1965 TVR Griffith 5000cc V8 History

The TVR Griffith was a development of the popular sports car range of Granturas being made in the Blackpool factory.

It had a massively powerful 5 litre Ford 289 V8 engine (a version of the engine that won Indianapolis for Lotus and Ford} which was somehow shoe-horned in, and was built for the American market to take on the Shelby Cobras, both in road trim and on the race track.

It was not a great success, due more to bad management by the importers and a long and expensive dock strike in the USA, than to any fault with the car. Consequently, genuine Griffiths are a rare sight on the track and even rarer on the road.

We do not have the early history for our car, which we obtained from a racer on the Continent who had campaigned a pair of them around Europe. When we took over the car, it was a dark maroon.

First test at Silverstone

Griff was left-hand drive

Griff at Snetterton

Due to its extremes of power and relatively short wheelbase, the Griff is a challenging car to drive, and an early component failure in the fastest corner at Snetterton led to a new chassis and total rebuild by TVR expert Nigel Reuben – at which time it was converted from left-hand drive to right-hand drive and painted black.

John has campaigned it on the Continent at the Spa 6 hours, and at the Silverstone Classic, where it was a front runner.

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