The ramp-up in demand for TVR chassis restoration work in the past couple of years has been significant. And this is not just a demand from owners of the older, classic models, but increasingly from Chimaera and Griffith owners too. Given TVR’s impressive Chimaera and Griffith production figures throughout the 1990’s, this demand looks set to grow. We are driving a fleet of ageing cars.
There are a number of TVR specialists currently offering varying degrees of chassis repair, from patch welding and plate replacement through to full outrigger replacement, and in a growing number of cases full body-off chassis restorations. The service they offer appears generally good and so do the turn-around times and the pricing. But approaches to chassis restoration appear to differ greatly and to be fair the entire subject can become rather confusing.
The first issue that springs to mind is the ever popular outrigger replacement. One school of thought says it can be achieved by merely lifting the body and welding on the new outriggers with the body pretty much in situ. The other demands that the body be completely removed to allow for a comprehensive inspection of the chassis and also to allow full access to the chassis tubes so they can be properly ground down and welded.
Something else to consider is at what stage does a full body off chassis restoration become untenable? You can certainly argue that where perhaps the outriggers and part of the bottom rail have to be replaced, this can be a good and economic repair. And done properly I wouldn’t disagree. But what happens when the centre section of your chassis is starting to corrode? Replacing the limbs I can see the sense in, but replacing the spine surely must be a step too far. And how about the cost? Intricate grafting of chassis tubing is a time consuming job. So I would respectfully suggest that if you are seriously looking at having to replace the spine or indeed any central and more structural tubes of your chassis, it really is time to consider a replacement.
Many drivers would wince at the thought. And then there is the additional cost of the strip down and re-assembly. That is unless you are proficient enough and have time and space enough to take on this onerous task yourself. Also, where would you go to buy your chassis? Up until this point there have been no genuine replacement TVR OEM chassis available. Well look no further.
With a commitment to supplying OEM parts wherever possible, TVR Power has teamed up with RT Racing to bring to market a range of TVR Power genuine OEM replacement chassis.
Starting with the Griffith and Chimaera, TVR Power will be marketing their OEM chassis from the middle of March. Dom Trickett of TVR Power explains, “TVR Power believes firmly in supplying genuine OEM parts wherever possible. It maintains the authenticity of the vehicle and can only help to enhance its resale value. But sourcing replacement OEM chassis has always been a sticking point, until now. TVR Power uses RT Racing exclusively for all its chassis repair work and so partnering with them to produce OEM chassis was a no brainer. And it allows us to offer a top quality genuine OEM product at a very affordable price.”
The new TVR Power OEM chassis, which will initially be available for every variant of Griffith and Chimaera, will be on sale for just £2,499 plus VAT - that’s astonishingly less than £3k including VAT.
Not only that, but they will also be available off the shelf. Dom continues, “Whilst both TVR Power and RT Racing are happy to offer a full strip down, replacement and rebuild service, that isn’t what the new OEM chassis is all about. Our main aim is to offer these OEM replacement parts the same as most other replacement parts; off the shelf.
So you should be able to drive in, pay for your new chassis and drive off with it. You will also have the option for us to ship your new chassis to whichever TVR service centre may be carrying out the replacement work for you. We are offering the customer full flexibility.” The new OEM chassis will be kept in stock at both TVR Power and RT Racing in standard whitepowder coat, but many other colours are available upon request.
A full complement of matching OEM wishbones are also available along with bolt kits, bush kits and pretty much everything else you will need to complete your rebuild.
Everything will be available for you to buy in person and also from TVR Power’s online store, so purchasing your new OEM chassis and components couldn’t be easier. For the connoisseur, zinc coated and even stainless steel OEM chassis are also an option, with prices available upon request.
But with a brand new powdercoated chassis at less than £3k including VAT, surely this sounds like an economy job? No, not a bit of it. TVR Power and RT Racing are together investing the better part of £20k in a new hi-tech full production jig, which itself will weigh in at in excess of 5 tonnes. The baseplate which it sits on alone weighs in at over 2 tonnes. Richard Thorpe of RT Racing explains, “To produce a chassis to OEM quality and to guarantee the geometry of the piece we had to commission a full production jig. The expense is great, but the quality of the finished article unquestionable. These OEM chassis are manufactured to very high tolerances. It also allows us to re-jig and re-align your original factory chassis for you should the need arise. We will also be producing chassis sections for anyone wishing to affect a chassis piece repair. So cars with light impact damage could now be properly repaired and that will save many TVRs from being written off.”
The finish of the new chassis has been a matter of some debate and after an amount of research and trial work, the perfect solution has been arrived at: after assembly all TVR Power OEM chassis are aluminium bead blasted to gain a key to allow the powder coating to properly adhere to the metalwork. The chassis is then double powder coated to give the perfect finish.
Your genuine OEM chassis will come complete with a 10 year perforation warranty too. So you are also buying peace of mind.
Dom concludes, “An OEM chassis is something we have been exploring for a while now and we believe we can use this to offer the TVR owner a great service, help maintain the value of their car, and at the same time help keep more TVRs on the road. And to demonstrate our commitment we are currently looking to commission a new full production Cerbera jig with OEM chassis, being available by the middle of this summer. So watch this space…”
To find out more about the new replacement OEM chassis,
contact Dom Trickett on 02476 366 177
Richard Thorpe on 0114 281 7505
(Photographs courtesy of Howard Bryan)