Lot 78 (The Pavilion Gardens, 27th November 2019)
Sold for £18,000
(including buyers premium)
Registration No: 603 FM
Chassis No: 7C119
- Offered for sale by its first (private) registered keeper and just 20,600 miles from new!
- Supplied by Aitchison-Hopton of Chester who owned TVR at the time but thought to have been built in 1959
- Original Coventry-Climax FWE engine, last serviced at 20,415 miles, an unrepeatable opportunity
- Offered with original sales brochure and collection of invoices
According to its accompanying original buff logbook, chassis 7C119 was first registered to supplying dealer - Aitchison-Hopton (Engineers) Ltd of Chester - on 25th July 1962 with the number plate `603 FM'. The same document records the Colour as White, the Model as MKIIA Grantura, the engine number as 8409, the engine capacity as 1220cc and the initial private keeper as Alan Rodda of Wrexham. Taking delivery on August 13th 1962, Mr Rodda was told his car had originally been built for a customer in India but that the latter had abandoned trying to get it imported after several years of bureaucratic wrangling.
This scenario makes sense in that a sister car - chassis 7C118 - is known to have been road registered during May 1959. Although the original buff logbook identifies `603 FM' as a MKIIA, it lacks the rack and pinion steering and front disc brakes which typify that model. Instead, the two-seater appears to be a MKI - MKII hybrid which is interesting because Aitchison-Hopton advertised a Grantura in late 1961 with the following description: `TVR Mark 1-11, fitted blown 100E. Extraordinary history. Never raced, rallied or used. In fact it has never been registered'.
Chassis 7C119 may have acquired what looks to be a MKII bodyshell, MKII interior and MKIIA window frames because the factory used it as a guinea pig for development. Alternatively, they might have updated the car to try and appease the Indian gentleman while he tried to obtain an import licence etc. Or the Grantura might have been accident damaged at the Works and then rebodied.
What is known for definite is that Aitchison-Hopton bought a controlling share in the Blackpool-based manufacturer during September 1961 and had renamed it from Layton Sports Cars Ltd to TVR Cars Ltd by the year's end. Hiring Ken Richardson and embarking upon an ambitious international competition programme for 1962 (including Sebring and Le Mans) put a big strain on the company finances and chassis 7C119 may have been released from its limbo to help with cashflow.
Fitted with its current 1220cc Coventry-Climax FWE engine (number 8409) since at least July 1962, `603 FM' has covered 20,598 miles in Mr Rodda's hands and was last fitted with a GUD oil filter at 20,415 miles (or so one of the stickers affixed to its bulkhead shows). The original Blue upholstery is in good order and the ancient BF Goodrich tyres still hold air. A true timewarp, this effectively one owner and decidedly low mileage Grantura has the makings of a great project. Surely an unrepeatable opportunity.
Offered for sale with original buff logbook and old-style V5 Registration Document
H&H are indebted to David Griffin, Ian Massey-Crosse and Rob Pennington for the information they supplied to our colleague George Turner which proved invaluable in compiling this description.