Product Type: TVR cars
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Thinking of buying a used Chimaera? read on.
Member Name: slapster
Date: 31/05/01, updated on 31/05/01 (10934 review reads)
Advantages: looks, value, performance
Disadvantages: fuel economy
Ok, facts first. I do not own one yet, but I am picking one up tomorrow. So I can comment on trawling around web sites and the classified ads looking for a nice tidy Chimaera.
Here's my experience.
1. There are lots nad lots and lots to buy out there and the prices slumped to a low back in November 2000 but are picking up again because of the summer. This means you have a lot of choice and should not jump at the first thing you see that is in your price range.
2. Engine size. basically there is a 4.0, 4.5 and 5.0 litre version. The 4.0 can hardly be viewed as underpowered as it has the TVR modified V8 lump that used to reside in range rovers. It's fast and is tuned for low down torque, the 4.0 litre is a great choice especially if this is going to be your first performance car. The 4.5 litre does add quickness but you need to be a bit more careful in the wet. The 5.0 litre is putting you into a slightly different ball game and will give you a bit of rear end crisis in the dry and wet if you drive it without respect. (The one I drove wheel spun in fourth gear!) Obviously the fuel economy (paradox really!) is poor on all models especially the 5.0litre.
3. There is a wide range of prices for cars of the same age and mileage. Some people can't bear to think that the car they bought new three years ago is worth 16K less now. Don't support their anguish, be hard with your price, you will find the one you want at the price you want.
4. If you can afford it go for the post 97 models. They have a better reliability history and have sexier looks for example the rear light clusters are gorgeous and don't look like they come from a ford fiesta.
5. Get a TVR specialist to check a car over before you buy it privately. there are loads of specialists out there who will visit a car and do a roadside inspection. the AA does a really comprehensive one, bumper to bumper (actually the Chi has no bumber
s!) for about £100.
6. Dealers, my advice is don't buy a used Chi from a main dealer. Without exception I found them to be vastly overpriced eg: I am picking up a 98 4.0L 20K miles tomorrow (gloat gloat) and I saw an identical car in a main dealer for FIVE GRAND MORE. Good luck guys, you'll never sell it.
7. Buy a car that has been used regularly. This means that alot of the hand built new car niggles have been sorted out.
8. Use www.topmarques.co.uk to check what second hand prices are doing and follow the link to Parkers web site to get their trade view of what a fair price is.
9. Check out www.adrianblyth.co.uk, he's a great guy that loves TVRs and sells them very quickly because they are good cars at sensible prices, he also puts problems right before selling them and gives you a warranty.
10. Use Sunninghill insurance. they do special TVR policies via royal sun alliance and I couldn't believe what a good deal I got and they are very helpful and friendly.
So there you go, 10 top tips that I hope help you out in your search. I'll write a test drive report tomorrow once I've picked mine up.