The Griffith was first shown at the Birmingham Motor Show although as a prototype, it was an immediate success. It was originally very similiar to the V8S sharing basically the same Chassis and Running Gear.
Griff prototype at NEC: note conventional doorhandle (picture www.evo.co.uk, www.thegriffithpages.com)
1991 to 1993
It was now re-engineered due to the 'S' Chassis not being able to cope with the power levels and developement of the Tuscan Racers Chassis was chosen.
First Deliveries of the two engine specs, 4.0 ltr 240 bhp and 4.3 ltr 280 bhp were made. There were 704 made.
There were also some BV (Big Valve) conversions done for the power hungry on the 4.3 and for the totally insane a 4.5 was produced.
There were only about 10 - 12 originally built, although some were converted after delivery.
The BV badge on the engine unfortunately doesnt mean it's an original as some were stuck on by opportunists trying to sell it as one, So please make sure you check thoroughly if buying one.
Three quarters of the way through 1993 the Griffith 500 was announced, producing 340 bhp 350llb/ft. With upgraded brakes/suspension and also with catalytic convertors.
Also production of the UK market stopped for a while to allow TVR to export some to Europe and the World, and to concentrate on the Chimaera.
Gearbox changed from the Rover SD1 to the near bullet proof Borg Warner T5
TVR announce that the Griffith Speed Six would have TVR's own AJP straight six, kicking out an estimated 380 bhp.
In the end The Griffith Speed six didn't enter production, better explained in Steve Heaths 'Bible' 'The TVR Griffith and Chimaera.( see links)
The engine is de-tuned to 320 bhp to aid better Idling and driving at lower speeds (Why??)
TVR announce the Griffith production is going to end.
100 Special Edition (SE) cars were to be built to mark the end of production. Although still very similiar to the previous 500's.
It has a hybrid Interior using the Chimaera dashboard. Noticeably the rear lights are different along with the door mirrors.
Some also came with 16 inch wheels and each car comes with a numbered plaque in the glove box including the build number and a Special Edition badge on its gorgeous rump.
TVR Griffith SE - one of the last 100 made, rear lights a giveaway
SOME QUOTES FROM THE PERIOD
Performances Car, Dark Satanic Thrills 1992 4.3 litre.
'A glimpse of an e-type, a suggestion of the BMW Z1, shades of the mighty AC Cobra, and a trace of Ferrari'.
'The Griffith hollers its intent down Industrial size exhausts, filling the air with a rich and heavy din'.
'But I'll leave the final words to the little lad who stood at the roadside on the 8th April, and watched as the Griffth Burbled menacingly, mesmerisingly past. His mouth moves several times before he found the right word, but it was the right one. "WOW" '
Autocar RoadTest 1992.
'So close to being a world beater it hurts'
Performance Car 1993 Cobra Vs Griffith, Clarkson Decides
'They're loud,punk rock uncouth and who gives a damn? You would take these cars out, only to hear the noise. But take either of them home and your neighbours would buy a gun.'
Top Gear Fast Car, 1999 5.0ltr
Beautiful and Brutal, combining sheer power with gracious curves. You cant help but grin mischeviously as you hit the loud pedal, and boy its loud'
Evo 2001, by Roger Green
'Outrageous performance for half the price of some of the more established market names, whilst easily equalling the drama and road presence'
Owner John Simpson said " For me its the Purest TVR they have ever made. I enjoyed it so much when I had the oppertunity to buy a 500 in 1999 I kept the 4 Litre as well."
Autocar 2002, hot 100 used cars, 4.3 ltr
'The Griffith pasted away last year, But Blackpool has yet to build a car that better defines TVR's DNA' (remember that was in 2002 ;) )
'Furthermore, the shove in the back it provides still comes as a shock after all this time.'
'Turn the key and the fuel pump whirrs delicously, but when the engine springs into life its still a shock. Its a sound track that defines the Griffith, whatever your speed, unapologetically politically incorrect, particularly in super noisy pre-cat tune, but unapologetically great too.'
Classic Cars Jan 2003, Buyers Guide by Malcom Mckay
Owner Debbie Rogers said "Peter Wheeler came over and asked if we liked it - I said I'd take it, there and then". and " even now it makes my heart jump everytime I open the Garage door."
EVO The Thrill of Driving Dec 2003, words by Jethro Bovingdon, 4.3 ltr
'TVR's old stager can still mix it with the best'
On a summers evening I can't think of a more evocative mix of gorgeous looks, thunderous soundtrack and thumping performance than an early Griffith. It's a solid Gold future classic'
TVR Griffith 500 dashboard
Ocean Haze TVR Griffith 500