Martyn Harvey's 1975 TVR 2500M

Canadian Corner   (Volume XV Issue 2, September 2007)

by: Martyn Harvey

My 1975 TVR 2500M

It was late April in 2006. It was one of those beautiful balmy days that so often grace the Ancaster British Flea Market in South-Western Ontario. The drive down in the MGB V8 had been exhilarating; top down and music playing. It was shaping up to be a perfect day.

As usual, the show was busy. There were lots of interesting British cars to view in the parking lot and there were a great variety of new and used parts to peruse. The Ancaster show is always a great "kick-off" to the sports car season in Ontario.

I noticed my friend Barry at his outdoor booth and headed over to speak with him. Barry produces the "Brooklands" series of sports cars based on the MGB. Numerous tired Canadian MGBs have been rescued from the crusher and given new leases on life by Barry. The Mustang II underpinnings and glass-fibre body panels transform the rusty wrecks into modern reliable driving machines.

As I headed over to Barry, I noticed the TVR parked beside his booth. Like many people, I have always liked the distinctive design of the early TVRs. They have always elicited some kind of visceral reaction in me. This car was no exception. I tried to ignore it because it had a "For Sale" sign in the windshield. "Damn it! - The car's for sale", I thought. I tried not to let myself get too interested but curiosity got the better of me. This was an opportunity not to be missed. The asking price was fair. "Damn it!" I could afford that if I sacrificed a bit on some other things. I realized I was interested and EXCITED.

I saw the owner chatting with a young guy who seemed enamored with the car. Instantly I became concerned that this guy might be making an offer! I decided to check out the situation. The list of details in the windshield included the word V8. My heart rate increased instantly. Love at first sight? For sure!

The next evening I drove to Toronto to test drive the car and was prepared to buy it.

It didn't really matter if the car didn't run, I was already convinced that I wanted it and it was worth every penny. That was not the best attitude to hold when making an automotive purchase. The test drive was disappointing at best. The car left us stranded at the side of a busy downtown street at rush hour and I tried to shake off the event as simple bad luck and not some kind of a bad omen. The clutch slave had "let go". That could happen to any British car. The fact that the TVR didn't have turn signals or brake lights was no big deal either. Actually, that was to be expected; and clunking sounds under the rear end? That would be a simple fix. The non-standard Chevy V8 engine? That simply confirmed my decision to buy the car.

Martyn Harvey's 1975 TVR 2500M

Over the past year I have replaced numerous parts and improved several others. The car has become a lot more attractive and reliable. It's not practical but it's a unique and fun machine. I have plans to swap the engine to a Ford 289 or 302 in the future and to remove the body and restore the tubular frame. The differential will be swapped for a stronger posi unit (Salisbury) but for now I will chip away at improving the drivability with the Chevy engine.

The list of improvements to date includes:
     - Front and rear brake upgrade (Toyota front brake conversion)
     - New brake master cylinder
     - New clutch slave cylinder
     - New steering U-joints
     - New tires
     - Electric fuel pump conversion
     - New air cleaner
     - New tachometer
     - Re-wired fuse panels
     - Re-wired starter motor cable
     - Renewed rear light bulb sockets
     - New seats
     - New Spax front coil-over shocks and springs
     - New rear wheel bearing (one side only)
     - New rear driveshaft U-joint (one side only)
     - New T5 gearbox (to replace the T10 4-speed)
     - New driving lights

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Martyn Harvey's 1975 TVR 2500M

The most significant upgrades have been to the brakes and driveline. The stock TR6 calipers and rotors have been replaced with Toyota 4-Runner calipers and Toyota Cressida vented rotors. This was an easy and inexpensive upgrade. All Toyota parts bolted directly to the car without modification and improved the stopping power. I have not felt the need to add any bias adjuster to the braking system either.

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Martyn Harvey's 1975 TVR 2500M

The Super T10 tranny has just been replaced with a BW T5 that I purchased from D&D Fabrications at the British V8 Meet this past August. The box was almost a direct bolt-in replacement. The driveshaft was shortened by a couple of inches and the tranny mount moved slightly forward.

The transmission change has helped the highway driving significantly, with the 5th gear overdrive dropping the revs down to a respectable 2000 rpm. Now the car is much more drivable and enjoyable.

Chevy 350 powered TVR 2500

What's next on the list? Perhaps a set of aluminum heads. My research to date has revealed the engine is of 1969 vintage. I think it's a 350 but I need to do more research to be sure. One thing is for sure though, I'm glad I bought the old TVR, she's become a real interesting British V8 project!

Disclaimer: This page was researched and written by Martyn Harvey. Views expressed are those of the author, and are provided without warrantee or guarantee. Apply at your own risk.

Photos by Martyn Harvey for The British V8 Newsletter. All rights reserved.

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