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						74 Tvr 2500 M 18
On a Whim

1974 TVR 2500M restoration

By Dean Larson

Photos: Chris Groshek

A wise man once said you miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take, but even Chris Groshek was surprised when a chance bid of $3,250 took home this 1974 TVR 2500M on eBay back in 2009. “I guess there were no other bids,” remarked Chris, and there’s no denying it his lucky day. But the TVR wasn’t exactly as it seemed, and it would take a thorough cosmetic and mechanical restoration to hone the TVR into the light-blue beauty in Chris’s Pittsville, garage today.

Chris soon found that car was pretty rough inside and out after taking delivery, and actually cut the car loose just three days after purchasing it. “‘I’ve always wanted one of those,’ my friend proclaimed upon seeing the TVR, and since I was in the middle of building a ’68 Lotus 7 from factory drawings, I sold it to him.” The only condition was that if he didn’t do anything with the car, I could buy it back for the same $3,250.

A quick eight years later, and the car was not any closer to the road. “My TVR was now buried in junk up to the roof in a garage, so I bought it back for $3,250.00.” Unfortunately sitting on a dirt floor for a few years had not treated the 40-plus year old TVR well, in addition to the preexisting issues.

“Pictures are not worth 1,000 words. The interior was junk, a poor repaint was done with all the chrome left on (poorly masked) and edges of the chrome were sanded,” Chris says. “Someone had attempted to redo some of the electrical system with lamp cord and twist connectors.

The bad news continued under the hood as well, where the 2.5-liter Triumph engine had been used, abused and poorly cobbled back together. “It was clear that the pistons, rods and bearing caps were installed either backwards or out of position on a ‘rebuild.’”

So needless to say, the TR6 engine needed a complete rebuild to return to its former glory, accomplished with new parts and flat-top pistons, and Chris opted to shave 0.120” off the head as well. He rewired the whole car and refinished the entire chassis, leaving a factory-fresh base for the fiberglass body, which would also require its fair share of labor.

“I had to grind and fill hundreds of stress cracks to get the bodywork and prep finished up before it was painted by Nostalgic Autocrafters, a local restomod shop,” says Chris. It took eight to 10 hours to install each door, neither of which fit the opening, and another six hours and two men to install and fit the rear glass, which is original to the car.”

The finished TVR body sports a sunroof and light blue PPG paint that’s somewhat reminiscent of the Gulf GT40s. New chrome and original magnesium wheels wrapped up the exterior, while Porsche 914 seats formed the basis for a completely reworked interior.

From there, it was onto the supporting systems, including the fuel system, which Chris rebuilt from front to back. He started with a used aluminum fuel cell from a friend, on which he fabricated new brackets and TIG welded a new filler neck to meet the TVR quarter panel. A Carter electric fuel pump sends fuel forward to the original Zenith-Stromberg 175CD carburetor.

Bought a "used" aluminum fuel cell from a buddy that didn't fit or work out on his TR250. The TVR fuel tank was a sieve covered in radiator silver solder. Fabricate brackets for the fuel cell, TIG weld on a filler neck to meet the TVR quarter panel, plumb to a Carter electric fuel pump.

Chris completed the build recently and doesn’t have many miles on it since, but says despite the car’s “fiddly” nature, there’s some good performance potential in the TVR’s bones. “Just looking at the naked tube frame chassis and suspension, it is indeed capable of more,” Chris says. “The ride is a bit harsh, as all the suspension pickup points are in polyurethane, but the car is a great cruiser.”

At 73 years old, Chris explains that there are some inherent difficulties in jobs like installing the driveline, doors and other odd items, and cites that his back is no longer that of a 50-year old. But you can’t keep car guys like this down, and Chris is onto his next build, a 1971 Saab Sonnet resurrection — I guess guys like us have to pass long Wisconsin winters somehow.

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British Cars TVR