TVR designers on US tour of honour

Former TVR designers David Hives and John Mleczek.
Former TVR designers David Hives and John Mleczek.
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RACING car designers who dedicated years of their lives to Blackpool’s TVR legacy have been invited on a unique tour of American motorsport.

David Hives, 82, worked for the prestigious car manufacturer during its heyday in the 1960s and early 1970s.

His career at TVR began on the production line fitting heating components, before he was transferred to the glamorous racing section where regular trips to Monte Carlo and New York featured heavily.

He will be joined on the trip by John Mleczek, 56, a former employee in the body shop section, and one of three members of his family who worked for TVR.

The pair will be the guests of honour during the week-long visit, which includes a tour of NASCAR factories, taking part in a motorsport workshop and judging a car competition in the racing-mad state of Ohio, which has organised the events.

Mr Mleczek, of Empress Drive, North Shore, worked for TVR from 1974 until the factory closed in 2007.

He said: “It’s a great honour to be invited because I really enjoyed my time there.

“Over the years, I’ve done a lot for TVR and I’m still linked to a lot of the employees.

“It had a family atmosphere within the workforce.

“It was a great time and about 90 per cent of the people who used to work there still wish they did.”

Mr Hives spent ten years working for the company, working at Le Mans and Goodwood TT, designing a number of championship winning cars and working in the United States.

During his long and distinguished career with TVR, Mr Hives worked alongside Jack Griffith in New York.

Griffith Motors was responsible for adapting TVRs to hold the powerful V8 engines which led to an award winning car, capable of beating the global superpower of Ferrari and building a vast fortune in the process.

Mr Hives, from Blackpool Road, St Annes, said: “I’m really looking forward to it.

“I had a long career with TVR where I designed a lot of cars and this visit to America is the trip of a lifetime.

“All sorts has been arranged for us.

“We are being taken around the racing car garages and having a full weekend of TVR history.”

Mr Mleczek’s father Jozef joined the company when it first opened in Blackpool in 1947.

And his son Stuart became the third generation of Mleczeks to work for TVR when he started at the company shortly before the Blackpool factory closed.

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