The TVR ‘White Elephant’ was a prototype created for Wheeler to go shooting in: the TVR engineers even built a special hidden compartment in the rear to house his guns, cartridges – and the pheasants he caught.
There’s also a countersunk dog basket behind the front passenger seat so Wheeler’s gun dog Ned had somewhere to sit.
It’s a bizarre-looking thing. The nose is from a previous TVR prototype: it’s effectively how a facelifted TVR Tamsin may have looked, had Wheeler not decided to shelve the project as he considered it too dated-looking for the 1990s.
He instead approved the development of a new car based on an updated version of the Tamsin’s S Series chassis: a few years later, the Griffith was launched (the rest is history, etc).
The engine is rather special though. It’s a 400 hp 5.0-litre Holden Bathurst racing engine, which TVR was also evaluating for road car use. The firm felt the performance was promising (0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds, 170 mph flat-out), but the logistics of sourcing engines from Australia could have been problematic. So the Rover V8 continued.
The car was only saved from the scrapheap just weeks before Wheeler sold the company in 2004: it will appear at the Manchester Classic Car Show along with one of the last Sagaris ever produced as part of the TVRCC stand.
The show will be held on 17th and 18th September at EventCity, Manchester.