The Dewalt sponsored TVR 400R was TVR’s first entry into Le Mans in 2004 in the GT class. This was TVR’s first foray to Le Mans, and it was a great achievement for TVR just to compete. The two cars managed 291 and 300 laps respectively, an impressive feat for such a small team. In fact the TVR outlasted some of the favourites to win the class!
The Tuscan was introduced in 1999, powered by TVR’s own design of 6 cylinder, 4 litre engine. With plenty of power for its light weight, carbon fibre body and trademark aggressive styling, the Tuscan was naturally suited to motorsport. The competition model was known as the T400R and this particular car was the first of seven chassis produced in 2001, specifically to go racing.
TVR 400R was based around a modified Tuscan with modified mechanicals and engine. The modifications and developments made for this car were carried over to the 440R road car, better known as the Typhon.
The T400R pictured was first raced in 2001 in the British GT championship and again in 2002 and 2003 in the hands of John Hartshorne. For 2004 the car began a three year stint in the Le Mans Endurance Series, which included the infamous 24 hour race. In 2005 a seventh place in class was a great result and the car became the last ever TVR to race at the Le Mans 24 hour race. After a few races in 2006, the car was finally retired from competition.
TVR at Le Mans
Appearing at Le Mans was a great moment for TVR. Peter Wheeler wanted to race the Speed 12 there in the late nineties but the cars extreme output outlawed the car from competing. The Dewalt car was driven by a team of six drivers including: Chris Stockton, Bob Berridge, Michael Caine and Richard Stanton. The second was driven by an all female team of Fanny Duchateau, Liz Halliday and Amanda Stretton.
The Typhon Road Car
While the Dewalt TVR didn’t win at Le Mans, it competed admirably and it was the factory’s first appearance at the legendary race. It also helped develop the Typhon road car. The road car featured the familiar steel “backbone” chassis that most TVRs used, together with added aluminium and carbon fibre reinforcement. The bodywork was bonded to the chassis and included an integrated roll cage.
Sadly in 2005 Peter Wheeler sold the company before the Typhon could be properly finished. 7 Cars were produced in different specifications, including the concept car. These cars were finished at different stages with the end specification changing. It remains a very rare and sought after TVR.
Road trip, car show or track day Ed is sure to be there taking photos and notes to blog about. Ed has a particular fascination with the volatile history of the British sports car industry which is where the idea for the site came from!