My personal icon: TVR 350i, CAR+ February 2016 | CAR Magazine

My personal icon: TVR 350i, CAR+ February 2016

Published: 20 January 2016 Updated: 22 April 2016

► Adrian Cocks tell us about his love affair with TVR’s
► It’s like marmite, he reckons, you either get it or you don’t
► ‘Owning a TVR makes me feel like I’m supporting the underdog’

> ‘I caught the TVR bug – and it is most definitely a bug – in 2004 when I travelled with a group of mates down to Le Mans. TVR has always been well represented at the French classic, and being a part of it was really special. I was passenger in a mate’s bright yellow Griffith, which broke down of course, but driving to Le Mans, seeing TVR race its T400R and then driving back had me hooked. 

‘I took the plunge and bought a Cerbera. Every time I got out of that car I felt exhilarated, and if the truth be told, very aware of my own mortality! I kept the Cerbera for two years and then purchased a rather scruffy 350i in dark chocolate brown. I know TVR Wedges are not as cool or desirable as the modern Peter Wheeler TVRs but I do love the 350i. It’s a much softer and more compliant car than the Cerbera, but that 3.5-litre V8 sounds superb, and it’s still quick enough.’

> ‘I’ve always been keen on cars – as a boy I knew the name and specs of pretty much every car on the road – and I’ve always had a soft spot for TVR. Distinctive styling and a big engine do it for me – my first car was a 3.0-litre Ford Capri Ghia. I was 22 years old and had just started work, so I was commuting from Bognor Regis to British Aerospace in Bristol in the Capri. It was an amazing car, but the Alfa Sud 1.5 Super that came next was even better. Although I studied engineering I’m a plumber now, so my daily drive is a VW Transporter – the TVR 350i makes a nice change.’

> ‘The 350i needs some TLC but mechanically it’s sound. I’ve driven it to and from Le Mans twice since I bought it, and it’s never missed a beat. I plan to do a full nut-and-bolt restoration over the next 18 months, and undertake as much as possible of the work myself. I don’t want a concourse car. Most of the money and attention will be spent on ensuring it’s mechanically spot on – the idea is just to drive it as much as possible and have fun.’ 

> ‘Owning a TVR makes me feel like I’m supporting the underdog. It’s a feeling Porsche drivers wouldn’t understand and I guess most Aston Martin drivers would. There’s such a sense of goodwill and support from the public when I drive the TVR. Peter Wheeler did such a great deal for that company. Let’s hope the new man in charge, Les Edgar, can do the same, and more.’

Owning a TVR is like supporting the underdog. 'It's a feeling Porsche drivers wouldn't understand'

By Ben Whitworth

Contributing editor, sartorial over-achiever, HANS device shirt collars