End of the road for TVR’s proud legacy?

TVR rally from Pontins to the factory on Bristol Avenue, Bispham
TVR rally from Pontins to the factory on Bristol Avenue, Bispham
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HOPES of a comeback for one of Blackpool’s most iconic creations look to have been dashed.

Russian entrepreneur Nikolai Smolensky, who bought Bristol Avenue-based sports car company TVR for a rumoured £15m in 2004, has told reporters he has given up hope of ever restarting production.

Although three new prototypes were built, the costs were considered too high to make them profitable.

Now Mr Smolensky is believed to want to use the TVR name in conjunction with a new venture building portable wind turbines.

The blow to TVR production hopes has come as no surprise to fans of the sports car.

Ralph Dodds, spokesman for the TVR Car Club, said: “It is very sad when you hear the cars aren’t going to be made any more.

“Ever since the factory closed in 2006 we have been on this rollercoaster of will they or won’t they restart production. We have 6,500 members, many of who would like to go out and buy a new TVR.

“But realistically I don’t think any of us would expect anything to happen in the short term.

“It is understood Mr Smolensky is moving into wind turbine technology and away from the legacy Trevor Wilkinson started in Blackpool.

“Sadly there is little we as an owners club can do to influence that.”

Edward Chester, who worked at TVR for 12 years and now runs Bristol Avenue Motor Works, said: “The performance level of the TVRs we produced here in Blackpool, with very little money, was out of this world.

“We put a fantastic product out and I would love to see it come back but I just don’t see how it can happen.

“If production was ever to restart, if TVR was not made in the North West, or at least in the UK, it would be very hard to be proud of the brand.”

Mr Smolensky built the three prototypes – a Tuscan, a Cerbera and a GT350 – at his new base in Austria.

He says he is willing to listen to proposals but any plan to revive TVR production “would have to deliver a good return.”

Last year there were renewed hopes TVR could be relaunched after a new website was set up offering to revitalise and convert older TVR models, with production expected to be carried out at the TVR Power plant in Coventry.