The TVR Griffith followed the familiar Shelby formula for making super-charged sports cars.
TVR was founded in 1954 by Trevor (TreVoR) Wilkinson, and soon partnered with nearby Grantura Plastics to build cars off a small assembly line. The following pages will take you through TVR’s history, beginning with the TVR Griffith.
The TVR Griffith began as another model, called the Grantura, which enjoyed moderate race success. But when New York workshop owner Jack Griffith decided to try mounting Ford’s V-8 engine into a Grantura (the same engine used in Carroll Shelby’s legendary Shelby-Cobra), the TVR Griffith was born. A lightweight body and powerful engine propelled the Griffith to speeds of up to 155 mph, but quality issues (and a lengthy dockworkers’ strike) eventually sank the model.
The Griffith was replaced a few years later by the TVR Tuscan, though its sales weren’t good: less than 200 over four years. It, too, was scrapped.
In the years since its founding, TVR changed hands or was refinanced no fewer than five times, experiencing varying degrees of success. We'll begin our history of TVR on the next page with a profile of the TVR Griffith.