1990 - The Griffith has been quoted as being TVR's New Beginning. Revealed at the 1990 Birmingham Motor Show it was a show stopper. It was said at the time that an order was taken every 8 minutes. The Griffith was the First of the Big League TVR's. A TVR developed Rover V8 engine delivers thunderous power covered under elegant curves and smooth lines.
1991 to 1993 - It was now re-engineered due to the 'S' Chassis not being able to cope with the power levels and developement of the Tuscan Racers Chassis was chosen. First Deliveries of the two engine specs, 4.0 ltr 240 bhp and 4.3 ltr 280 bhp were made. There were 704 made. There were also some BV (Big Valve) conversions done for the power hungry on the 4.3 and for the totally insane a 4.5 was produced. There were only about 10 - 12 originally built, although some were converted after delivery. The BV badge on the engine unfortunately doesnt mean it's an original as some were stuck on by opportunists trying to sell it as one, So please make sure you check thoroughly if buying one. Three quarters of the way through 1993 the Griffith 500 was announced, producing 340 bhp 350llb/ft. With upgraded brakes/suspension and also with catalytic convertors. Also production of the UK market stopped for a while to allow TVR to export some to Europe and the World, and to concentrate on the Chimaera.
1994 - Gearbox changed from the Rover SD1 to the near bullet proof Borg Warner T5
1996 - TVR announce that the Griffith Speed Six would have TVR's own AJP straight six, kicking out an estimated 380 bhp. In the end The Griffith Speed six didn't enter production, better explained in Steve Heaths 'Bible' 'The TVR Griffith and Chimaera.
1997 - The engine is de-tuned to 320 bhp to aid better Idling and driving at lower speeds (Why??)
2001 - TVR announce the Griffith production is going to end. 100 Special Edition (SE) cars were to be built to mark the end of production. Although still very similiar to the previous 500's. It has a hybrid Interior using the Chimaera dashboard. Noticeably the rear lights are different along with the door mirrors. Some also came with 16 inch wheels and each car comes with a numbered plaque in the glove box including the build number and a Special Edition badge on its gorgeous rump.
Although the Griffith is almost mechanically identical to its sister car, the Chimaera, it has a different body design and was produced (initially) with larger engines and more sports focused suspension so was produced in much smaller numbers. Griffiths command higher prices on the secondhand market for these reasons. The final 100 SE versions command the highest prices due to their rarity.
Engine: 3938cc Alloy V8
Performance: 0-60mph 4.8 seconds,
Top speed: 155 mph
Engine: 4280cc Alloy V8
Performance: 0-60mph 4.7 seconds,
Top speed: 161 mph
Engine: 4988cc Alloy V8
Performance: 0-60mph 4.1 seconds,
Top speed: 167 mph
Some of these specifications especially power/top speed and 0-60 times may vary.
Dimensions, all models
Length 3892mm, Height 1205mm,
Width 1943mm (inc mirrors)
Wheel base 2282mm,
Front Track 1460mm, Rear Track 1470mm,
Ground Clearance 146mm
Fuel Capacity 57 Litres.
1993: 230 (61 500s)
Some quotes from the period
Performances Car, Dark Satanic Thrills 1992 4.3 litre.
Top Gear Fast Car, 1999 5.0ltr
Performance Car 1993 Cobra Vs Griffith, Clarkson Decides
Evo 2001, by Roger Green
Owner John Simpson said " For me its the Purest TVR they have ever made. I enjoyed it so much when I had the oppertunity to buy a 500 in 1999 I kept the 4 Litre as well."
Autocar RoadTest 1992.