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1996 TVR Cerbera

Background

It is fair to say that all genuine car enthusiasts mourn the passing of TVR. The Blackpool based company made some of the most exciting sports cars ever produced.

Originally founded by Trevor Wilkinson and christened Trevcar Motors, the TVR brand moved forward dramatically once ownership had switched to Peter Wheeler.

Chimaera, Griffith, Cerbera, T350 and Sagaris – V8 engines, striking looks and terrific if slightly terrifying performance!

The company was sold in 2004 to Russian Nikolai Smolenski before becoming dormant from 2006 to 2013. A new consortium now owns the brand and although new cars are promised, we wouldn’t hold your breath.

Anyway, it’s the back catalogue that interests us here, more particularly the Cerbera. Designed from the start as a four-seater, though that might be a little generous in the description. With a little seat adjustment, three may travel in some comfort, four at a real push.

Unveiled at the 1993 London Motor Show (remember those), it was the third car under Wheeler’s ownership and the first to be powered by TVR’s own engines, rather than the more familiar Rover V8 offerings.

Like all TVRs of the Wheeler era, the Cerbera had a long-travel throttle to compensate for the lack of electronic traction-control and very sharp steering. A couple of turns from lock to lock did take some getting used to, but it made it easier for experienced drivers to maintain or regain control in the event of a loss of traction.

Those less experienced complained that it made the cars feel twitchy and more responsive than they would have preferred.

Raw excitement on every drive, so-so reliability and looks to die for – that was the TVR way, and the world is a poorer place now the company still lies dormant.

However, the name lives on in the hands of enthusiastic owners, who love, cherish, and modify the existing cars. Some do get carried away, which we like, and go on to create something truly unique and ladies and gentlemen, that is what we are offering for sale. A mad, bad, Cerbera! One man’s desire, beautifully executed at considerable expense and ready to drive away and scare yourself witless in!

The Vehicle

Our seller is a TVR fan through and through and had owned a 2001 Tuscan. It had a TVR 4.3 conversion but soon after purchase he realised it was not really the car he wanted. Car sold, money invested…

Fast forward to 2015 and the TVR itch needed to be scratched once again and this time there would be no mistake. However, now with a daughter, the Cerbera would fit the bill nicely.

But not just any old Cerbera would do. Our seller had spotted a picture of a Cerbera with wide arches and that was exactly what he wanted. Oh, and he wanted to fit a Maserati engine and quad lights a la Tuscan. A tall order? Not if you are determined and not in a rush…

The tricky part was finding the arches and the quad lights and figuring out how to mate a Maserati engine with a manual gearbox. Where there’s a will there’s a way.

The good old internet put our seller in touch with the owner of the wide arch Cerbera who allowed lots of photographs to be taken and the car driven.

A donor car was sourced, as was a Maserati 4.7-litre V8 engine and the other innumerable parts that would be needed and so it began.

Once the project was underway, any ideas of keeping costs down went out of the window and the decision was made to either replace or renew all the mechanical bits.

The end result, we are sure you will agree, is really quite stunning.

On the Outside

The shy and retiring need not apply, not least because the Cerbera is painted in a rather distinctive shade – Candy Purple no less. You will note the black accents (splitter, spoiler, mirrors, front and back window trim).

The eagle-eyed may spot the modified BMW M4 bonnet scoop, necessary to incorporate the increased height of the Maserati engine.

Also worthy of note are the aluminium front grille, the quad Tuscan style headlamps with LED DRL lights. Cool, eh?

Wheels are 20x10s at the front with 255/35 tyres, with 20x11 with 305/30s to the rear. Rubber band tyres…

Stunning though the five-spoke wheels are, there are some marks in places which can be seen in our pictures.

The brakes are on display, with HISpec 6-pot MegaMonster grooved brakes up front, and AP Racing drilled discs to the rear. This car ain’t short of stopping power!

That striking paint finish does have a few blemishes we should mention, the most noticeable on the bonnet where we suspect the heat of the engine has caused the paint to bubble up. You will also find the odd stone chip here and there.

We also note some marks to the Cerbera’s A-pillars, which may need addressing.

On the Inside

You wouldn’t expect a car this eye-catching to come with a plain interior. And so, open the doors and once again prepare to be wowed.

Tuscan front seats are fitted, and hugely comfortable they are too, hugging and supporting in all the right places.

The whole interior has been retrimmed in a heady mixture of black and red Alcantara and leather. Not only does it look great, but it also smells divine.

Note the stainless-steel dashboard surround, a lovely touch, plus the SPA gauge for oil pressure and coolant temperature.

A pedal box from the Tuscan sits below decks, the aluminium pedals being ideally placed to help with those snappy heel and toe gearchanges.

The boot is nicely trimmed and is ready to accept a modicum of luggage should you be brave enough to take the Cerbera away on a touring holiday.

Underneath

Sitting proudly beneath that sculptured bonnet is that 4.7-litre Maserati V8. It’s a powerful beast and it runs two maps (eco and full power).

Select the full power mode, any why wouldn’t you, then expect to find 477.9bhp lurking under your right foot. That’s with the exhaust valves open, cats deleted and no resonator box. The sound is enough to truly waken the dead. Use with care.

In more restrictive eco mode, and with the exhaust middle section with resonators fitted (included in the sale), you will have to make do with 446.4bhp and a more hushed driving experience, though all things are relative.

There’s a lot to take in when inspecting the engine bay, but it all looks shipshape to us.

History Highlights

The Cerbera comes with a raft of paperwork from its early days, and we can see that it was loved and cared for. However, it’s what has been done by our seller that will interest most.

In addition to the works we have already mentioned, here’s a list of other items worthy of note. Forgive us if we miss something out…

The engine is mated with Tremec TR6060 gearbox from a 2015 Camaro ZL.

ECU is an EMU Black by Ecumaster running two maps.

Manual 90mm throttle body.

Modified front air intake and air box.

Bosch 044 fuel pump.

Aluminium radiator with silicon hoses.

New gearbox crossmember to act as a chassis stiffener.

Refurbished and power coated differential.

Refurbished steering rack.

Modified Maserati F1 clutch.

Gaz Gold pro dampers.

New springs, front 450lbs, rear 325lbs.

Modified front wishbones and track rods.

Chassis stiffened, hot zinc sprayed and powder coated.

Full nut and bolt kit by RT Racing.

Bespoke chassis brace.

Bespoke stainless-steel exhaust.

Shortened prop shaft.

PowerFlex bushes all round.

New wheel bearings.

New upper and lower ball joints.

New drop links and track rod ends.

New cooper brake lines and HISpec braided brake lines.

New PTFE fuel lines.

New heat shields (under bonnet, engine bay and tunnel).

New window door and boot seals.

Windscreen wiper motor and mechanism refurbished.

Phew!

For the first 4000-5000 miles after the build was finished our vendor "drove the car like he'd stolen it " just to test all the components and parts that had put together.  After that it has been used as a normal GT car doing 3 European trips. The total mileage the vendor has done since the build was finished is around 20,000.

The car is MoTed until 18th November and other than a few advisories for tyre wear etc, the MoT history of late is impeccable. 

What We Think

We know this car will not appeal to all, but we cannot help being wowed by the attention to detail and the drive and ambition of our seller to complete this outlandish project.

The workmanship speaks for itself and though we always encourage the inspection of our cars, in the case of this mad, bad Cerbera it really is essential. Form an orderly queue.

We can’t help but gaze upon it ourselves in awe as we wander through our warehouse packed full of gorgeous cars. You cannot help but be drawn to it.

The driving experience is second to none. Fast is an understatement. Too fast for the road, well that’s your call.

So, if this unique Cerbera has got your pulse racing, be prepared to pay between £50,000 and £60,000 we estimate.

Viewing is always encouraged and as stated this car is located at THE MARKET headquarters near Abingdon; we are open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm and to arrange an appointment please use the ‘Contact Seller’ button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

If needed, please remember we have a network of suppliers we work with regularly including: Classic & Sportscar Finance for purchase-financing, Footman James for classic car insurance, Classic Concierge for storing your car plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we never stop encouraging bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at the vehicles delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using simple cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

giorgio01

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Odometer Reading: 20000
  • Engine: 4, 7
  • Gearbox: 6 speed manual from 2015 Camaro ZL
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Candy Purple
  • Interior: Black/red alcantara with leather inserts
  • Estimated Price: £50,000 - £60,000

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