British sports car manufacturer TVR’s one-of-a-kind stocky yet shredded T440R just popped up for sale in the United Kingdom.
In the late 1990s, TVR’s late owner Peter Wheeler began a project to bring his British rides to the Western endurance motor-racing circuit to race at places like Spa (Belgium), Sebring (Florida) and the grand-daddy of them all, the 24 hours of Le Mans (France). The result of this push was the T400R — aka the TVR Typhon— the fastest production TVR ever built.
TVR was barely on the radar when Wheeler bought the tiny company in 1980. Pretty soon, though, the wealthy chemical engineer turned the car company around with a range of dramatic cars that looked like no others and had performance to match. As the next generation of their big, powerful, front-engined 1960s forebears (think E-Types, Cobras, and Ferrari Daytonas), TVR’s looked pretty, ran rugged, and provided a hell of a fun driving experience.
They also broke down a lot (according to Autocar). The T400R, though, needed to be stable. Constructed using modern composites more rigid than any previous TVR, the car was designed to maintain stability and speed to cover the greatest distance over 24 hours on Le Mans’ notorious Mulsanne Straight. What started as the TuscanR resulted in the 200 mph-plus Typhon, the swiftest and most expensive production car in TVR’s history.
Built at its Blackpool, Britain factory between 2000 and 2006, TVR manufactured only three Typhons. In order to complete the overseeing Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile’s homologation (technical approval) requirements, the TVR needed to sell a road-going version. Hence, the company ended up building a total of four cars: Three Typhon road racing
Aside from being a one-off vehicle, what makes the T440R special is its engine. The 4.2-liter naturally aspirated (as opposed to a forced air turbo) straight-six cylinder borrowed much of its running gear from its Typhon race car brethren, including a gas-flowed cylinder head, steel crankshaft and connecting rods, a carbon airbox, sequential fuel injection, and bespoke exhaust headers. According to the Pistonheads ad, the motor was detuned to 440 horsepower to make it durable enough for road use.
Of course, the car still looks and sounds like a muscled beast. The chassis is made from bonded aluminum and carbon fiber, with carbon bodywork throughout in order to make it as light and agile as possible. In 2003, TVR claimed a T440R zero-to-60 time under four seconds and a top speed of 200 mph.
The car is currently listed for sale on Pistonheads via The Autolounge, a Scotland-based dealership, with an asking price of £192,990 (roughly $264,000 at current exchange rates). It won’t be legal to import into the U.S. for another seven years, so any American who forks over the flow to purchase this car should have enough left over to stash it in Europe in the meantime.
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