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TVR M&S Series

TVR M&S Series Published: 4th Apr 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

TVR M&S Series
TVR M&S Series
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They may look much the same, but are from different decades underneath, the M and later S Series are the last of the ‘traditional ‘looking’ TVRs that offer a lot of class and character for little money. As a quicker, cheaper alternative to the more antique MGC or big Healey, and not as showy as the later Chimaeras, all are well worth a look.

DRIVING

The lovely thing about any TVR is that they are full-on drivers’ cars and the M&S Series ranges are no exception. With its superior Tasmin-based chassis (designed by ex Lotus engineers), the S is that bit better and grippier but all are supremely entertaining.

Of course, the Rover-engined models are the best, enjoying a real Big Healey flavour about them but the Ford V6 alternatives are not far behind, especially rare Broadspeed turbos. Gives you goose-pimples remarked one well respected motoring journalist and saloon racer when he evaluated the S – and that’s good enough for us to own one – although none can truly mask their inherent kit car origins. And so what?

BEST MODELS

If you get a good one, all are worth owning, even the 1600M if for rarity interest only. In strictest terms the V8S has to be the ultimate choice (410 made) with the Broadspeed Turbo providing the rarest and rawest thrills. Final M model was a drophead called 3000S in normal or Turbo forms (258 made, 13 Turbos) before being reborn as the S, of which the S3 (with its lengthened doors and retuned suspension) is the best of the series. Mid 1970’s Taimars were hatchbacks to rival the Scimitar GTE and are as good if not as roomy or relaxing when touring.

VALUES

You can buy an S for £2000 as a project. That said, it is still better to buy the best you can afford, as their lowly values negate any costly and involved restoration work. Expect to pay a not unreasonable £5000 for a fair example and a top one for double this. As a rule, the V8S commands around a third more over a V6 putting them roughly the same value as a 3000S and a turbo Taimar.

BUYING ADVICE

Tough, Vigorous, Reliable – so said TVR adverts in the late 1960s, but remember it’s a TVR so expect kit-car build quality levels that will have deteriorated over the years. If the car is exceptional, then suspect either a very caring owner or a recent rebuild. You won’t see a rusty TVR, of course, as shells are glassfibre.

When new, the S and V8s had the frames powder-coated for protection, but this will have eroded over the decades, so watch for well rotted M Series purchases; frames for S models are available. Taimar shells regarded as better quality cars than M Series but newer S models will always be the best. The Ford V6 units are robust, watch for low oil pressure (50lb is ideal), rumbling cranks and bearings and tappet noise. On V6s, timing gear can sheer and head gaskets are prone to let go. The Rover V8 is well known, woes are caused by improper care as engine demands regular oil changes to prevent sludging and subsequent hydraulic tappet problems. The Triumph unit runs on carbs. Crank thrust washers wear and can drop out if bad, head gaskets fail and flagging oil pressure of 10lb at idle suggest a rebuild is soon needed. Transmissions (Ford, Triumph and Rover) are hardy but remember they may have been used hard, so expect failing synchros and tired clutches.

M cars up to ‘77 used a TR6 rear axle. Tasmin-based chassis on S suffers similar suspension faults. Watch for tired shocks, dampers and shot bushes. M cars used TR suspension so check front trunnions, etc.



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