TVR has to be one of the most recognisable names in British sports car history. Founded in 1947 in Blackpool by TreVoR Wilkinson, the early days of the TVR No 1 built using a tubular chassis and Trevor’s own design metal bodyshell, paved the way for iconic TVR models such as the Griffith, Grantura, Tuscan, Chimaera and the more recent Sagaris. Almost 75 years later, there’s no doubt hearing the unmistakable rumble of a TVR is guaranteed to make your head turn!
Let us introduce you to the TVR Car Club
Formed in 1965, the club has gone from strength to strength and now has almost 5,000 members spread right across the world. Their ethos is about being a welcoming and all-encompassing club. Anyone with an interest in sports cars is welcome to join, you don’t have to own a TVR. Yes, the name really speaks for itself!
ClassicLine has been a TVR specialist for over 30 years and a proud supporter of the TVR Car Club for over 20 years. Some of our best times have been with the club’s committee and members at Burghley Horsepower, and on the club stand at the NEC Classic Car Show over the years. Our appreciation of the TVR is also expressed through our sponsorship of Ben Coombes and the Pub2Pub team, the crew behind the epic 26,500-mile road trip from the northernmost pub in the world to the southernmost.
We caught up with Mark Tickle, TVR Car Club PR Officer, to find out more…
Tell us a bit about the club?
The TVR Car Club offers an annual membership that provides a huge range of contact points via our website, social media, “Sprint” magazine, regional meetings and national events. Throughout the country, we have more than 30 active regional organisations, that hold regular meetings, social events and gatherings so wherever you are based, the club provides a friendly meeting/conversation point for anyone with an interest in TVR sports cars.
We are also the “official” TVR club and as a result of this have good communications links with Les Edgar and his team at TVR Manufacturing.
Describe the club in three words?
Welcoming, non-conformist, and fun!
How many people are there in the team who run the club?
The committee are all volunteers, around 20 of us, plus there are a few busy staff in our office. We’re lucky that people love TVR’s enough to give up their time to help manage the club, organise events, design and edit the magazine and review our membership benefits.
For those that might not know, tell us a bit about the vehicles that are covered by the club?
TVR was founded in 1947 by Trevor Wilkinson who gave his name to the make – TreVoR. All makes and models of TVR are covered by the club from the Grantura to the Typhon, plus prototypes and race specials.
Tell us about your club magazine…
Sprint Magazine is published and printed monthly. The content is very member focused, with articles on local and national events, plus car restorations, charity events, track days, tours, industry personalities profiles – plus great pictures of TVR’s of course!
Is there a technical forum?
Yes. There’s a comprehensive forum on our club website. We also find people tend to ask questions on our Facebook group – TVR Torque.
What about club archives?
Yes – we have a great archive, both of the history of cars and of past editions of the magazine. The club secretary is mainly involved with car histories and can provide heritage certificates. The magazine archive is available via our members section of the club website.
How about you Mark, how long have you been involved?
I’ve owned TVR’s for 20 years. I have had my current Chimaera for 16 years. It’s my wife’s fault – she dragged me into Henley TVR many years ago, and one hour and one test drive later I’d bought my first TVR!
My biggest mistake was selling my first one as I needed a “sensible” car for work. I had to go and buy a replacement as I missed it so much. I use my car all year and several times a week so it’s definitely not pristine, but I love it.
Although I’ve only been involved with the club for around 8 months working on our social media presence, I get involved in many different things like shows, membership recruitment, partner management …
Money no object?
Probably an Aston Martin Vanquish Volante.
Do members receive benefits for being part of the club?
Yes – there are lots of benefits on top of the camaraderie and fun! There are 41 different categories of benefits listed in the benefits section on our website. The most popular include discounts on insurance, tyres, Halfords, oils, servicing plus many more. We are working on making them more visible to members and have discovered that on average our members save £143 per annum using club discounts.
CL: That’s a great saving! TVR Car Club members receive a 15% premium discount on new and renewal policies with ClassicLine Insurance too.
Tell us about your club meets…
Were really looking forward to getting back to normal as soon as possible. Usually, there are local events running every month by our regional organisers, who do a fantastic job. I’ve seen everything from traditional pub meets and drive outs, to archery contests, picnics, visits to local attractions etc.
At our national events, we usually get several hundred cars. This year there’s already lots to look forward to. We have exclusive access to Millbrook Proving Ground, a tour of Bletchley park, a helicopter experience, plus track days, classic car shows, BBQ’s and any good excuse to bring people and cars together! All events are added to our online calendar as well as updated via social media and Spring.
Do you attend other shows as a club?
Yes, in addition to our own events we attend major trade shows like the NEC Classic Car Show – we are planning the November event at the moment.
Personally, I’m looking forward to being able to drive the Millbrook testing circuit. It’s not normally accessible – so I don’t want to miss the opportunity.!
CL: For those that may not know, ClassicLine will offer a free insurance extension to all ClassicLine customers with policies in force on their dedicated TVR scheme for the event on August 21st 2021 at Millbrook Proving Ground. Customers who do not have this cover as standard, please telephone our office on 0145563900 at least 5 days before the event so we can issue the extension of cover to cover your car on this fabulous event.
Any moments that stand out for you over the years?
Wow, probably too many to mention! In recent years, we had a fantastic attendance at the NEC Classic Car Show in 2017 when the new TVR Griffith prototype was put on show for the first time. It’s always fabulous to see the older cars too at the annual pre-80’s gathering which have been most recently at Cosford & Brooklands.
We see the club has won a few awards…
The club has won multiple awards in many categories including, Car Club of the Year, Best Magazine, Best Website, Club Personality, Best Event. We do try to be a bit different from other clubs, for example we want to be very inclusive and offer an “access all areas” approach at shows. There’s no award for that approach, but people love it!
Does the club support a charity?
We have tended to support different charities based upon the location or event. But most recently, we have supported Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. We’ve also supported Help for Heroes and Teenage Cancer Trust and of course the much-loved Sporting Bears.
What tips would you give to young enthusiasts?
We’re always pleased to encourage younger member participation. Younger members are represented on our committee and we do like to include their projects in Sprint magazine. We recently covered Sam’s Virtual Griffith in print by video and this earlier this year covered a Cerebra restoration by a 21-year-old member. Social media also helps our reach with younger members, and we are starting to see some pleasing demographic shifts. You may not know but we also have a junior membership scheme too.
We have significantly increased our Facebook reach and will be extending our Instagram and YouTube presence over the coming months.
What makes you proud to be a member of the TVR Car Club?
I would say our members. It’s been really pleasing to see lots of comments on our Facebook pages, even though there have been very limited opportunities to get the TVR out this past year. Club members are still enjoying discussions, competitions, quizzes, restorations and of course planning future car related activities.
We are always looking to welcome new members, even if you’re not a member please drop by our stand or promotional vehicle for a chat or a cuppa.
So, these are the people behind one of our favourite clubs. Working hard behind the scenes to maintain a friendly and welcoming club, bringing TVR owners and new enthusiasts together. TVR Car Club, thank you for being our club of the month.
ClassicLine Insurance offer a range of car club insurance schemes that can provide revenue for your club as well as benefits and discounts for your members. To find out more about this and our specialist club liability insurance, visit our car clubs page.