1996 TVR Chimaera 400HC 4.0 V8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Amazingly cheap fun, with a soundtrack to die for


The starter motor failed, but it was cheap & easy to replace.

General Comments:

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

1996 TVR Chimaera 4.0 4.0 V8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Speedo cut out and fuel guage showed empty when half full. Dealer fixed both of these for free. You have to remember these are hand built cars. The dealers sorted out all the problems very quickly. I've heard the pre 95's are not so reliable.

General Comments:

Running costs are high, but it's worth it when you compare the performance. I looked at 911s when I was buying this and they can't touch it for style, performance and handling. The build quality is good too and nothing sounds better than a V8 (with manifolds this big) it can beat anything off the lights (it has tonnes of torque), but you tend not to bother. It also cruises well, but since the engine is so close to the cabin, you do get a lot of heat on long journeys (better as a 2nd car). Supposed to run on Super Unleaded, but I tend to mix it with Unleaded. Does 25mpg if you're careful, but I get about 20.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 1999