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TVR T350 & Tamora

TVR T350 & Tamora Published: 4th Apr 2016 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

TVR T350 & Tamora
TVR T350 & Tamora
TVR T350 & Tamora
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TVRs penned for the 21st century, the Tamora Roadster, and the T350 it spawned, are generally better developed than any of its predecessors, even if the brutal styling and gadetry of the T350 remains a matter of taste. In contrast, the less expensive Tamora is far more conservative in its style and with its brutish straight six, performance is probably closer to the Big Healey (Wheeler loved 50’s British classics) than the earlier V8-powered Chimaera.

DRIVING ONE

While all of TVR’s rivals, such as Porsche with its Boxster, came packed with a range of driver aids to help avoid disaster, the TVR offers nothing – no traction control, anti-lock brakes and certainly no electronic stability protection – just the driver’s brain and skill. Throw in the fact that the Tamora and T350 evolved from a race car project, complete with a scorching AJP Speed Six engine, boasting amazing throttle response and a chassis sporting a lowered centre of gravity plus one of the best electric power assisted steering set ups yet – and it quickly becomes apparent that they are serious pieces of kit. But despite all this, the Tamora and T350 aren’t as intimidating as they have a right to be; in fact, they’re utterly usable – if you’re sensible, that is…

BEST MODELS

There’s two T350s to choose from, the original coupe and the targa-topped alternative which followed in 2004, a year after launch. 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. Reduced weight, added power (375bhp or 400bhp depending on tune chosen), adjustable suspension and an over-sized AP braking system were part of the package. The Tamora also used a 350bhp 3.6-litre Speed Six engine and only one model was marketed.

PRICES

T350 values range between £23,000 and £37,000 depending upon their mileage and condition. Expect to pay at least £27,000 for anything half decent due to their rarity; cheaper cars will probably have gaps in the service history or they’ll be early examples without the mods that were gradually phased in. Targas typically carry a £1000- £2000 premium over equivalent coupés, while genuine Red Rose models – if you can find one – are at the top end of the spectrum. There are aftermarket conversions around that purport to be the genuine article; don’t be fooled. Tamoras are typically priced a good deal cheaper than a T350, around £20,000 generally.

BUYING ADVICE

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. Stone chips on the nose are common. The chassis should be rust-free; if it isn’t, the car has probably seen track action. Although TVR’s Speed Six engine has a reputation for fragility, by the time the T350 had arrived, the bugs had mostly 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 and can ultimately lead to a £7000 engine overhaul. Is the oil okay and up to the level as even a healthy engine drinks a litre of lubricant within 2000 miles. 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 first, then go for reverse!



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