Product Type: TVR cars
Newest Review: ... the surroundings disapear into the distance. And here lies the secret to Chim and TVR ownership. Don't be agressive, be smooth and st... more
The only car you'd need
Member Name: marcopolo
Date: 31/01/01, updated on 31/01/01 (3203 review reads)
Advantages: Speed, looks, all round practicality, engine sound
Disadvantages: coppers give you hassle, stonechips easily
I've had one of these for just over a year now - 1999 model, 4.0 litre. For most of that time it has been my (and of course my wife's) only car.
Perhaps not the most obvious choice, especially when you live in the middle of London, but I have seen every myth that surrounds TVRs exploded over the past year.
Firstly, practicality; I don't think you'll find a bigger boot on any saloon car, several weeks shopping, golf clubs, various clothes and other undefined detritus fit in with room to spare.
Reliability is amazing, compared with everything else I've ever owned (high performance and regular motors alike) it is far the most reliable.
Handling, OK it isn't an elise. But neither is it a shermann tank. The Chimera handles better than every car I've driven with the exception of a Lotus Elan S4. In the wet it is possible to get it sideways but only once you approach licence, not to mention A&E, threatening levels of recklessness.
Build quality. Still looks great (when clean). The only complaint I'd have is that the Chimera, like the other TVRs, suffers more than most from stonechips - if you're going to get a darker coloured one (mine is purple) then get it diamondbrited (costs a couple of hundred quid but reduces the stonechip incidence). Otherwise the build quality is brilliant.
Overheating. When? I have sat in traffic jams in Madrid (>34 degrees) with it running for over 3 hours and watched cars of many other makes melt all I suffered from was bad sunburn.
Anyway, now that I've convinced the would be Volvo drivers that the Chimera is not the abberation that its name suggests we can get on to the important stuff. The comments above are the reasons you can spout of to the mother-in-law when she asks why you didn't get "one of those nice little Rovers like your cousin Egbert's . . . ". However, the real reasons for owning one of these are simpler:
1. It is faster than anything else you can buy for comparable money (except the 5.O litre and the Griff).
2. It looks good - people turn and stare (admit it, its what you want). Small boys wet themselves when they hear the engine note and boy-racers offer a grudging respect. I'd love to also say that women swoon but apparently we've to stick with demonstrable fact on this website. And after all 30% (and rising) of TVR owners are ladies.
3. The roof comes off. once a year when the sun comes out you can drive around feeling like a rock star and getting a good tan
4. And finally, Oh god! I have to say it! even though it is against my pinko, bleeding heart liberalism - this is THE british motor industry.
All in all, this is the only true sports car that you can take to Sainsbury's in the morning and to the racetrack in the afternoon without having to compromise on either activity.