A Potted TVR Prototype History

Original Factory Keys

The White Elephant is a 1988 TVR prototype - the only TVR ever to be powered by an Australian 5 litre Holden V8 Bathurst race engine - and one of only a handful of TVR Prototypes to survive today.

A prototype in build...

During the mid 1980's TVR were looking to develop new models to replace theTasmin Series and the S Series. The White Elephant was an attempt to bring the Tasmin up to date and make her relevent to the 90's and the onset of the new Millennium.

PW's Logbook

Commissioned personally by Peter Wheeler the Managing Director of TVR, this 185mph car was used as a testbed for the new Walkinshaw HSV Bathurst racing engine, which was being considered as an alternative to the Rover V8 unit and was Peter's own personal transportation for a couple of years.

It was eventually decided that the prototype's rounded-off Wedge shape was still too dated for the 1990's and that Australian engine logistics could also be a problem - so the project was shelved and 12 months later the new TVR Griffith, which was based on an S Series chassis and running gear,was born…


Rotting in the Graveyard


Nelly was sent down to TVR main dealership 'Team Central'for a period andbecame the centrepiece of their showroom, the car being used by Managing Director Clive Greenhalgh on high days and holidays. Returning back to Bristol Avenue several years later, the car was used as a Factory hack - often being used for the sandwhich run. She was eventually retired to the back of the Factory where her rear screen wastaken at some stage by crash repair to help rebuild a customer's car. The old girl was covered up for a while, but eventually the weather found it's way in. The bonnet also found it's way under the car, so the engine bay too was open to the elements.


Having been tracked and researched for three or four years, the Elephant was rescued from the 'TVR Graveyard' at the rear of the Factory in July 2004; just two weeks before Peter Wheeler sold TVR to Nikolai Smolenski. She will now be restored to her former glory and will be able to take her pride of place as a truly unique Blackpool Rocket.

If you know of something that we don't and you think it would be useful, interesting or just plain quirky to include on these pages, please contact us.

Your help would be much appreciated...