Rare Rides: The 1977 TVR 2500M - Regulatory Mishaps (Part II)

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides the 1977 tvr 2500m regulatory mishaps part ii

In Part I of the TVR M Series story, we covered the new model range TVR developed based upon its dual core principles of lightness and roadster. And while things progressed without major issue for the first few model years, the latter half of the M’s life was fraught with adversity, mishaps, and a case of oversharing. Prepare for government intervention!

With TVR’s small budget, there was little the company could do to up the ante of the M cars (like it had done in its other markets) and simultaneously comply with U.S. emissions regulations. The only version sold in North America was the 2500M; performance was not a strong suit, despite its sporty looks. Top speed was limited to 109 miles per hour, and acceleration to 60 mph took a sedate 9.3 seconds. The model’s Zenith carburetors allowed 106 horsepower to escape from the engine, doled out via four-speed manual. The absolute end of the 2500M came in 1977, as by that time Triumph had moved on to its new TR7 model and stopped producing the 2.5-liter engine for the TR6.

TVR needed a solution, and quick. The company hired an American engineering firm to design modifications to the Ford Essex V6 and make the 3000M U.S. emissions compliant. Said engineers were successful, and road legal V6 3000Ms started arriving in small numbers for 1978.

As management cleared one hurdle in the U.S., another appeared: TVR’s primary American importer called it quits with little warning. The company had to form a new entity to import models for the remainder of 1979, and TVR Sports Cars Inc. replaced TVR Cars of America. With paperwork in order and new company formed, around 20 3000S models arrived on U.S. shores, marked as emissions compliant. Huzzah!

Alas, those cars didn’t actually have their emissions kits installed — they were simply mismarked. The importer “encouraged” each dealer to buy at least two 3000S examples which could not be sold legally. One dealer explained the issue to a customer who was checking out a 3000S. Said customer happened to work for the U.S. government in an emissions and regulatory sort of way, and quickly returned to his office to report TVR’s violation. All 3000S cars were impounded. Stored outside and subject to vandalism, the convertibles were eventually deported out of the country and sent back to the UK. There, they were reconditioned and sold in Germany at a loss. However, by then the wedge-shaped Tasmin was ready, and TVR put the latter, sordid tale of the M Series cars behind it. After such a considerable expense at the end of the M’s life cycle, the company could afford to do little else.

Today’s festive BRG and yellow 2500M is located in North Carolina. With 10,000 miles and in very clean condition, it asks $21,900.

[Images: seller]

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2 of 5 comments
  • JMII Cracker Barrel - there is one off every major interstate interchange east of the Mississippi.I don't drink coffee - and based on the constant debate / worry of others just drinking water or tea has greatly simplified my life.Regardless of your choice in snacks and drinks I recommend the iExit app: https://www.iexitapp.com/ it shows what hotels, restaurants and gas stations are coming up so you can decide if its worth pulling off.
  • Redapple2 My dad s buddy got a tire thru the windshield. DRT -dead right there.
  • Redapple2 Hope they fix the:1 ride. worse than a corvette2 seating position. ankles at the height of my butt is UNCOMFORTABLE .As is. Horrible truck
  • Redapple2 One time; doing time; for a long time.
  • Robert Good! Those things are hideous.