Fans poised as TVR revs up to go again

The former TVR factory in Bristol Avenue in Bispham, near Blackpool
The former TVR factory in Bristol Avenue in Bispham, near Blackpool
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ALMOST five years to the day sports car firm TVR left Blackpool, the company has relaunched again.

The firm has set up a new website and is now offering to revitalise and convert older TVR models – as well as reiterating its desire to launch a new model.

However, it is thought any new production would be carried out at the TVR Power plant in Coventry – not its spiritual home in Bristol Avenue, Bispham – if it ever gets off the ground.

But the plans have been met with scepticism by industry insiders and fans, following a series of false starts by the firm.

Under the ownership of Russian entrepreneur Nikolai Smolenski since 2006, the firm announced it was to relaunch its Sagaris model as the Sagaris 2 in 2008, but no new cars were made.

And Ralph Dodds, vice chairman of the TVR Car Club, said: “Nikolai lives in Austria which is why the company now has a European registration.

“It’s terrible to be the car club vice chairman and cast doubts, but we have heard the promises so many times.

“We’d love to see this happen. Nikolai needs to deliver to get people committed and to place orders with him.

“There’s plans to refurbish older cars, but I’d take mine to TVR’s original home at Bristol Avenue to have that done – there’s a real cottage industry of people down there who know what they’re doing.”

Mr Smolenski has in the past hinted at a new model – dubbed the MD-1 – to be based on the old Tuscan S chassis, with plans to have a factory up and running this year.

Dominic Trickett, who runs TVR Power based in Coventry – the wing of the firm that used to supply engines to the Bispham plant – said plans were in the pipeline, but there was little substance yet.

He said: “I have to take it all with a pinch of salt at the moment.

“We have serious inquiries for a new model, but we’re waiting for some third party investors to put proposals on the table. If the funding happens, then the car will happen.

“The refurbishment of older TVRs is an easy thing to offer, but a completely new build is a grey area. It’s the final chapter for TVR Power to try and make that happen.

“We were the subsidiary making the engines,

“The owner is trying to do something and wants us to be involved, but I don’t want to take the whole brand and let people down.

“We would only take it over if we knew we could 100 per cent make it happen.”

Mr Smolenski bought the company for a rumoured £15 million in 2004, stating his desire to keep the firm British, but split the company into smaller subsidiaries

Despite several reports of the company being sold, Mr Smolenski has retained ownership of the firm.

Mr Smolenski was unavailable to comment.