1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023

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Lot 281
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé

£ 70,000 - 80,000
US$ 87,000 - 100,000
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé
Registration no. YRD 394C
Chassis no. 2005023
*Rare Anglo-American sports car
*New chassis; original body and bonnet
*Widely raced in modern historic events
*Engine rebuilt less than 200 miles ago
*Eligible for a wide variety of historic race series
*Road legal with full and correct interior

Footnotes

  • '... the performance of a Grifffith was quite phenomenal by any standards. Certainly, in straight-line performance, if not in ultimate road behaviour, the car was good enough to embarrass severely an E-Type Jaguar and many V12 Ferraris!' – Graham Robson, 'TVRs Volume 1'.

    Founded in Blackpool in the late 1940s by Trevor Wilkinson, TVR began by making various 'specials' before introducing its first series production model – the TVR Sports Saloon – in 1954, most of which were sold in kit form. The car that really put TVR on the map though, was the Grantura. Launched in 1958, the Grantura used a multi-tubular spaceframe chassis with Volkswagen trailing-link independent suspension all round, which was clothed in very pretty glassfibre coachwork that set the pattern for TVRs for years to come. The generously proportioned engine bay could accommodate a wide variety of engines, those of Ford and BMC being the most popular, while Grantura owners intending to go racing, as many of them did, usually specified the 1.2-litre Coventry Climax FWE unit.

    Perhaps inspired by Carroll Shelby's Cobra, which had resulted from dropping a Ford V8 engine into an AC Ace, American motor dealer Jack Griffith performed the same trick on a MkIII Grantura. The prototype was shipped to the UK and the concept approved by the factory, with production of the TVR Griffith 200, as this new model was known, commencing towards the end of 1962. Lightweight and compact, and with a claimed 195bhp available from the 298ci (4.7-litre) Ford V8 engine, the Griffith afforded the prospect of some seriously exciting motoring. Sadly for British enthusiasts, almost all were exported to the USA.

    'YRD 394C' was made in Blackpool in 1964/1965, then shipped to the USA for Jack Griffith to add the Ford 289 motor and related modifications. This car was then sold new in 1965 out of the Ford dealership in Alaska where it would be owned by some interesting characters. The second owner is said to have drag-raced the Griffith at the Polar Dragway and used it in the annual February ice races, while the third owner, from 1972, Mike Laven, used to street-drag the car.

    The Griffith gradually fell into disuse and was bought in the early 1990s by Jason Len of XKs Unlimited, California. He fully restored the TVR using a new David Gerald-supplied chassis; however, except for some extra bonnet cooling ducts the body and bonnet remain original, which is very rare for a Griffith that has been raced. This Griffith even retains its original enlarged side vents that were only fitted to the first 30-or-so cars. Jason Len completed the restoration to concours standard inside and out, and then raced the Griffith in some US vintage events including Willow Springs, Laguna Seca, and the Los Angeles street race.

    In 2001, this Griffith was bought by the current owners, who imported and UK registered the car, and prepared it for UK racing with a six-point roll cage. It has since been raced in Top Hat 'Best of British', HSCC RoadSports, Heritage GT, CSCC 'Swinging Sixties', HRDC 'All Stars', and Bernie's V8s series. It has also run at Santa Pod, Brighton Speed trials, Shere hill climb, and the Ollon-Villars hill climb in Switzerland. In 2007 the car was shipped to Daytona and raced on the banking, reaching 150mph. The best competition results include two overall wins in HSCC RoadSports, numerous top 10s, and a second in the Birkett 6-Hour as part of a TVR team. Despite this, the Griffith is fully road legal, fully carpeted, and road useable. It has a full compliment of Smiths gauges and is not a stripped-out competition car.
    This Griffith remains highly original and, as we have seen, retains its original body and bonnet. Noteworthy features include a correct and recently fully refreshed C5AE 289 Ford V8 with cast-iron cylinder heads and original-type rockers; original Ford 'top loader' four-speed manual gearbox; correct Jaguar three-pot front brake callipers; and correct Triumph rear drum brakes.

    Modifications from original include various engine upgrades: ICON forged pistons; Crower Sportsman con-rods; crack tested, polished and flowed cylinder heads; Competition Cams camshaft; Manley valves; ARP studs; double-pumper Holley 650 carburettor; Edelbrock Performer RPM inlet manifold; Magniflow headers; and a stainless exhaust system. Power is delivered to the Salisbury 3:54:1 limited-slip differential via a Sachs clutch plate with Centreforce clutch cover and Tilton racing clutch release bearing. A Cambridge Motorsport high-capacity radiator with swirl pot and twin fans keeps the engine cool. The up-rated suspension is by DG Motorsport, and the car rolls on either 6 x 15" Pansport wheels of which there are four or 6 x 15" Compomotive wheels of which there are six.

    Offered with a V5C document and MoT to August 2018, this fully sorted Griffith represents a wonderful opportunity to acquire one of these legendary Anglo-American sports cars, eligible for a wide variety of historic race series.
Contacts
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
1965 TVR Griffith 200 Coupé  Chassis no. 2005023
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