Launched in 1986 at the British International Motor Show, the TVR S1 marked a change in direction for the British sports car maker, under the guidance of its new owner Martin Wheeler. Taking its styling cues from the older 3000S convertible and mechanicals from the out going 280i, the S1 continued TVRs fibreglass body format and separate tubular space frame chassis.
It featured the tried and trusted fuel injected Cologne 2.8 V6 from the Ford Capri which produced 160BHP motor. This was mated to a five speed transmission, sending power to the rear wheels. Disc brakes were fitted on the front with drums on the back. Later S series models received the 2.9ltr Ford Granada V6 with the V8S receiving the 240BHP 4.0ltr Rover V8. The S series proved a success for the Blackpool outfit with over 2,600 models produced by the time production came to an end in 1994.
Offered for sale is a 1989 TVR S1 2.8 manual finished in red with a cream leather interior. Described as being in very nice condition, it has covered 57,507 miles and is said to start first time and run very well. No other details are given and the listing doesn’t state whether it comes with any service history.
We at Take to the Road are quite excited that summer is just round the corner, which probably explains why this TVR S1 is the fourth convertible we have featured in a row. As models go, the TVR S1 has often been over looked in favor of its larger siblings such as the Chimera, Griffith and Tuscan. While the S1 may lack the massive torque of the bigger V8s, it still packs an impressive soundtrack from the Cologne V6 and has excellent handling to match its sporting looks.
While not a massive amount of information is provided on this S1, its £4,995 price tag does make it quite tempting. It looks very clean and smart in red with no immediate evidence of grazing to the fibreglass body work. The cream leather interior, which also looks very clean and in good condition, is a nice contrast.
The alloys also look clean and presentable. The photo of the engine bay is a bit shaded so its hard to make out any detail but there is evidence of bonnet wear on the passenger wing. This may indicate some adjustment is required to the bonnet or new rubber mounts are needed.
The photos don’t show the hood in its up position and there is no mention as to its condition. It does appear a bit faded and part of the roof trim has come unstuck just before the driver door. Obviously this could just be re-glued and some hood reviver applied, but the new owner may elect to have a new roof fitted. We also noted that the boot lid does seem to show some fading to the paint so it might benefit from a good polish. Over all this TVR S1 looks to be in reasonable condition, an example that could benefit from some improvements.
The biggest concern with many TVRs is the plastic polymer coated tubular steel chassis which can rust badly. The chassis out riggers and seat belt mounts are also weak points, so these would need a thorough check. And we would want to check through the service history to make sure the V6 has been looked after. As this is a 1989 S1, we suspect it might be one of the last production models so shouldn’t have some of the foibles of the early production run S1s.
Assuming all checks out ok, we think this TVR S1 could be a real bargain buy for the summer. You could happily drive it as is and work on some of the items mentioned as you go along. With the top down, the open road ahead of you and that V6 exhaust note behind you, this is a lot of TVR for the money.
This TVR S1 is located in Brentwood, Essex and the asking price is £4,950.