by Mike Bressington
This is the story of the biggest TVR Wedge car meeting probably of all time, held in a hotel in Ettington near Stratford-upon-Avon on the weekend of the 17th & 18th July 2004.
It all started with a thread posted by Alan Toomey (Rev-erand) on the Wedge Forum on the 6th of February 2004 when Alan posted the following question, I wonder if he knew what was to follow…….
'Guys - I was thinking of a big meeting in the summer with real good top down weather. I don't fancy driving 200 miles in crap weather. How about July (Lé Mans finished etc). I was thinking of something like: We book sevreral rooms in a reasonably priced hotel or take over a few guest houses in a nice town in the Midlands somewhere.
How about that ..????'.
A visual taste of what went on at Power and Passion 2004. Pics by Steve Parkman and Paul Calland
After months of planning and organising the weather did its best to defeat us – but we won! 105 cars turned out to Duncombe Park, Helmsley. The concours was packed, with most cars joining in for a bit of fun. A spirited drive home saw 44 people sit down to a tasty meal and dance the night away ‘til 1.30am. Drinking continued well into the morning (4ish?)
In a statement posted on TVR's website today, it has been confirmed that the company has been sold to a 24 year old Russian banker called Nikolai Smolenski.
The statement reads:"Tuesday 27 July 2004
TVR HOLDING STATEMENT
We can confirm that a 100% shareholding in UK car-maker TVR has been purchased today. The new owner is Nikolai Smolenski.
Plans for the future are to continue trading, invest heavily in new technology and production methods, and hence enhance the TVR brand to become a global player.
There will be no large-scale restructuring and new managerial appointments will be made in due course. Peter Wheeler, previous owner, will remain on board as a senior consultant."
The BBC report states that former banker Nikolai Smolenski has said he wants to expand the company. He has already visited the Blackpool factory where he told staff he planned to be a hands-on owner.
Mr Smolenski was a director with the Russian bank OVK until last year, when he sold his shareholding. His father is the wealthy Russian businessman Alexander Smolenski.
The TVR Car Club sponsored Mk III Grantura driven by Phil Hooper and Malcolm Wood has successfully completed all 3 of its allocated races in this year’s Le Mans Classic, making it a famous double for TVR at the La Sarthe circuit following the success last month by the Synergy Motorsport team.
Well over 100 TVRs braved the showers to watch some close racing in both the Tuscans and the British GT Championship at Castle Combe this weekend. The Club’s hospitality unit, hauled to the circuit by Richard Wright after its huge success at Le Mans, really came into its own as members took shelter from torrential rain that delayed the start of the second Tuscan race, whilst the Club Office was doing a brisk trade all day in regalia. It was good to have a focus from which to meet old friends and make new ones and it was the prefect venue for Ian Massey-Crosse to display his recently restored 1962 Le Mans Grantura.
Both TVRs are still in the running and going strong. Apart from a slight incident when one of the cars had to come back into the pits for what we believe was a replacement ECU there have been no reports of anything untoward. At mid morning they are running at no 24 and 26 in the field.
Both TVR T400Rs crossed the finish line together at Le Mans today - a fantastic result for the Synergy/Chamberlain team and the drivers, that will no doubt be celebrated as only the TVRCC knows how to, tonight on Houx campsite!!
Well done and many congratulations.
The final results for the team were:
In 22nd place with 300 laps TVR no 89; Bob Berridge, Michael Caine and Chris Stockton
In 23rd with 291 laps TVR no 96; Lawrence Tomlinson, Nigel Greensall and Gareth Evans
One of these cars will now be transported through the night (in race condition ie with authentic flies and dust) from France so it can be exhibited it at The Daily Telegraph Motorexpo, which is on 14th - 20th June at Canary Wharf. The TVR is being lent to the show by its owner and one of the drivers, Gareth Evans.
For only the third time in history, TVR will be represented at Le Mans this weekend. Two Synergy Chamberlain T400Rs will be competing against the Porsches and the Ferraris in the world’s greatest motor race.
Over 24 hours of the most gruelling racing imaginable, the purple TVRs are going to be pushed to the limit by six British drivers and supported by a remarkable British team. Synergy Chamberlain is owned by TVR road car and racing car driver Gareth Evans who progressed from driving his roadgoing Griffith and Cerbera to racing against TVR Chairman Peter Wheeler in the TVR Tuscan Challenge. He is now about to take the huge step of racing his own car, prepared by his own team, at Le Mans. Driving alongside him will be TVR Tuscan Challenge champion Michael Caine who is taking time off from his day job selling TVRs in Essex for Castle TVR. Chris Stockton, another Tuscan regular and Bob Berridge are in the Number 89 car alongside Michael while TVR GT regulars Lawrence Tomlinson and Nigel Greensall drive alongside Gareth in the Number 96 car.
TVR will be there as a factory, helping behind the scenes in the pits, and cheering raucously from their display area at Maison Blanche, where staff from the TVR factory and some of their dealers will be on hand to explain the finer points of the new Tuscan 2 and Sagaris that have been transported straight from their debuts at the Birmingham Motor show, which has only just ended. The latest news from the pits will be available down there and drivers will be dropping by from time to time to keep everyone up to speed. All those down at Le Mans will be welcome to come and have a chat and we will be keeping those less fortunate up to date via this web news service.
At lunchtime today, 6 June 2004, 28 cyclists with 8 support crew set off from the Dorset monthly meet at the Avon Causeway to cycle the 250 mies to Le Mans in aid of Hearing Dogs. This event, now in its 9th year, aims to raise at least £2500 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People in order to train another dog. Since its inauguration in 1996 when just two cyclists and two support team undertook the 250 mile, three day event, the charity cycle ride has raised well over £20,000 and thus have trained 9 dogs.
The cheque for last year's event was handed over by Dorset RO and cycle ride co-ordinator Paul Shrimpton to the local representative from Hearing Dogs at the Bristol Classic Car Show in February.If you would like to support this worthwhile event, you can make a donation to the cycle ride by calling the Club Office on 01952 822126
Although all of the press has been about the Tuscan convertible, don't forget that TVR has the full range of cars on show in Birmingham. We are indebted to Dorset RO Paul Shrimpton for these additional images of the Typhon, Sagaris, and T350T
The Tuscan 2 is a significant launch for TVR. It blends all the most successful elements of TVRs past with the progress that the company has made over the past few years. A myriad of detail changes demonstrate the attention to detail that TVR’s engineers and stylists have dedicated themselves to while evolving the most popular TVR of recent years. Since the Tuscan was first launched in 2000, TVR has achieved what was previously thought to be impossible for a company of its size, but TVR has never been intimidated by projects that would daunt much larger car manufacturers.
The TVR Griffith Story (An Anthology) is currently being finalised by author Roger Shackleton. The book will be a thoroughly-researched, high quality history of the model, utilising material & information from the factory’s ‘archives’ and its professional staff, combined with input from TVRCC members / Griffith owners past & present. Highly pictorial with a selection of literally hundreds of full colour photographs; additionally featuring brochures, publicity ‘memorabilia’ and original artwork.
It seems that both TVRs from CHAMBERLAIN - SYNERGY MOTORSPORT have now been entered into the 24 hour race. Currently only one driver is shown for the second car (M.Caine).
At long last we are delighted to launch our new look website. This now incorporates a completely new easy to use discussion forum as well as new and improved members pages such as trade ads, classifieds, future events etc. All these are now updated by a team of volunteers so keep checking back for the latest TVRCC news.
The TVR Car Club is moving its office on Wednesday 31st March 2004 to new much larger premises situated in Newtown, Telford. The new address and telephone numbers are as follows: Unit 5, Nova House, Audley Avenue Enterprise Park, Newport, Shrops, TF10 7DW Tel No: 01952 822126 Fax No: 01952 822127 email: firstname.lastname@example.org The Office will not be taking calls on the 31st; the new office should be fully operational on Thursday 1st April.