1987 TVR Tasmin 350i


• 3.5 litre
• Extensive history
• Well maintained

The Background

Launched in 1980, the TVR Tasmin, as it was known, was designed by ex-Lotus automotive designer Oliver Winterbottom. The car launched with a Ford V6 Cologne engine as a coupe with convertible, followed by a 2+2 fixed head later that year. There was a more entry level Tasmin 200 released in 1981, which used the Ford Pinto engine.

With minimal interest, the Tasmin 200 was dropped from the range in 1984. It was in 1983 that things took a change for the Tasmin by Yorkshireman and new TVR owner Peter Wheeler, who decided he wanted a car to take on the likes of Ferrari and Maserati. He felt that the current engine, the Ford V6, wasn’t powerful enough, and looked elsewhere for a substitute engine which could be used.

The weapon of choice, chosen to power the Tasmin, was Rover’s 3.5 litre V8, which would become part of the TVR golden age. The car was rebadged as the 350i, and with it’s 190 bhp, took the TVR from 0-60mph in just over six seconds and a top speed of 130mph. Production was successful for the 350i, producing over 1000 units, which ended in 1989 when the model was dropped from the TVR line up.

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The History

The seller of this original 1987 TVR 350i has owned the vehicle for just over a year. He purchased it as a bit of V8 fun for the summer months.

Already a well maintained car, the seller has, in December 2021, replaced the HT leads and fitted new spark plugs along with new rocker cover gaskets and a track rod end.

Unfortunately, with his classic MG stored at home, the seller's other storage area will become unavailable and so the TVR has to go.

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The Paperwork

There is the V5 present and it shows there have been 15 previous keepers. Included is a copy of the workshop manual along with plenty of invoices showing just what has been done, and how much has been spent on the 350i.

There is an MOT on the TVR which is valid until the 22nd December 2022. You can also see on. the MOT history just how little use the car has had in the past 15 years, with approximately 1,500 miles covered.

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The Interior

Inside the TVR has been finished in grey leather for the seats with red piping to match the exterior, and the same grey is used on the door cards and dashboard. The driver’s seat does have some patina showing and would benefit from a deep clean. The leather has not split and so could quite easily be filled and re-colored if desired by a leather specialist. The carpets have some age related wear which is in keeping with the mileage of the TVR.

From the driver's seat you are faced with a leather MOMO steering wheel, with the all important gauges sitting in the wooden fascia surround which is in good order. The instruments are all reported to be working as they should, although the faces are a little cloudy. The odometer is showing a reading of 94,386 miles. The switchgear is all reported to be working correctly and the windows go up and down nice and quickly.

Into the boot, and the space saver spare wheel is present complete with the cover. The gas struts which hold the boot up have lost their pressure and could do with replacing, and the catch for the boot does stick a little.

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The Exterior

The fibreglass exterior of the TVR is in very good condition. There is the odd chip here and there as you would expect for the age and mileage of the vehicle, but there we did not see any signs of crazing to the fiberglass, as is often found on vehicles made this way.

Starting at the front of the wedge shaped 350i, the ultra cool 80’s pop up headlights are working as they should and are free from any chips to the lenses. The same can be said for the fog lights and indicators. There are some age related chips to the lower valance and bumper.

The bonnet aligns as it should with the wings, and the windscreen is in good order. Around to the side of the car, and the doors have an equal panel gap to both sides. There is the odd chip on the door edge and the pinstripe has come off in a couple of places, which would be an easy fix. The side windows look to be free from any excessive scratches and the seals appear to be in good order.

The removable hard top has worn through in a couple of places on the edges and this was one job the seller was going to get done before the storage issues arose. The rear section of the roof has some signs of wear, but it does fold up and down as it should and fits well around all sides.

To the rear, and like the rest of the car, the boot lid aligns up as it should. There is a factory spoiler fitted in good order, and some trivia for you, if you didn’t know, the rear lights are from a Renault Fuego, mounted upside down, and these are free from any damage.

The wheels are 5 spoke split rims with a polished lip. There is some light tarnishing to the lips which may polish back up, but other than that, the wheels look to be in very good condition with tyres that have a good amount of tread remaining.

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The Mechanics

Fitted with Rover’s 3.5 litre fuel injected V8, the TVR 350i sounds absolutely stunning and doesn't fail to turn heads as it rumbles through the high street, as we found out on the way to shoot the car. The 3.5 litre is coupled to a 5-speed manual gearbox.

The seller reports that everything is working as it should. The car fires up from cold with the flick of the key and sounds amazing exiting through the twin tailpipes. The seller also explains how the car drives well, with no untoward noises from the suspension or transmission, and the gear change operates smoothly.

Bringing the car to a halt, the TVR uses Ford Granada brakes, and these are working as they should, pulling the car up in a straight line, with no judder. A recent service has seen new HT leads and spark plugs fitted to give the car a clean bill of health for the new keeper.


The Appeal

A British two-seater ready to be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost from when it was new. You could easily take this car to the next level should you wish, or use it as it was intended.... drive it and enjoy it!

Will you be the next person to become the custodian of this 1980’s wedge?

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1987
  • Make TVR
  • Model Tasmin 350i
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 94,386 Miles
  • Engine size 3498
  • Town Sutton Coldfield
  • Location West Midlands
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
19 bids
  • 600r.fa•••• £7,800 16/01/22
  • stewart•••• £7,700 16/01/22
  • BrianRo•••• £7,600 16/01/22
  • stewart•••• £7,500 16/01/22
  • Dominic•••• £7,250 16/01/22
  • stewart•••• £6,900 16/01/22
  • Dominic•••• £6,700 16/01/22
  • stewart•••• £6,600 16/01/22
  • Razor £6,400 16/01/22
  • stewart•••• £6,300 16/01/22

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