The seaside town of Blackpool, England, is famous for its Illuminations. In like manner, TVR, the sports car manufacturer based in the resort, dazzled the automotive world - with the gorgeous Griffith. Technically, the new TVR was all about a return to raw V8 power. The TVR brand per se did not need reinvigorating - but the '90s sports car market did. The Griffith would play a pivotal part in that. In five-litre form, the Griffith 500 gave 345bhp. That translated to a top speed of 163mph. 0-60 arrived in a tad over 4s. Such fierce acceleration was down to plenty of mid-range poke - plus, low-down grunt. The Griffith was inspired by the TVR Tuscan - a pure-bred, blood-and-guts racer - which first appeared in the late '80s. The Tuscans tore strips out of each other, in a one-make race series. Even the company chairman - Peter Wheeler - dived into the high-speed fray. He battled it out with the best of them, in his own Tuscan!
Styling-wise, the Griffith came with a full complement of curves, and deft styling touches. Most notably, the air ducts - on the bonnet and doors - were cutting edge cute. The interior, too, was impeccably designed. Copious amounts of leather and wood were inlaid with aluminium. Unsurprisingly - with technological and aesthetic assets in abundance - the Griffith fared well commercially.
With its RWD maxed-out, the Griffith's exhaust note was ear-splitting. With hood down - and revs up - British sports car drivers had never had it so good! The Griffith prototype had débuted at the Birmingham Motor Show - in 1990. The first production cars swanned into showrooms in '91. The Griffith had been designed and developed almost entirely by TVR. Given the small scale of their operation, that was an astonishing feat. Heck, they even managed to keep it competitively-priced!