The Griffith Series 200, 400 and 600, built by American car mechanic Jack Griffith in the Sixties on TVR-supplied chassis and mechanicals, were great sportscars. However, Griffith's attempts to commercialise his cars did not succeed and his company had to be wound up in just a few years. Almost two decades later, TVR, which was now under new stewardship, decided to pay homage to the Griffith series by reviving the name with a new V8-powered sportscar.
Shown at the 1990 Birmingham motor show as a concept, the TVR Griffith won everyone over with its pure design. Many considered it one of the best-looking sportscars to have emerged from post-war Britain. The response was overwhelming and TVR was flooded with orders, prompting it to commission production immediately.
Based on the spaceframe chassis of the Tuscan racecar from the Eighties, it also featured the same advanced double wishbone suspension. TVR's subsidiary, TVR Power, took the Rover V8 block and tweaked it to produce different outputs from three different displacements, giving Griffith buyers a wide range of powertrain options. These included a 4.0-litre producing 240bhp, a 4.3-litre putting out 280bhp and a range-topping 320bhp 5.0-litre V8.
The most powerful version also boasted beefier brakes, advanced dampers and chassis settings that were even more firmly sprung than the other two variants. Naturally, it wasn't a car that anyone could jump in and drive off in. With its raw performance and stiff suspension, it demanded superior skills from its driver, who knew how to keep it straight on the road. So potential buyers should keep in mind that this is not a classic that you can comfortably cruise in. This is a car that will constantly spur you to push its limits. If that's what you're looking for, then the Griffith will not disappoint you. A well-maintained one will still handle and sound exactly the way a gritty sportscar should. And for a performance-orientated machine, the interior is spacious and well-appointed.
In 2000, just before production of the Griffith ended, a limited run of 100 Special Edition or SE cars was produced, which command higher prices today; as much as Dh400,000. However, regular models made between 1992 and 2000 can be had for anything between Dh100K to Dh130K. Apart from being a fun-to-drive sportscar, the Griffith also holds value best among TVRs, and is likely to appreciate in the years to come.