The TVR Griffith was first seen at the Birmingham Motor Show in 1990 and started rolling off the production line in Blackpool at the beginning of 1992. It was the first of the new breed of TVRs and with orders being taken every 8 minutes on average at its first showing, it was always destined to be a classic. Having had a production run of some 10 years it has proved to be one of the greatest TVR's ever produced. With its gorgeous looks and legendary power the TVR Griffith still has the ability to outshine and outrun almost everything on the roads today. The TVR Griffith was always seen as the more brutal sports car whilst its stablemate, the TVR Chimaera was the long distance cruiser.
Its looks are pure British sports car with echoes of both Jaguar's E-Type and AC's Cobra in its sleek glass composite body. The curves of the Griffith remain totally uncluttered, with huge attention having been paid to its design – all door handles, boot catches and lights are hidden beneath its smooth flowing form. Even the rear number plate is back lit to accentuate this curvaceous aspect of the TVR Griffith.
The chassis for the Griffith was initially to be a derivative of the TVR V8S but eventually much of it was based on that of the TVR Tuscan Racer. The resulting design gave a very taut, competent chassis to the Griffith which has a wheelbase of 90" (identical to the V8S) and a track of 58" (1.5" wider than its earlier cousin). This combined with its all independent suspension: unequal-length twin wishbones with coil over adjustable telescopic shock absorbers at each corner and front and rear anti roll bars, gave the Griffith a massive footprint on the road. With a Bridgestone at each corner this gave the potent TVR a massive amount of grip and allows it to make mincemeat out of fast, smooth, open roads with ease.
The TVR Griffith came out about a year earlier than the TVR Chimaera; mechanically both cars are very similar, although far fewer TVR Griffiths were made.
Power is supplied by a TVR Power variant of the mighty Land Rover 3.9 litre V8 engine, available in 4.0, 4.3 and 5.0 versions and this propels the Griffith effortlessly to its top speed of around 160 mph. Typical power for the original TVR Griffith 4.0 litre was 240 bhp but that could be optionally increased to 4.3 litre with 280 bhp in 1992 with a further option of big valve cylinder heads. In 1993 the TVR developed 5.0 litre with 340 hp became available and this was standard in the TVR Griffiths from 1995 onwards.
The tuned big bore stainless steel exhaust system is optimised for both performance and sound giving the fabulous V8 roar which is so typical of the Griffith. To harness this level of performance the brakes are ventilated discs all round which Autocar in June 1992 described as, "One of the strongest, most reassuring set of anchors this side of a full blown racer.
Production finally ceased on the TVR Griffith in 2002 with the last of the TVR Griffith SE (Special Edition) of which only a 100 were made being registered in early 2003. These SE cars had different interiors with changes to seats and dashboards and external styling features such as door mirrors, rear lights and carried the Special Edition Badge on their boot.
The press packs from the early 1990s suggested that the TVR Griffith was going to be available with the TVR Speed Six engine but this never happened and this car probably in fact became the TVR Tuscan.