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TVR T350 (2003-2006)

Published: 11th Jul 2011 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

TVR T350 (2003-2006)

Fast Facts

  • Engine: 3605cc/6-cyl
  • Power (bhp/rpm): 350/7200
  • Torque (lb ft@rpm): 290/5500
  • Top speed: 175mph
  • 0-60mph: 4.4sec
  • Fuel consumption: N/A
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Length: 12ft 10.5in (3.93m)
  • Width (inc mirrors): 5ft 7.5in (1.72m)
  • Weight: 1120kg
  • Books: TVR, all the cars: A model by model history of the TVR by Iain Ayre. Haynes, ISBN 978-1-84425-100-1; TVR - ever the extrovert by Russell Hayes. Haynes, ISBN 978-1-84425-507-7
  • Websites: TVR Car Club, TVR Register,
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Few specialist car makers of the modern era have a following like TVR – perhaps the modern alternative to a Big Healey or even a cut price AC Cobra? It helps that the company not only offered a bewildering array of models, but its annual production run was well into four fi gures for many years, guaranteeing no shortage of buyers for these fantastic pieces of plastic. Always great value, fast and superbly styled, the TVRs of the 21st century were also generally better developed than their predecessors, even if the styling remains a matter of taste. However, despite their lofty price tags you have to remember than modern TVRs were still low-volume specialist cars, designed for the hard core enthusiast. As a result, while they were always superb to drive, buildquality and reliability could still be an issue,  which is why if you’re tempted, you really need to do your homework on the T350 before buying one.

What to look for?

Plastic bodywork means corrosion isn’t an issue, but cracks and crazing can be if the car has been dinged at some point. Also highly possible is poorly repaired crash damage, thanks to a lack of driver aids, so look for panel gaps that aren’t perfect – they should be. Stone chips on the nose are common and some owners have the front end of their car resprayed every couple of years to keep it looking fresh. The chassis should be rust-free; if it isn’t, the car has probably seen some track action. Although TVR’s Speed Six engine has a reputation for fragility, by the time the T350 had arrived, the bugs had been eradicated. You still need to listen for lots of tappet noise though; these need to be checked every 12,000 miles, and adjusted if necessary. If not attended to, the camshafts can wear prematurely; once this happens you’ll know about it from the racket in the engine bay. While you’ve got the bonnet open, check that the cooling fan cuts in (the connector can oxidise) and check the oil level, as even a healthy engine uses a litre of lubricant within 2000 miles. The rest of the running gear is tough enough, although clutches tend to need replacing after just 15,000 miles or so. A specialist will charge£1000 to fi t a new one, so make sure the biting point isn’t at the very end of the pedal travel. If the gearbox feels a bit baulky when selecting reverse, don’t worry about it; they’re all like that. The key is to select fifth gear fi rst, then go for reverse.


T350 values range between £17,000 and £30,000 depending on mileage and condition. Expect to pay at least £20,000 for anything decent; cheaper cars will probably have gaps in the service history, won’t have been cared for by a well-known specialist, will have covered a high mileage or they’ll be early examples without the modifi cations that were gradually phased in. Targas typically carry a £1000 premium over equivalent coupés, while genuine Red Rose models – if you can fi nd one – are at the top end ofthe spectrum. There are aftermarket conversions around that purport to be the genuine article; don’t be fooled.

Driving one

While all of the T350’s rivals packed a range of driver aids to help avoid driver disaster, the TVR offered nothing. There was no traction control, no anti-lock brakes, and certainly no electronic stability protection – just the driver’s brain and skill. Throw in the fact that the T350 evolved from a race car project, complete with lightened fl ywheel, twin-plate clutch,individual throttle butterfl ies and a lowered centre of gravity and it quickly becomes clear that this is one serious piece of kit that’s superfast. But despite all this the T350 isn’t intimidating; it’s utterly usable if you’re sensible. You could say that the T350 drives better than it looks because not everybody likes the modern medallion man style of modern TVRs but at least they are individual – rather like their owners.


June 2003

The T350C appears, its name taken from the fact that it’s a Tamora-based 350bhp coupe. The project set out to create a racer from the Tamora, but this more hard-core road car was the result.

April 2004

The T350T appears; it’s a targa version of the T350C (hence the T suffi x). Priced at £2,000 more than the coupé, the lift-out panels are beautifully built of ultra-light carbon fi bre. Other than that, the cars are identical. Production ran up to the point that the TVR factory closed late in 2006. During the three years of production, fewer than 300 T350Cs and T350Ts were made, and of those fewer than 30 featured the Red Rose option. This reduced weight further, while power went up to 375bhp or 400bhp depending on the state of tune chosen. The suspension was beefed up to and it gained full adjustability, while 18-inch wheels were standard to house the over-sized AP braking system.

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