TVR Tamora

Tamora overview here. Please see the links to the right under ‘TVR Tamora’  for more specific information.

For a sequence of postings from when the car was bought, my TVR blog is here.The links that then advance in time are to the top-right of the page.

17 months after selling the Saab, we have bought a 2002 TVR Tamora.

Tamora at TrackVRoad when we collected it
Tamora at TrackVRoad when we collected it


Tamora interior from advert
Out in the country
Roof down on a cold day

While an E46 M3, or a Nissan 350Z would have been the sensible choice, we ended up buying this Tamora from TrackVRoad.

We settled on the Tamora as it satisfied the RWD and sporty criteria, has sufficient power (350 bhp) and sufficient space for some luggage. It also has the benefit of very light weight (1060 kg), giving a power to weight ratio of 330 bhp / tonne, which puts it amongst some very prestigious company.

Autocar tested the Tamora and recorded 0-60mph of 4.2s, 0-100 mpg of 9.1s, and a 1/4 mile in 12.5s at 119mph. That is fast enough for me.

Old-style Top Gear drove the Tamora, and quite liked it. The car tested is on 16″ wheels rather than the 18s on our car.

We saw 3 Tamoras before buying this one. We considered it to be a good price, in very good condition, and sold by a reputable TVR specialist. It has 13,500 miles, and a good service history. There are a few examples of it going 2 years between services, but not with very many miles in that time. The previous owner has spent over £5000 on the last 2 services, so the car is in good shape. The fact that it is a 2002 Tamora, so has the more fragile engine is a slight concern, but it has been well looked-after, and none of the engines are guaranteed to last unless they have a rebuild with guarantee from one of the specialists.

The chaps from TrackVRoad spent a lot of time with us when we went to see the car, returned to buy the car, and then at 3 months in when I returned for some adjustments and checks. They also made sure Naomi drove the car as much as I did rather than, like almost everyone else, assume it is ‘my car’ and ask if she is allowed to drive it…

Richard from TrackVRoad with Naomi before her test drive

The car is fairly easy to drive. There is an adjustable racing pedal box which makes a change from normal cars. The throttle is responsive, but the real power comes at high revs, so when driving normally it is fairly easy. The clutch is light, but the brake pedal is firm and has very little travel. It is solid, and the harder you push, the harder the car brakes.

The steering is precise and fast, but the car feels stable. The suspension is all-new (July 2011) Gaz Gold Pro coilovers with adjustable damping set to the factory settings. Wheels are 18″ and shod in Toyo Proces T1-S. 225/40/18 on the front and 235/35/18 on the rear.

The exterior is in lovely condition. The interior is ok, but the Bison leather is a little worn.

The standard back box has been replaced with a JP Sports exhuast supplied by ACT. This is quite loud, and the pops/bangs on the over-run are noticable. I found it a bit too loud on the long drive home from collection – motorway driving at 70mph was not fun. I am quite tempted to swap back to standard.

The engine provides noticable heat when driving, through the dash, and the gearstick also gets warm. Thankfully the air-con works to keep the driver cool.

The ride is surprisingly comfortable, but the ride-height is low. It only just gets up the sloped pavement to my driveway without touching the front spoiler. I will have to be careful when I approach speed bumps. The car fits in the garage far more easily than the Saab 9000 did. However, due to the location of the battery charging terminal, I need more access to the passenger side of the car which is close to the wall.

Some people seem to think that a TVR purchase is a sign of huge wealth, and that a yacht will be next. We certainly didn’t buy the cheaspest Tamora for sale, and also spent quite a bit less than the most expensive. The price we paid is still more than £1k less than the list price of the most basic Ford Mondeo with steel wheels, a 1.6 petrol engine and no extras (not even car mats). Only 2 of the most basic Ford Focus models cost less. These are list prices, rather than haggled prices, but it puts it into context…

Hopefully TVR prices will stay fairly level and if we keep the car in very good condition, as is our plan, it will retain its value.

Photos from collection, and the advert, are here.


On driveway


Out for a drive
Out for a drive
Nice exhaust manifolds.
Speed 6