The TVR legacy dates back to the 1940s, when a teenage boy named Trevor Wilkinson decided to start his own business. Trevcar Motors became the official business name, and the primary purpose was to repair and sell automobiles. The business is based out of Blackpool, a town in England.
Eventually, Wilkinson sought expansions, which lead to him manufacturing his first two-door automobile. His success attracted several investors, and Wilkinson knew that in order to grow he would need a source of capital. Jack Pickard offered to help Wilkinson with his business by providing both time and capital. The two would later form a company called TVR Engineering, with the TVR derived from Wilkinson’s first name (Trevor). Shortly afterward, the company’s name would be simplified to just TVR.
Sports cars were the main focus of the business, as TVR developed what would later be coined as glass-reinforced bodywork. This technology was essentially a lightweight frame that allowed vehicles to accelerate at higher speeds. The first model released by the company was the Grantura, which debuted in 1958. Not surprisingly, the design of the automobile evolved over time, as there were manifold series released during the next few years. In addition to the lightweight design, the TVR models generally ran 4-cylinder engines. This feature allowed the cars to not only gain considerable speed but also helped them remain relatively fuel-efficient. For the most part, TVR’s business was stable throughout the 1960s, but a British tax that existed during the time hindered demand.
It was not until the 1960s that TVR’s business began to spread like wildfire across American planes. The release of the TVR Tuscan helped the company gain a presence in America, as the vehicle featured a 4.7 litre V8 engine. While TVR’s business was clearly expanding, it became more reliant on unaffiliated suppliers. For instance, during the early 1970s TVR automobiles were manufactured with Ford engines. There was a void in terms of consistency in the structure of the vehicles, as the engines fluctuated between V4, V6, and V8 on a frequent basis. Ownership of the company was also changing, as Peter Wheeler took over the business in the 1980s. Wheeler aimed to promote a transitional period for the company so that it no longer relied on external suppliers. His mission was carried out right away, as TVR manufactured its own engine, the AJP8.
TVR underwent yet another change in ownership during 2004 when Nikolay Smolensky acquired the company from Peter Wheeler. Many analysts within the automotive industry were irresolute regarding how this transaction would impact the long-term outlook of the business, as Smolensky was considering shifting the company’s headquarters out of England and to Russia. Though this restructuring never occurred, some of TVR’s primary production plants were moved to Italy. Today, Smolensky remains the owner of the company, and TVR continues to release some of the more popular sports cars on today’s market. These models include the Sagaris, the Tuscan, the Cerbera, and the Griffith.