1994 TVR Griffith 500 5.0 Ltr V8 from UK and Ireland
Stunning performance for the money and great looks make it the best sports car I've ever owned
Alternator failed, thanks in part to sitting over the exhaust manifold and air flow under the bonnet is very poor. A few electrical gremlins, but nothing that could not be sorted out with a decent meter and a bit of electrical knowledge. Most of it down to the fact that the car is 10 years old and some poor repairs have been done in the past.
The Griffith has stunning looks, a wonderful V8 burble and provides breath-taking performance all for the same price of a new family saloon car. Straight line performance is astounding which is thanks to the mass of torque on tap making overtaking a breeze in any gear. The chassis is much improved over the older Wedge cars too, but you will still need a great deal of commitment round the bends to hang in and feathering the throttle out of bends is essential.
It will not take kindly to sitting in traffic, especially the early 500s, which shunt and jolt the transmission in traffic. Heat soak in the passenger compartment is also a problem, but as long as the cooling system is well maintain it should not over heat.
Non-PAS cars are extremely heavy on steering especially at parking speeds.
For me the car is everything I have ever wanted in a sports car, but it is not my every day car and I would never entertain this as a practical idea. I think this would spoil my enjoyment of the car and cost far too much in petrol, servicing and depreciation.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st June, 2004
2nd Oct 2004, 13:11
Brilliant review, I'm a TVR fan and I think this guy has hit the nail on the head. Let's hope the new ones are up to the 911's every-day standards.
Peter Wheeler, we salute you!
21st Feb 2006, 06:22
I've had my early Griffith 500 for about 8 years now. Nothing major has broken - just odd bits and pieces which I've generally replaced myself. The speedo works half the time and the heater motor is noisey, but I'll fix these when the weather improves.
It's brutal and I love it! When I feel like finesse, I use my lotus instead...
I took a friend out last night to demonstrate the difference between this and her 1.9 Z3... she was screaming to the smell of burning rubber by the time we maxed out in second gear!