1998 TVR 1998 Griffith 500 – £18,250

Brief

A great piece of British motoring providing a sensational drive coupled with rather attractive looks the Griffith 500 delivers a great deal of enjoyment for a car at this end of the market, providing performance that one would expect from higher-priced marques. Also with the tired and test original rover/Buick v8 as the basis for the powertrain it certainly sounds as good as it looks. This particular has been cherished from new receiving a great deal of time and money spent on ensuring that is in perfect and ready to go condition.

Spec

Starmist green metallic

Rover 5.0L 340BHP

5 speed manual

Guide Price

£18,250

The TVR’s first owner took delivery the car on the 14th March 1998 from the supplying dealer, TMS TVR of Melton Mowbray. Since then every single owner seems to have fallen in love with the car and cherished it like their first-born child.

Having returned to the UK after twenty years in California, the seller decided to treat himself to the TVR Griffith he’d always yearned for. He found this one after a wide-ranging search and has now owned it for seven years, during which time he has invested a lot of time and money to keep it in the condition you see today.

He’s kept it garaged when it wasn’t being used and only used it sparingly in good weather, covering around 3,500 miles in seven years. As a result, he’s come to realise that he’s not really appreciating in the way it deserves and so would like to see it go to someone who is in a position to use it more frequently.

On the Outside

The Starmist Green coachwork is in fine fettle, thanks to a combination of TVR production engineering, understanding owners and a front end refresh in 2000, which comprised a partial respray to remove the stonechips.

A rear light conversion was then carried out in March 2012, and the two upgrades are not only extremely subtle but lift the look of the car slap-bang into the 21st century, evoking the look of the final, limited-edition Griffiths.

It looks so good that we think it finally puts to rest the theory that it is impossible to get tight, even shutlines on a glassfibre car. I mean, just look at it; it’s taut and lithe and looks as good now as the day it did when it rolled off the production lines in Blackpool. Please arrange a viewing to see for yourself prior to auction end.

A new beige mohair hood was fitted in 2009 and it is still in very good condition, being water-tight and free of rips, tears and other damage.

On the Inside

The leather seats are also free of rips and tears but they are a little bit cracked and lightly patinated. Having taken a close look, a decent upholsterer/trimmer could bring them back to a more presentable condition without too great an expenditure or you could, of course, just leave them as they are and get on with the important business of enjoying simply being behind the wheel of a true British classic.

The rest of the interior is in very good condition and all the gauges, switches and toys work as they should with the exception of the electric mirrors. The owner understands that this is a common fault but this was the one thing he hasn’t got round to sorting it out himself. Also the clock has a habit of running backwards….

Underneath

The comprehensive service history is extraordinarily detailed and records the many minor remedial works that were carried out as part of its servicing regimen. No expense appears to have been spared over the years, resulting in what might just be the most sorted TVR we’ve ever driven.

Every routine servicing bill from Mole Valley TVR in the early noughties was for well over four-figures, which must have made for uncomfortable viewing by its then owner but is exactly the sort of thing the canny TVR buyer likes to see when considering a purchase.

The previous owner had the Rover V8 engine overhauled in 2012 and it now starts perfectly, ticks over evenly and opens the gates of Hell when you prod the throttle. Seriously, turn up the volume and listen to end of the video; glorious, isn’t it?

Gaz Pro dampers were fitted at the same time as the engine work was carried out, and the underside was professionally cleaned and Waxoyled. The previous owner had the car professionally checked and the current ownercommissioned further chassis work in 2013, including the replacement of a pair of outriggers and some repairs to some of the mounting points in the glassfibre floor. A few other bits and bobs were sorted while it was there, including exhaust manifold repairs, some minor chassis fettling, and a full service.

In total, this work cost almost £6,500 and has seriously refreshed the car, leaving it fighting fit and ready to face the next decade in uncommonly good condition. As always with any TVR (or maybe any low-volume British sports car for that matter), none of this guarantees a trouble-free future, but it does start to weight the odds in your favour.

It’s also had matching new front tyres fitted recently.

History Highlights

The TVR comes with two sets of keys and the original leatherette wallet containing the service history book and the owner’s manual. The service book itself meticulously documents the work that has been carried out on it, from its initial 1,000-mile inspection after only a month of ownership and 931 miles through to its last service on the 18th May 2019 at 61,677 miles. In all, 13 services stamps are present spanning the lifetime of the vehicle. Not many left that can claim that.

The car will also be supplied with an original sales brochure for the model, along with a sales invoice for its purchase in 1999 for £28,000 – or £47,000 in today’s money.

There are also a number of old invoices and bills that detail the owners’ meticulous stewardship of the TVR over the years as well as a number of expired MOT certificates.