The suggestion that you should buy a second-hand TVR is always going to be a tad controversial. Play a game of word association down the pub and the axioms ‘unreliable’ and ‘big bills’ are the usual shouts. What’s more, since the demise of the Blackpool company, the pessimists will throw in all the worries over warranties, spares supply and how all of this will affect residuals. Our advice is to ignore the doom-mongers and hit back with ‘supercar-slaying performance’ and ‘outrageous value for money’. Think about it this way: twenty-five grand will buy you a safe but uninspiring low-mileage SLK200 from 2005, but it will also bag you a cared-for T350C with 350bhp on tap, head-swivelling design clout and a 10sec 0-100mph time.
Dig deeper and you discover that ownership doesn’t have to degenerate into a pile of large bills and regular visits to the hard shoulder. Knowledge and experience are key, and you don’t have to learn the hard way: there are clubs, websites and enthusiasts with a wealth of expertise out there. Put that way, a TVR suddenly becomes rather tempting again. All you have to do is heed the advice, buy wisely and look after your purchase. Then you’ll discover that you don’t just own a TVR, you’ve found a new way of life.
Yes, TVRs are scary, but in the best possible way. And of all the models the company has produced, the T350 is right up there on our desirability list. Its compact dimensions (it’s actually shorter than an MX-5) and coupe body endow it with race-car levels of structural stiffness and bullet-like efficiency of line. You know you’re in for a no-nonsense, hardcore drive even before you summon the 3.6-litre straight six into life.
Like all TVRs, T350 residuals took a knock when the company hit the skids, but prices have now firmed up again and it’s likely that the model’s rarity (fewer than 300 were made) will keep values strong. So if you fancy a proper motoring adventure with a future classic, here’s how to get started.