This Vixen Needs Fixen: 1969 TVR Vixen S3

left-rear

This Vixen, that’s listed on eBay in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, looks pretty good from this angle, but that’s about the only good view. Bidding is just over $5,000 with 5 days left. It’s been sitting for 30 years and needs lots of help. The fiberglass body has some damage and needs repair. The tubular-frame chassis is said to have only surface rust, but only inspection will tell the full extent of the corrosion. The body on this TVR is bolted to the frame making inspection and repair of the chassis easily possible. Before 1968 the body was bonded to the chassis making repair quite difficult.

inside

The dash looks complete and almost nice in this peek at the interior. The rest of the interior appears needs cleaning and repairs to make it at least serviceable.

engine

This picture of the engine doesn’t provide good news. It turns, but is in need of a rebuild. The engine is a 92 horsepower 1600 CC Ford Capri engine, so parts and upgrades should be fairly easy to get.

front-left

The missing trim bits are said to be in the car and included. The TVRs are tubular chassis frame are susceptible to rust damage, but they are repairable after removing the body. The fiberglass body is in good condition for the except for the left door skin which needs repair. There’s nothing here beyond the ability and equipment of many home shops. Even in stock form the Capri engine performs very well in this light weight car. Does this look like a fun project to you? These TVRs are rare but not exotic. They are unique yet easy to work on and source parts.

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Comments

  1. Ryan Corneliusen

    Gut it, LS swap, cage, race.

  2. 68 custom

    69 with a generator? a small block ford will make an easier swap.

    • sir mike

      Yes,,,right from the Ford Cortina where the motor/tans came from.A 28 amp Lucas unit.

      • Charles Fulop

        In 1970 the Cortina went to an alternator.

    • brakeservo

      Even my ’69 MG Midget and my parent’s ’69 VW both had generators. Were there any British cars with alternators as early as 1969? Perhaps they were reluctant to embrace this technology since it didn’t involve leaking oil??

  3. Bruce Best

    The balance is the key for this car and too much engine and too much engine weight would spoil it forever. Turbo or supercharge the engine if you must. As for the m missing trim it is almost all available at Moss Motors or many other English sports car parts suppliers so I would not worry about that.

  4. Scot Douglas

    Drop a 1.4L turbo in it from a modern Cruze / Sonic and have 200 reliable HP plus excellent driveability and such.

    • brakeservo

      Or do what Jack Griffith did – a 289 & four-speed produced a car that would outrun a Cobra all day long . . . or at least until it overheated! His car was called the Griffith 200, he built 192 of them and I own #035 and the third one built is on Bring-A-Trailer right now as I write this!

      • Wayne Thomas

        Don’t need a 289 anymore. You can get an Ecotec or Ecoboost 4cyl that has less weight and more power. So much potential for these little cars.

  5. rich voss

    Loved seeing the first Griffith at the Chicago Auto Show at “old” McCormick Place before I went into the Army, and actually seeing TVRs in Europe (not as low as my buddy’s 1st gen Lotus Europa, though). Oddly, I could get my 6’3″ long-legged self into his Lotus, but try as I might, not the TVR (or likely the Griffith). If I fit, I’d use a 260/289 Ford V8…no 4 banger will ever sound like a V8. No matter, car no longer available….

  6. Car Guy

    Just Found a 73 vixen ( Garage find) that had been converted with a ford 289 with a 5 speed, ( engine was rated at 330 hp) ,in talking to the experts I know the original the frame will handle it, Beefier springs and bushings were recommended. Rear end has been modified ( out of a corvette). This find was professionally prepped for a vintage racer, but left to sit almost finished for 9 years ( health reason), currently about 3/4 done, and we are currently re-commissioning it, expecting some surprises but the goal is to have running in the spring.
    I will let you know how it goes, but I expect it will be a rocket.
    I

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