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TVR Chimaera

TVR Chimaera Published: 4th Apr 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

TVR Chimaera
TVR Chimaera
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Chimaera is today’s Big Healey! If that isn’t enough reason to own one, this TVR is also attractive to classic sports car lovers who want classic looks, goose-pimpling pace but served with modern day civility and conveniences. But, this TVR is no patsy. While you do enjoy modern comforts, the Chimaera is as much a serious sports car as that classic Healey was back in the 1950s.

DRIVING

Although this TVR is as sharp as razors, you immediately feel at home in a Chimaera and when driven gently this TVR is a bit of a pussycat. But bury the throttle and you’ll see the other side of this TVR. Make no mistake, the Chimaera is a genuinely fast car and one which demands skill and respect to get the best out of it – if for no other reason that the chassis isn’t blessed with modern driving aids such as anti-lock brakes and traction control.

Yet, in the right hands, the Chimaera can be surprisingly user friendly given its shattering performance. The power steering is well geared at just 2.2 turns resulting in the most wonderful response, grip is remarkable even when wet and there’s a well-planted feel. The 4-litre is the most usable and offers more than adequate pace, demonstrated by road tested quoting 155mph, 0-100 in 11.1 seconds and 50-70mph (in top) at 5.8 seconds.

BEST MODELS

As we stated earlier, the 4-litre is a good a choice is any and it’s the most popular. It has more than ample pace (!) and driven with restraint (not easy) can return figures of around 25mpg. Some TVR specialists reckon the rare 4.3 is a better bet due to its torquier engine although others favour the 4.5 over this. Later Chimaeras benefit from power steering and the T5 gearbox as well as better designed seats. That said, condition and past history counts for most and it’s better to buy a clean Chimaera 4.0 than a tatty 4.5.

PRICES

Chimaeras are probably now as low as they are ever going to be and values can only rise. However Chimaeras can be bought for as little as sub £14,000 and as much as £30,000 for a 500 Facelift (Fernhurst) but extreme care should be taken with cars at the lower level of the price structure as you’ll get what you paid for so Owners or dealers with top cars tend to expect appropriate prices when sold. It’s still unlikely to find restored cars as their values don’t justify that – yet – but it will change.

BUYING ADVICE

Try a few as standards can vary; it may pay to go to a TVR specialist first of all to get good advice and set a datum to judge other models from. A troublesome past or lack of a service history is to be avoided, as are any abused (track day?) or heavily modified cars, which by nature will have been used hard and possibly pranged. The glassfibre shell can’t rust and generally gives little trouble apart from soft paintwork at the front – less so the chassis frame which in common with the Cerbera suffers significantly from outrigger and top rail rot, both of which you can only truly examine with the body off – expect £5000 bills for subsequent repairs.

The Rover-derived V8 engines, heavily modified by TVR at the outfit’s Coventry engineering works, are generally trustworthy if serviced regularly. Ford brake parts are particularly susceptible to too much ‘storage’ causing many parts to seize up, especially if the car is simply taken out of the garage for washing and posing!



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