Used car buying guide: TVR Tuscan

One well-respected TVR dealer advises its customers to imagine they’re a brain surgeon. As someone who might be required to perform life-saving surgery at any time of the day or night, they must have a car they can depend on to get them to the hospital. A TVR Tuscan, says the dealer, is not that car. Instead, it’s a second or third motor for weekends when the sun is shining and when a roadside breakdown isn’t a matter of life or death.

Not the most encouraging way to begin a buying guide but it’s best you know now that, like all TVRs, the Tuscan is a model that demands regular care and attention from its owner, and not a little tolerance.

It wasn’t meant to be like this. With a removable, all-weather hard-top and large boot, the two-seat Tuscan was, said TVR, the company’s most usable creation to date. On paper, certainly, but then, as ever, TVR left much of the car’s development to its test engineers – the firm’s customers.

It’s why, today, you’ll struggle to find a TVR in original condition. Not that you’d want to. Instead, most have been upgraded and are probably running either a rebuilt or refurbished engine and transmission along with uprated brakes, suspension and ancillaries. Bodies are likely to have been repainted, too.

TVR Tuscan 4.0, 2001, 42,000 miles, £26,995: On sale at respected TVR dealer Mole Valley, this example has history from day one. It’s a sensible price, too. If you’re new to TVR, buying from a local specialist is the best plan.