Handmade rarity 1968 TVR Vixen

The Pick of the Day is an affordable entry into the world of British hand-crafted motoring

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TVR is a boutique British automaker that hit the mark with the fiberglass-bodied Vixen

I really love handmade British sports cars. I like that individual people built these cars, that they are quite exclusive, and they often tend to be quite different from production cars.

The problem with most handmade British cars is that they tend to be very expensive. They cars are built by such companies as Lagonda, Aston Martin and Alvis, and they tend to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Then there’s the Pick of the Day, an affordable handmade British sports car: a 1968 TVR Vixen.

The TVR car company, originally called Trevcars, was founded in 1946 by Trevor Wilkinson to launch his own sports car company. Starting your own sports car company might sound crazy here in the US, but during this time in England, many people had a similar idea, including such bright minds as Frank Nichols with Elva, Jem Marsh and Frank Costin with Marcos and, most famously, Colin Chapman with Lotus.

The first TVR was named the Grantura and was launched in 1961. It ingeniously used a pair of fiberglass rear body panels taken from another low production car, the RGS Atalanta, for both its front and rear body. To that, TVR added a chassis designed in house utilizing parts from such companies as Austin and an independent rear suspension from the VW Beetle.

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Fast forward a few years and TVR has a new owner, Martin Lilley, and a new series of cars, though still based on the idea of a tubular steel chassis and a fiberglass body. The new model, introduced in 1967 was called the Vixen.

vixen

The Vixen took the lessons learned on the Grantura and worked to improve all the weaknesses of that car.  It was available with the choce of two different 4-cylinder engines or the 6-cylinder engine from the Triumph TR6.

By this time, the body was actually bolted to the chassis instead of bonded, making it easier to service and drastically reducing chassis rust problems that existed in the earlier bonded cars.

This is a Series 1 Vixen with a 1.6-liter Ford Kent engine, advertised on ClassicCars.com by a Stratford, Connecticut, dealer. Only 117 total Vixens were built and just 47 of those were had left-hand drive. Something even more rare is that this Vixen was built as a USA import and features a dual master cylinder and other DOT requirements.

vixen

The seller states that the Vixen has an excellent fiberglass body and has been comprehensively rebuilt and prepared by an expert in the marque.

Recent work includes brakes, new tires, Aeroquip brake lines, and a well- prepared 1,600cc Ford engine, the seller states. It features forged racing pistons, a Kent 234 race cam, twin 40 DCOE Webers and headers. This makes for potent performance as the engine builder claims it puts out 170 hp on the dyno to motivate a 1,600-pound car.

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The Vixen is one of those sports cars you can take to a show and not see another example anywhere in sight. Combine that with the strong performance and you have a real winner, especially at the price of only $24,500, basically TR4 money.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

6 COMMENTS

  1. In July 2019, my cancer returned after 6 yrs which also caused me to retire from my law enforcement career of some 36 yrs.
    I then started a treatment plan and in Oct on my birthday I couldn’t even eat any cake of which my wife had gotten.
    So I sat in the corner and just was looking through my iPhone and saw the RM Sotheby’s Hersey Pa auction
    I never before participated nor had any past auto experience
    I noticed a 1930, Marquette Phaeton and placed the winning bid.
    It was a 90 y/o car but it’s lines and beauty just made me happy inside and thus it became my birthday cake.
    It has been in storage since purchase and I had the chance to wax it once due to still continuing my cancer treatments
    But it makes me happy just to look at its beauty even if just to look at it.
    I’m more than thankful to have made it part of my life and hope I survive , (this my fourth cancer over the past 30 yrs. I hope to add more such autos, to start my own collection.
    For this I am very thankful, and it all gives me the courage and hope to push forward.
    Thks! For giving me something to strive for!

  2. Great pick Andy. Years back, a friend had a 2500M. It had a TR6 engine but was essentially the same. I was working on it and driving it to work and back. It was offered to me at a price I couldn’t refuse. Twice in the same week stunning women walked up and started talking to me. With a wife and 2 small kids I decided not to buy it. Still married and my boys are in their forties.

  3. dear sir your story touched me. I hope you will be well soon so you can enjoy your old car. I am 78 yrs old and have a 93 corvette 40th ann. corvette that I enjoy . I will pray for your speedy recover. may god truly bless you and your family.

  4. Man that’s so truth l hope you get over your cancel and get to drive it. I was feeling down with what’s happening in the world BUT your words made me feel joy and happiness l hope I get to meet you one day your friend kevin

  5. I loved my 1976 Triumph TR6. It was one of the funnest cars that I’ve ever driven and I’ve owned Corvettes and Mustang Cobras.

  6. I really like the TVR’s, especially the Vixens and Griffiths. There is no other car that looks like them and that is the main reason I find them so attractive. Unique and beautiful at the same time!

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