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TVR Cerbera

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

TVR Cerbera
TVR Cerbera
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The key thing about the Cerbera was that, apart from a young David Beckham having one complete with child seat, it was fitted with TVR’s first in-house, engine developed by TVR’s Tuscan race series. As a result, the Cerbera is not merely a 2+2 fixed-roof Chimaera but an entirely different car and proposition that you may well prefer.

DRIVING

The Cerbera is a different animal to the Chimaera it’s broadly based upon. And animal is an apt description. Early cat-free models put out more than the official 350bhp. Fast isn’t the word; 20 years ago Ferrari didn’t have a production car that could get to 60mph as quickly as a Cerbera.

It may have been the baby of the family, but the later Speed Six was never called slow either. With softer suspension and a slower steering rack, the Speed Six provides the best proposition if you’re not into track days and you plan to buy a Cerbera for longerdistance drives. By stretching a Chimaera’s chassis by 11 inches, there’s decent rear seat space found in the Cerbera, even if it was still tight for four fully grown adults.

BEST MODELS

If you get a good one, all are enthralling. The standard car is great but go for the 420bhp, 185mph 4.5-littre model and there’s the Hydratrak limited slip diff as standard. Don’t ignore the entry model Speed Six. A slightly slower, softer Cerbera still hits 60 in 4.5 seconds and kisses 180mph. “The six is so much more drivable than the Speed Eight that the ultimate performance deficit is all but negated on the road…” reckoned an Autocar road test. The 880bhp V12 is pure insanity unless you intend to go track testing, a better option is the Red Rose option pack (2000) boosting the 4.5-litre engine to 440bhp while there were also bigger brakes plus suspension upgrades to cope.

PRICES

Leicestershire-based TVR specialist James Agger (http://www.jamesagger.com) probably sells more Cerberas than anybody else. He says they are very complex cars and, out of all TVRs, thus one of the most expensive to run. You can buy a good one for somewhere between £15,000 and £20,000, but budget £3000 for annual maintenance. The Speed Six is worth less than an equivalent V8 Cerbera; spend at least £15,000, but if you want a V8 edition, then bank on spending upwards of £20,000 with the best cars selling for over £30,000. There are a lot more V8s about than Speed Sixes.

BUYING ADVICE

Without doubt the most important thing when buying is to check out the car’s history and, if possible, the last owner. Has it been ‘track-dayed’, crashed, bodged and so on? Electrics, including the remotely operated doors, windows, wipers and lights play up. Chassis corrosion is a major worry and most likely in the outriggers and top chassis rail. Repairs here mean the bodyshell has to be removed so you can expect upwards of £5000 invoices. Cars built in 1998 and 1999 seem to suffer the worst. Engines can be pretty awful. Valve clearances can cost £1000 and neglect here is likely to lead to burned-out valves. By the time an AJP V8 has been rebuilt the bill will come to £7000+. The Speed Six engine can be even less reliable, especially those produced before 2002 and most have been rebuilt by now.



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