FAST CLUB | TVR CHIMAERA 4.0



What a year… We’re in the historical part of ‘leading steps’ to World War 3, Boris Johnson is the first Prime Ribroast Minister to be questioned under police caution, Irish fishermen taking on Putin’s warships, English Fishermen taking on French fish, BMWs have nostrils now and just the entire Prince Andrew thing. But that’s not important, what’s important is I’ve just renewed my car insurance for the TVR which means I’ve had it a year… And knowing TVR’s reputation you may be assuming I’m writing this under a bridge because I had to sell my house to fix the rust.


But I’m not, it’s currently on charge ready for February where it becomes my daily driver. In one year, the humble Chimaera’s not let me down once, even after John and Craig took it around Bowland. It’s been relatively unremarkable in terms of problems, boring almost. The only thing to have gone wrong is the spark plug extenders (bits that plug into the spark plugs to stop the leads frying on the perilously close exhaust manifolds) have all cracked resulting in a misfire and downed performance and when it rains my toes get wet. Like all classic owners I used the winter break to tinker with it… I’ve fitted new HT leads that have angled heads to do away with the stupid plug extenders, some titanium condoms to go over them to stop the leads frying on the aforementioned perilously close exhaust manifolds and put on a new intake elbow in preparation for some inlet modifications in the summer. It already has a 5.0 upgrade camshaft so that must mean the pistons in my car are pocketed, making it a late 4.0 high-compression engine without the HC symbol of earlier ones. With the inlet modified the power output in theory should be 275bhp… The original TVR quoted power of a 4.0 HC which at best was optimistic. Reality it may have 240-250bhp, but mine should hopefully make a touch more than that but the rolling road tell-all will tell-all.


If you’re not an anorak you can skip to the next paragraph because this may put you to sleep. So, the HT leads are 8mm silicon angled ones connected to NGK BPR6ES spark plugs – special resisted ones because the electrical interference these cars give off beggar’s belief. Should you fit unresisted spark plugs with no extender it can genuinely interfere with neighbours TV receptions. Even with the resisted plugs the electric interference means I can hear the windscreen wipers motor’s relay through the speakers. There’s no point reporting the issue to be told “They all do that” because they don’t say that, you just get told at least the wipers are working. As for the power mods, 5.0 camshaft done by the previous owner, and my new ACT weirdly phallic intake elbow should be good for an extra couple of horsepower. When I twin it with the ACT or SC-Power made wider inlet trumpets, heat resistant spacer and a few other small bits it should be a good 10bhp more. I’ve yet to actually drive the car with these changes yet so the next Fast Club entry might be a photo of me & the car on fire.


As stipulated, I’m making the car my daily, I’m moving closer to work negating the need for an additional car like the Hot Hatch War Focus ST. It should be an interesting change to see what problems arise but I’m optimistic, this car’s been a joy to run and own thus far… Likely because the previous owner used it as his own daily so the usual problems relating to lack of use are kept at bay – I’m a big believer that low miles doesn’t equate to a good, as-new car. I do worry that using the car every other day might ruin that ‘special’ feeling I get but the TVR’s so impossibly mad I strongly doubt it. Speaking of madness, the straight-through exhaust now has baffles in to bring down the decibel output a bit to save me from my neighbours (I leave for work at 06:00am) over the next few months until I move away. Did it work? Of course not, it still rattles their windows. Behold the v8 alarm clock.

Kotto Williams