip Elliott

    I had two 1974 TVR 2500m cars. One I was restoring and the other was a parts car.
    These cars had fantastic handling and mine had the TR6 motors. The seats were so low that you felt like you were sitting on the pavement. The transmission hump was so high that it had no visible shift lever. The hump also produced a huge amount of heat and the car had almost no ventilation. I live in Alabama so that was not a good plan.
    The car had a top collision rating in 1973. This was only tested in the front. In the back it had two small boards about 1.5 inches thick that were fiberglassed against the car body to brace the bumper and the other end was glassed to the area around the rear struts. The gas tank sat in a well so the car made a Pinto look safe.
    The cars that I had had a tube chassis that you could easily unbolt but the earlier ones had the bodies attached with Fiberglas. Rust got in and the car would look great and totally fall apart. They filled the tubes with oil but that eventually leaked out.
    The windshields were attainable but the rear window is made of unobtainium.
    They are easy to work on and most parts are easy to find.
    If I-was wealthy I would have loved to send it to Chip Foose and get everything replaced but the body.
    There is a very useful TVR club here in the USA which I used to sell my cars in their classifieds. The car in this add would rarely show up there. Loved the car but it needed to move on without me.

    Like 2
  9. Martin Horrocks

    Nothing very difficult about TVR parts supply sourced in UK. Most parts are from other cars or simple fabrication, more specialised stuff inc panels and glass from specialists/owners club.

    Fibreglass body is bonded to tube frame, so time-consuming if frame has rusted. One of the best English specialist cars of the 1960s, this version looks like a nice original driver.

    The V8 Griffith (later Tuscan in UK) is a widowmaker, mostly found at the front end of vintage race grids in competent hands, in the wall in lesser hands.

    TVR were originally MG engined, by 1967 most had gone to Ford power, so this is one of the last BMC engined cars.

    • Pat Gill

      I converted (for a customer) an ex drag race RHD V8 TVR Griffith back to road use around 50 years ago, it had a race 289 ford lump in it, almost undrivable on the road and sooooooo noisy, but fun! for a short drive.

      • Bruce Frazier

        Puting in a built 500 Cadillac into my 1971 TBR Vixen with a sweet turbo 400.

      • Poppapork

        Awesome story!
        In what way was it undrivable? Do you mean it had a race engine and would stall or do you mean just ths fact that it had a v8 (v8 came in this platofrm from factory too)

        How would you compare this to AC cobra?

        Like 1
  10. Art Fink

    Greetings All, I bought a brand new bright yellow TVR in 1973. I wanted something different, and that it was. Plenty of stares and questions. The TR6 engine was strong and torquey and yes the shifter was about 1 inch tall sticking thru the very high tranny tunnel. The interior had room for you and half a friend. Getting in and out was a young mans sport. Small doors, high sills, low and narrow seats were in order. The build quality had a lot to be desired, but, what a fun car. I was able to exit the Garden State Parkway at the same speed I was traveling, didn’t have to let off the gas pedal. The TVR drove like a Go-Kart. As much as I enjoyed my TVR, I could never handle it today.
    FYI, I sold it while on my honeymoon!!!!

    Like 2
    • ken tilly UK

      What was the reason Art? Carpet burn?

      Like 1
  11. Bruce Frazier

    On my comment about my 71 TVR Vixen 500 Googles predictive text doesn’t always do right. TVR not TBR

  12. Pat Gill

    Poppapork
    Sep 7, 2020 at 7:04pm
    Awesome story!
    In what way was it undrivable? Do you mean it had a race engine and would stall or do you mean just ths fact that it had a v8 (v8 came in this platofrm from factory too)

    It still had the full race engine / cam etc. and the race clutch, in or out, nothing between, it was raced at Santa pod back in the day, when it became uncompetitive it was retired and I go it MOT tested after fitting a pair of cherry bombs,

    Like 1

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