1996 TVR Chimaera 400HC 4.0 V8 petrol
Amazingly cheap fun, with a soundtrack to die for
The starter motor failed, but it was cheap & easy to replace.
OMG the noise.. It really is a fabulous sound. It is almost impossible to be in a bad mood after driving the Chimaera.
I know I only have the baby of the range (at 4 litres), but even so, I don't know where I'd find a car this thrilling for less money.
I've replaced the rear silencer with some Cherry Bombs, and it really does sound better for it. Next step is to remove the precats and fit one of Clive's y-pieces, and that should be it for the exhaust.
The car has been (aside from the starter motor) completely reliable, and I use it as an every day car.
Mine is 17 years old this year, but looks like a 2 year old, and it only had 21k miles on it when I bought it 6 months ago.
I am upgrading the rear lights to Afterburners, and I have "plasti-dipped" the wheels to make them black, but beyond that, I will leave it standard and gorgeous.
It may not be the fastest thing out there any more; even some diesel repmobiles can give it a good run for the money, but it still does 0-60 in 5.2 seconds and sounds like a fighter plane.
My Jag (Supercharged XJR) was faster, but THIS is just so much more involving and fun!
It also has a really big boot, even with the roof panel in it, so it's a good, solid, practical GT car too.
I struck lucky and got one of the best years (1996) just before TVR brought the chassis coating in house, so it has the old "silver" paint and the zinc coating. It also has a facelift front end and bonnet, but still has visible boot hinges and press button doors.
One great bit of fun - let someone sit in the driver's seat, close the door and watch them struggle to find a way to open the door to get back out.
Grown men will chuckle when you start it, and women will scream when you pull away...
I've dome more mileage in the car in the last 6 months than the previous owner managed in 7 years! But then again, I'm glad I bought it from him, as his oxygen tent has helped the car still look as good as new.
Try one, buy one, they're fantastic.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 31st January, 2013