So I saw a TVR Chimaera this weekend

My town of Lake Forest, California had a small car show this weekend. In the background was an outdoor concert with some food trucks as well. I strolled through the line of cars and everything there was pretty expected. Some old Mopar, a few Camaros, mostly Boomer-spec ultra-chrome wheels as far as the eye could see. Except for a bit of British Racing Green tucked away in the distance. Is that…? Yes, holy hell it’s a TVR Chimaera!

tvr chimaera

This is one of less than 5,300 cars built. It’s rare to see a TVR here in the US, and I’ve never seen a Chimaera before. This model is a 1993, so it should have a 4.0-liter V8. Power steering is an optional extra, and early cars like this one used a five-speed manual from Rover while later cars got a BorgWarner gearbox.

The paint looks fantastic. Inside, the cabin appears to be in perfect shape. And overall this is one sharp machine. It did an excellent job of stopping me in my tracks at this gathering of automobiles. The funny bit is that I saw this car on the road earlier in the day, did a triple take, and was upset I couldn’t grab a photo in time. Fast forward a few hours later, and there it was in front of me.

tvr chimaera interior

12 Comments

  1. I’ve seen cars with vent windows and cars without vent windows but, to the best of my recollection, never before one that simultaneously occupies both categories.

    1. That… is something I did not notice, and now I have so many questions. I wonder if they make an insert you can put in there for top-down driving?

    2. 56 and 57 Thunderbirds (but not 55 Thunderbirds) have glass wind deflectors that layer outside of the regular retracting door glass. In other words, vent windows that don’t actually vent.

      I think on the TVR that isn’t intended for ventilation, but for structure. Windows up, it maintains a tighter wind seal against the windshield frame than the flexible fiberglass doors would otherwise allow. I understand the Viper-style gaps at the leading edges of the doors were also a case of using style to disguise imprecise production tolerances.

  2. We got these new in Canada for a few years (I’ve still got a couple original road tests kicking around). I’m not sure who managed to justify the business case to do so, or how they did it, but they sold at least a couple (there’s probably a dozen TVR’s of assorted vintages at the local yearly British car day).

  3. “Lake Forest” needs to make up its mind. You’re either a lake or a forest, you can’t be both at the same time. It sounds like a forest someone stumbled upon in the middle of a lake. One hundred thousand uniquely California things to name your town after and this is what they settled on?

    Wait, is this a Chimera joke you’re playing on us? Like the Feegee Mermaid? And the Country Squire Mustang?

    1. There’s a lake around the corner from me! It’s man-made, but it’s there. And the city backs up to Saddleback Peak, which is the largest peak in Orange County.

  4. These Rover V8 engined cars are peak TVR for me – revised S, Griffith and Chimaera.

    When they tried pretty much making a race engine by themselved and putting it in their cars, that’s when they overstretched themselves and TVR ownership became more precarious.

  5. Brooklands Green is such a great colour. Bright mid green in bright sunlight changing to almost black in low light. And, of course under it’s other name of British Racing Green, it’s one of the best colours for British cars. So much classier than Mid-life Crisis Sportscar Red.

    1. I think that it’s the ‘Momo’ branding of the wheel manufacturers. Interesting to see only four stud wheels on such a high performance car.

      1. I don’t think the wheels are directional from right to left, so you couldn’t install one backwards. They are different front to rear, though…different diameters.

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