Each year the TVR Car Club’s Wiltshire region, under the leadership of David Border, organises a local event with a truly national draw and this year the 2015 Neil Garner Open Day was no exception as it hosted TVR Automotive Chairman Les Edgar for the day.
Just south of Kemble in Gloucestershire, and after much hard work on the Friday to set everything up, this unassuming industrial estate is filled with trade stands, an indoor stage, Le Mans Start competition area, caterers, loos and most importantly lots and lots of TVR’s. Pleasingly most cars present were brought along by their owners and given prime places to park and not show cars at all.
For someone who has become obsessed with cooling systems and in particular different expansion tank to swirl pot relative locations this proved very useful indeed. After looking under the bonnet of every car with its lid up the setup that looked best was the two being mounted together at roughly the same height? In all cases the breather pipe went from the top of the swirl pot to the bottom of the expansion tank. Not like ours then which goes to the top, in fact there isn’t even somewhere for a pipe to go at the bottom.
With that all sorted it was time to wonder around the 2015 Neil Garner Open Day again a second time this time eyes forward to see what and who was there. In the M Series corner proud owner Pedro had a wealth of knowledge about the TVR he clearly loves so much sharing an understanding only possible after lengthy and committed ownership. Thanks to Pedro contacts were confirmed for engine developments, cooling woos confirmed as a generic problem and solutions offered on how to sort them out without any leaks.
Present also was lifelong TVR fan and Pistonheads founder David Edmonston, known simply as Ted. Having sold PH to Haymarket Publishing in 2007 Ted’s latest endeavour is an experimental website called Blatters where new ideas are tried out live on 1,200 signed up users for instant feedback. Ted is relaxed about the time it takes to get Blatters working as he wants and is mainly focussed on delivering an extremely rich online experience by leveraging the underpinning technologies he knows and understands so well. We wish him good luck, although given the unprecedented success of PH, will luck really have any part to play. Good luck anyway Ted.
Elsewhere at the 2015 Neil Garner Open Day Trevor McMaster represented the TVR Car Club Speed Championship with his dark blue Tamora, arguably the prettiest of the modern day cars. The Tamora formed the basis of the far more striking and well known T350 coupe, although should not be overlooked for two very good reasons; one because it packs the same potent Speed Six motor and two it is rare with only c350 made. Underestimate Trevor’s Tamora on track or anywhere else for that matter at your own peril, its reworked engine is just three shy of a full 400bhp and that’s on a generic chip with a rolling road tune still to come. After all 400bhp is an awful lot of power for a relative svelte like frame.
Power is a word that goes hand in hand with TVR, as does of course noise. At the 2015 Neil Garner Open Day both were catered for in the form of separate shoot outs against some tasty looking hot rod guests. American big block V8s taking on Blackpool small block V8 and straight six equivalents, it is the TVR way and certainly brought extra interest to the day. Also, a bit like fire and water, there is an almost primeval appeal in witnessing a car’s engine being tested at full chat whilst strapped to a set of portable rollers live outside and in front of your very eyes?
Les Edgar is the Chair of TVR Automotive, a company now taking deposits for the latest incarnations due for delivery in 2017. Cars will cost £70,000 to £80,000 and all will be destined for the race track with road cars to follow a few years down the line. It was terrific to see Les at the 2015 Neil Garner Open Day and he seemed relaxed and very happy to discuss all things TVR as he made his own way round the show before facing questions later on. It also meant that the event represented the past near-present and future of this marque; from 1960s and 70s classics right through the entire range produced by Peter Wheeler with the new boss sharing his plans for the future. How many British low volume sports car manufacturers can boast that, especially any as uncompromising as TVR.
The 2015 Neil Garner Open Day was a very friendly affair packed with gorgeous cars, trade stands and great people to boot. There is clearly a lot of love for TVR and to see so many together watched over by their latest guardian angel, just fantastic.
How does this event make you feel?
In one word: Optimistic.
As a favourite meal: Well it was brunch-time so a bacon sandwich of course.
Anything else: When both the inventor of Pistonheads and Chairman of TVR Automotive attend and spend time talking TVR, you know you’re in the right place.
Key ingredients: Cars brought along by their enthusiastic owners, Les Edgar and Ted both there, Power and Noise Shoot-Outs plus a strong sense of optimism for the future.
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