Commute Casualty: 1984 TVR 280i Coupe

January 25, 2023 Update – The high bid of $4,901 did not meet the seller’s lowered reserve price of $8,500, so we’ve moved this vehicle to our “Rides Still Available Page.”  Click the blue button above or below to navigate to this ride’s bid page, where you can either select the green “Buy Now” button or place a realistic counteroffer in the “Bid” box.

GuysWithRides.com is proud to offer Lot 172, a rare-in-the-US 1984 TVR 280i coupé, in an online, reserve-price auction on behalf of the current owner.

Bidding opens Wednesday, January 11, 2023, and continues for fourteen (14) consecutive days ending at 4:30 PM eastern time on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

This 1984 TVR 280i coupé currently resides with the seller in Ticonderoga, New York, approximately two hours north by car from Albany.

 

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The Deets

Year: 1984
Make: TVR
Model: 280i Coupe
Location: Ticonderoga, NY
Mileage: 74,657
VIN: TV9RF28P7FBH1116
Exterior Color: Blue
Interior Color: Blue Leather
Engine: 105HP 2.8L Ford Cologne V6
Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
Drivetrain: Rear Wheel Drive
Fuel: Gas

High Bid: $4,901

TVR was one of a once-long line of small independent British sports car manufacturers.  Founded shortly after the end of World War II, TVR received its name from the consonants in the founder Trevor Wilkinson’s first name. The mainstay of TVR’s offerings during the 1980s was the Tasmin, later known as the 280i.  Built from 1980 to 1987, the 280i was the first of TVR’s “Wedge”-series, which formed the basis of its 1980’s model range. The Tasmin/280i was available as either a two-seat coupé, a 2+2 coupé, or a two-seat convertible.

The Tasmin was the first production car in the world to have a bonded windscreen and incorporate the radio antenna into the rear window heater element. As with all TVRs, Tasmins feature a tubular powder-coated spaceframe steel chassis. Beyond the bespoke frame and fiberglass body, Tasmins rely on an amalgam of major manufacturer parts.

For example, TVR relied on Ford powerplants in four-, six, and V8 configurations. TVR adapted the Ford Cortina suspension and steering components.  Meanwhile, TVR used the rear differential and brakes from the Jaguar XJ-S. Ancillary components were sourced from a variety of mainstream manufacturers, so it is possible to identify, for example, Ford Cortina external door handles; Triumph TR7 or Austin Metro internal handles; front side/indicator lamps by Lucas with those on later models taken from the Renault 12 and the Peugeot 505; rear lamp clusters from the Ford Capri, Rover SD1 or the Renault Fuego; trunk lid hinges from the Hillman Imp and ex-Jaguar ashtrays (or on later cars the ashtray from the DeLorean DMC-12). The radiator was taken variously from the Ford Granada Mk2 and the Range Rover; the front brakes could be ex-Granada in solid- or vented-disc form or the 4-piston calipers from the Britsh Leyland Princess.  The steering column and its associated switchgear also changed over the years: starting with the TR7 and proceeding through the Rover SD1, very late cars used the installation from the Ford Granada Mk3. The handbrake mechanism was that used on the Lotus Esprit. The headlamp pods were powered by individual motors lifted from the TR7/ Esprit. The seats were made by Callow & Maddox Brothers in Coventry, who also supplied other British car makers. Hence the Tasmin seats appear similar to those used elsewhere but are, in fact, vehicle-specific, having a narrow but long base bolster.  The engine was the Ford 2.8 Cologne V6 with Bosch fuel injection producing 160 brake horsepower.

The seller notes his 1984 TVR 280i is a rare left-hand-drive coupé finished in metallic blue over genuine leather upholstery.  The power comes from Ford’s proven 2.8-liter Cologne V6 paired with an ear-pleasing four-speed manual transmission with custom true-dual exhaust pipes.  Wine people have described the exhaust note as “throaty, resonant, with aggressive notes.” Beer guys say, “sounds great.”Features include a dramatic, singular all-glass rear hatch, a unique lower rear window (the owner notes a crack in the lower window glass), fully functional pop-up headlights with basic LED headlights, power windows, and an aftermarket Bluetooth stereo unit, and 14″ basketweave wheels. The car features the dramatic “Federal” bumpers for peace of mind if you can limit yourself to an impact of 5 miles per hour—the sale includes a set of the sleeker European-style bumpers and non-color-matched electric side mirror pods.  The paint is not original but is close to the color visible in the engine bay.

This 1984 TVR 280i spent time in Maine and Ohio before being acquired by the seller in January of 2022, with recent work reportedly including replacing the thermostat, fan belt, plug wires, cap, rotor, and ignition coil.  A new reverse light transmission switch was also installed, updating Redline MT90 transmission oil.  Also updated were the headlights, headlight plug harnesses, and the headlight switch, with the original units included in the sale for buyers looking to maintain originality, This Tasmin is now offered with reference manuals and a clean New York State title in the seller’s name.

The fiberglass body is mounted to a tubular steel chassis (check out the TVR Wikipedia page for design history and relation to the Lotus car company), which is said to be in very good original epoxy-coated condition.  The fiberglass body is in excellent condition, with newer paint in very good condition, with minor scratches and chips, detailed in the photos.  This car is frequently driven and has been found reliable on short trips and those over 500 miles.  The silver 14″ basketweave wheels are mounted with 205/60 tires, and a matching spare with a vintage slightly narrower tire on a heavily repaired (think Frankenstein) rim is stored in the trunk with ample space for a can of fix-a-flat. The four-wheel disc brakes feature inboard rear rotors, with both primary and handbrake pads in good condition.

The cabin is outfitted with very comfortable bucket seats recently trimmed in blue leather upholstery, along with matching treatments for the dashboard, center platform, console and doors, and other interior trim.   Features include fully functional power windows.   As an enhanced privacy feature, interior lights appear to be non-functional.  The walnut dash fascia houses a rare, slow-running quartz analog clock that facilitates excuses for lengthy drives.
The vintage three-spoke MOMO leather steering wheel frames instrumentation consisting of a 140-mph speedometer, a tach, and auxiliary gauges displaying fuel level, oil pressure (which is consistently to spec), coolant temperature, and battery voltage. Approximately 75k miles are shown on the five-digit odometer, 4k of which were added by the seller. All gauges work, but the speedometer tends to under-represent slightly at speeds higher than 70 MPH.

The Ford-2.8-liter “Cologne” V6 is equipped with Bosch fuel injection; power is sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission.  The engine bay is neat and clean, with extra space afforded by an a/c delete.  A bell housing for a 5-speed is included in the sale, as are various items such as a factory service manual, a set of spare keys, a spare new headlight switch, etc.

A note from the seller:  “As said in the clever headline, this car is a casualty to my commute.  When I purchased it last year, I worked half a mile from home.  Now, my daily commute door-to-door is 102 miles.  Luckily I love driving, but after clocking 1000+ miles per week, I find myself less interested in driving for pleasure.  I have used the 280i many times to make the drive; it’s a real pleasure and very reliable, and my commute has some amazing curvy wooded roads with spectacular views.  This car feels remarkably solid, stable, and predictable for something so light.  Even the ‘missus is fine with going on a long drive— and she didn’t fancy the Triumph, so that says something!  Filling up to the pump or pulling up to a curb or even a stop light can make intrigued guys ask questions and share reminiscences.

Here is a complimentary CarFax® for this 1984 TVR Taslin 280i Coupe confirming the ownership and the fact that this car has never been in an accident.

To review the CarFax, please click on the picture below. When finished, click on your browser’s back button to return to this listing:

On Sunday, January 8, a Lemon Squad mechanic completed a Pre-Purchase Inspection (“PPI”) on this 1984 TVR Tasmin 280i.  To review the PPI, please click on the picture below. When finished, click on your browser’s back button to return to this listing:

To help you make informed bids, we’re providing access to Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the Classic Car market, that provides an interactive graph of recent comparable sales year-to-date. By clicking on the green dots, you can navigate to each comparable car sold as a way to help you make an educated bid on the car we are featuring for auction here:

Exterior Gallery

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Interior Gallery

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Underhood And Undercarriage Gallery

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Tires And Wheels Gallery

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If you have any questions about this 1984 TVR Tasmin 280i Coupe, please leave a comment below or feel free to call Rudy directly at 877-468-6497.  Thank you for looking, and happy bidding!

4 Comments
  1. Anonymous

    Rudy, make sure you get pictures of the chassis on this car. If the chassis is not solid, the car will not sell for close to what he wants

    Reply
  2. Chris F

    Hi guys this is Chris, the seller. Thanks so much for your bids! Feel free to post any questions here and I’ll answer!

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    I would need the car shipped by truck. Can you assist with a trucking company to get this done?

    Reply
    • Guys with Rides

      We recommend several reputable companies you can contract with to get this great TVR shipped to you.

      Reply

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