TVR Convertible 3000S
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 4
TVR resisted the temptation to build an open top car for so many years, many believed such a beast would never exist. But that changed in 1978 when the Blackpool (UK) based company introduced their long awaited convertible, based on the successful Taimar / 3000M model, sharing the rolling chassis, engine and mechanical components.
Given that all TVRs featured a substantial chassis and unstressed bodywork
it was relatively easy to dispense with the roof without weakening the whole structure. The convertible, however, was not simply a chopped Taimar, and some revision of the body line was necessary so that the open car did not have a rather dumpy appearance.
The bonnet line was lowered by two inches and the convertible was given a new, less steeply raked, windscreen. This in turn resulted in there being very little space behind the steering
wheel for the two big speedometer
dials. Their migration to the middle of the car made them that much more difficult to take in at a glance, and it was in the area of ergonomics that the convertible was found lacking by most road testers of the time.
The hood was easy to put up or take down, with just two catches along the top of the windscreen, and it was as effective as most soft tops - but of course nothing compared to the tops of today. Apart from the bonnet each body panel was different to the 3000M, with special cut-out doors and a redesigned rear section - and that is why the 3000S became the very first TVR to offer a separate boot space.
The position of the excellent Ford gearbox was verging on the bizarre, being too far back for the lever to fall naturally to hand, and it worked on a steeply downward angled plane, changing the bonnet line and scuttle without altering the body behind the seats, which made it necessary to scallop the tops of the doors to blend front and rear of the car - this was strikingly brought home when the chrome and glass side screens were in place.
The familiar Consul windscreen was dropped too in favour of a new one with metal surround, while the removable side windows lacked a winding mechanism. The vinyl hood was a genuine soft top foldaway item. The engine was the robust, well-proven and powerful Ford V6 unit which produced 142 bhp at 5000 rpm, not to mention an impressive 172lb ft of torque at 3000 rpm. The convertible was not particularly light but nevertheless the V6 gave it an excellent top speed of 125 mph, and 60 mph came up in 8 seconds.
The all-independent suspension
and the very good weight distribution (49 per cent front and 50 per cent rear) helped to give the car handling
which nearly matched the car's performance, given a fair degree of skill on the part of the driver.
TVR 3000S Convertible Quick Specifications
Front mounted, V6. 94mm (3.7in) bore x 72.4mm (2. 85 in) . stroke = 2994 cc (183 cu in). Maximum power (DIN) 142 bhp at 5000rpm,' maximum torque (DIN) 1721b ft at 3000 rpm,' cast-iron cylinder block and heads. Compression ratio 8.9:1.4 main bearings. 2 valves
per cylinder operated via pushrods and rockers by single camshaft mounted in centre of vee. Weber 40 DFA -1 downdraught twin barrel carburettor.
Single dry plate clutch and manual four-speed gearbox. Ratios 1st 3. 163, 2nd 1.95, 3rd 1.412, 4th 1.0, rev 3.346. Hypoid bevel final drive, ratio 3.31:1.
Front-independent by double wishbones and anti-roll bar
, rear-independent by double wishbones, coil springs and telescopic dampers.
Rack and pinion. Turns from lock to lock 42
Discs front drums rear. Dual hydraulic circuit. Servo assisted.
6in x 14in. Tyres 185HR x 14. Steel belted rediels.
2 door, 2 seats. Multitubular backbone chassis with outriggers.
Dimensions and weight:
Wheelbase 90 in; track-front 53. 8 in, rear- 53.8 in; length 155 in; width 64 in; height 47 in; ground clearance 5 in; . weight 23351b; turning circle 35.9ft; fuel tank capacity 12 gal.
Maximum speed 125 mph; acceleration 0-60mph 7.9secs; fuel consumption approximately 20mpg.