TVR Griffith

The TVR Griffith was first seen at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1990 and started rolling off the production line in Blackpool at the beginning of 1992. It was the first of the new breed of TVRs and with orders being taken every 8 minutes on average at its first showing, it was always destined to be a classic. Having had a production run of some 10 years it has proved to be one of the greatest TVR's ever produced. With its gorgeous looks and legendary power the TVR Griffith still has the ability to outshine and outrun almost everything on the roads today. The TVR Griffith was always seen as the more brutal sports car whilst its stablemate, the TVR Chimaera was the long distance cruiser.

Its looks are pure British sports car with echoes of both Jaguar's E-Type and AC's Cobra in its sleek glass composite body. The curves of the Griffith remain totally uncluttered, with huge attention having been paid to its design – all door handles, boot catches and lights are hidden beneath its smooth flowing form. Even the rear number plate is back lit to accentuate this curvaceous aspect of the TVR Griffith.

The chassis for the Griffith was initially to be a derivative of the TVR V8S but eventually much of it was based on that of the TVR Tuscan Racer. The resulting design gave a very taut, competent chassis to the Griffith which has a wheelbase of 90" (identical to the V8S) and a track of 58" (1.5" wider than its earlier cousin). This combined with its all independent suspension: unequal-length twin wishbones with coil over adjustable telescopic shock absorbers at each corner and front and rear anti roll bars, gave the Griffith a massive footprint on the road. With a Bridgestone at each corner this gave the potent TVR a massive amount of grip and allows it to make mincemeat out of fast, smooth, open roads with ease.

The TVR Griffith came out about a year earlier than the TVR Chimaera; mechanically both cars are very similar, although far fewer TVR Griffiths were made.

Power is supplied by a TVR Power variant of the mighty Land Rover 3.9 litre V8 engine, available in 4.0, 4.3 and 5.0 versions and this propels the Griffith effortlessly to its top speed of around 160 mph. Typical power for the original TVR Griffith 4.0 litre was 240 bhp but that could be optionally increased to 4.3 litre with 280 bhp in 1992 with a further option of big valve cylinder heads. In 1993 the TVR developed 5.0 litre with 340 hp became available and this was standard in the TVR Griffiths from 1995 onwards.

The tuned big bore stainless steel exhaust system is optimised for both performance and sound giving the fabulous V8 roar which is so typical of the Griffith. To harness this level of performance the brakes are ventilated discs all round which Autocar in June 1992 described as, "One of the strongest, most reassuring set of anchors this side of a full blown racer.

Production finally ceased on the TVR Griffith in 2002 with the last of the TVR Griffith SE (Special Edition) of which only a 100 were made being registered in early 2003. These SE cars had different interiors with changes to seats and dashboards and external styling features such as door mirrors, rear lights and carried the Special Edition Badge on their boot.

The press packs from the early 1990s suggested that the TVR Griffith was going to be available with the TVR Speed Six engine but this never happened and this car probably in fact became the TVR Tuscan.

Griffith 4.0

Engine 90 degree alloy V8 engine
Capacity (cc) 3950
Bore/stroke (mm) 94 x 71
Compression Ratio 10:1
Max rpm 6250
Max Power 240 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque 270 ft.lbs @ 4000 rpm
Performance 0 to 60 mph: 5.1 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 12.5 seconds
Max Speed: 152 mph
Suspension All round independent – unequal length double wishbones and coil over gas dampers assisted by anti-roll bars
Braking 239.7 mm diameter solid front disc brakes with 254mm diameter solid rear discs, Servo assisted with front/rear split dual circuits – cable operated hand brake operating on the rear wheels
Steering Manual steering with optional power steering. Rack and pinion with adjustable steering column – 2.2 turns lock to lock. 350mm leather covered steering wheel
Wheels and Tyres Front: 15 inch alloy wheels, 205/55 ZR15 tyres non pas. 225/50 ZR15 pas.
Rear: 16 inch alloy wheels, 225/50 ZR16 tyres

Griffith 5.0

Engine 90 degree alloy V8 engine
Capacity (cc) 4988
Bore/stroke (mm) 94 x 90
Compression Ratio 10:1
Max rpm 6000
Max Power 340 bhp @ 5500 rpm
Max Torque 320 ft.lbs @ 4500 rpm
Performance 0 to 60 mph: 4.1 seconds
0 to 100 mph: 10.2 seconds
Max Speed: 175 mph
Suspension All round independent – unequal length double wishbones and coil over gas dampers assisted by anti-roll bars
Braking 260mm diameter ventilated front disc brakes with 273mm diameter rear discs, Servo assisted with front/rear split dual circuits – cable operated hand brake operating on the rear wheels
Steering Manual steering with optional power steering. Rack and pinion with adjustable steering column – 2.2 turns lock to lock. 350mm leather covered steering wheel
Wheels and Tyres Front: 15 inch alloy wheels, 205/55 ZR15 tyres non pas. 225/50 ZR15 pas.
Rear: 16 inch alloy wheels, 245/45 ZR16 tyres

The TVR Griffith has become a true classic not just within the TVR fraternity but generally due to its good looks and performance. Whilst early cars are now almost 20 years old they are still capable of keeping up with virtually everything on the roads today. Reasonably robust mechanicals combined with good looks ensure that it continues to appeal to many people and good examples are commanding very respectable prices.

The performance of the TVR Griffith is best described as awesome, with about 280 bhp and over 300 ft.lbs of torque the 4.3 litre engined Griffith was faster to 120 mph than both the Porsche 911 Turbo and the Ferrari Testarossa. By any supercar standards its acceleration – 0 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, 0 to 100 in 11.2 seconds and 30 to 70mph in 3.9 seconds was virtually unbeatable guaranteeing it's reputation for performance. The later 5.0 litre variant was even more potent with a massive 340 bhp version of the TVR power modified V8 engine.

When buying a TVR Griffith now look out for chassis and wishbone corrosion, damage to the interior through dampness, leaking radiators, worn camshafts and piston slap, worn differentials on early models with GKN units, leaking power steering, cracked dashboard veneers. However good examples of TVR Griffiths will be reliable sports cars that exhibit few of these problems and will remain great cars for many years yet to come.

Both the TVR Griffith and Chimaera are awesome capable track cars but are also very at home in traffic and are ideal for touring the continent in some style.

The TVR Griffith is not currently available new as it has not been in production at Blackpool since 2002. Used TVR Griffiths can be found to suit most budgets although very nice cars are getting harder to find. Racing Green TVR always aims to hold Griffiths in stock so have a look at our stock list or contact TVR Sales on 01252 894790 or 01252 894795.

Racing Green TVR has developed a reputation for upgrades to TVRs from shiny Stainless Steel wheel nuts right through to the mighty FFF cylinder head and the performance enhancing Syvecs engine management system. Over the past few years Racing Green TVR has been focused on ensuring that TVRs remain where they belong, out on the road and track. To this end we have been continuously developing a number of products that will ensure that your TVR will perform better than when it left the famous Bristol Road Factory in Blackpool.

From AST shock absorbers through to Quaife differentials, from full polyurethane suspension bush kits to high specification catalytic converters Racing Green TVR is the company to talk to when it comes to uprating your TVR. In the listings below we are showing the main upgrades available for your car but if you do not see something that you are specifically after please contact us as we will almost certainly be able to help you.

For all TVR Upgrade enquiries please contact Bryan on 01252 894787 or bryans@racinggreentvr.com and you will be able to discuss your requirements in some detail.

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Racing Green TVR has a comprehensive range of parts for the TVR Griffith and by clicking on one of the categories below you will be taken to the relevant category on our website www.thetvrshop.com where you can make a purchase. Here you will be able to see some of the parts we offer for the TVR Griffith but should the part you require not be obvious please contact Phil Forster on 01252 894797 or philipf@racinggreencars.com and we will be able to give you more information.

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