Posts Tagged ‘Cerbera’


The Founder of TVR Passes Away. RIP Trevor Wilkinson.

August 6, 2008


A legend in his own right.

Trevor Wilkinson, the founder of TVR, the small British carmaker known for nimble little sports cars that early owners often assembled from a kit, died on June 6 in Minorca, Spain. He was 85.

His death was confirmed by Marshall Moore, the president of the TVR Car Club of North America.

The soft-spoken Mr. Wilkinson built his first car in 1947 as a race special and incorporated TVR Engineering (later simply TVR) the next year. The company name was a shortened version of his first name. In later years, the company was known for producing extroverted cars with outlandish names like Sagaris (a Persian-era battle-axe) and Cerbera (a derivative of Cerberus, the three-headed hound of hell).

Nothing resembling regular production began until the late 1950s, by which time Mr. Wilkinson had come up with the formula that served TVR well for the next several decades: a light tube chassis draped with oddly styled fiberglass bodywork. Mechanical components were a mishmash of parts from larger British manufacturers.

It all worked surprisingly well; early TVRs, while generally cramped and uncomfortable to drive on the street, proved to be capable weekend club racers. Because of a loophole in the British tax laws, TVRs of this era were available fully assembled or as a kit.

After the loophole was closed in 1970, most TVRs came fully assembled.

Mr. Wilkinson left the company in 1962, and TVR was sold to Martin Lilly in 1965.

Under Mr. Lilly’s stewardship, the company began to make an impression among American sports car enthusiasts.

From the start of regular production in the mid-1950s until 2006, TVR produced fewer than 30,000 cars, Mr. Moore estimated.

Mr. Wilkinson stayed in touch with TVR’s small fan base in the United States. He often attended club events, including the annual gathering of the TVR Car Club of North America. Mr. Moore said Mr. Wilkinson had been bemused by the size of the gatherings and the popularity of the cars in America and had admired the cars built by TVR’s subsequent owners.

The future of TVR is uncertain, with its factory in Blackpool closed since late 2006; there have been several failed attempts by the current owner, Nikolai Smolenski, to restart production or to sell the company .

Mr. Wilkinson was not married and had been living in retirement in Spain at his death.


RAE Car of the Month II

December 22, 2007

Welcome to our latest Car of the Month feature!

This month we bring you a present that everyone wishes the Xmas or New years would bring to their garage.

I am, of course, talking about the TVR Cerbera Speed 12.
For those of you who are not familiar with this one-off made car for road use, here is your chance to grab the real information – NEVER before published.

TVR Cerbera Speed 12tvr-2.jpgtvr-5.jpg

 How can we be sure? Simple really, the owner contacted the Rolling Art Emporium (us) to put it on the market for sale for the first time EVER.

Apart from being able to bring you a few up-to-date pictures, the Speed 12 has a dedicated website for the followers of the car. Those who have seen Sony’s GranTurismo game series will no doubt be familiar with the in-game car ferocity the Speed 12 brings with it.


However, it was much too tame for our liking and to keep things ‘real’- we found a very nice video (once again, from the Speed 12 crew) of the car in action at Silverstone. Turn the volume up, your playback size to large and enjoy every drop of pure adrenaline this car has to offer.


When trying to conjure up a comparison for the Speed 12, the only one that can really convey the message is like trying to compare the Lockheed SR 71 with a Boeing Passenger Plane.
Only in this case, there is no other beast to compare it with…..

It is a monster – and it is alive…..and don’t forget, it was built with one thing in mind – to compete with and destroy the McLaren F1.

Here is the information we got straight from the owner of the car:

Best Regards,

The Rolling Art Emporium


Conceived in 1998 to do two things

􀂃 Win at GT racing
􀂃 Create the worlds fastest road car and not eclipse the McLaren F1 but to
destroy it
First prototype called “Project 7/12” was shown at the London
Motorshow in October 1998
􀂃 many of the rich and famous placed substantial deposits for the guide
price of £245,000
􀂃 The Speed 12 evolved rapidly into the Cebera Speed 12
o 7.7 litre V12
o >850 bhp on the “soft” road cam
o ~950kg
􀂃 Four race cars were built and the process of building the road cars with
which to homologate the race cars started too
􀂃 Only one road car, W112 BHG, was made. Peter Wheeler (the owner of
TVR) drove it home and was so scared at the cars ferocious power and
torque that he decided that this could never be sold to the public
In September 2003 it was decided that such a piece of iconic history could not
nor should not reside simply in Blackpool and so TVR decided that they would
sell it
􀂃 then started a bizarre process of selecting someone with sufficient
􀂃 driving skill/experience
􀂃 sympathy to the history of the car and its inherent value
􀂃 money to run it adequately
The car was lovingly rebuilt from scratch by the TVR Factory and during this
process the car made a few very high profile appearances
􀂃 2004 Goodwood Festival of Speed
􀂃 2005 Star Car at the Million Dollar garage for the launch of Sony’s
(Polyphony) Gran Turismo 4 ‐ where it is itself the star car
􀂃 Wit the march of technology and the absence of the need to comply
with any FIA regulations, some substantial and significant changes were
made to the car
o full carbon fibre body
o incorporating air ducts to drive air into the plenum chamber (i.e.
no FIA restrictors) enabling the engine to breath to its full and
ferocious capacity
o a brand new latest specification Hollinger 6‐speed sequential
gearbox (required to cope with the torque of the engine)
o the design and execution of a “bucket head” in replacement to the
usual “finger follower” head
o brand new AP brakes all round
o all of the bracketry, spacers, washers, etc., etc. machined out of
titanium enabling the weight to be reduced yet further


The Cerbera Speed 12 was designed for one reason only at that was to be the
world’s fastest and most accelerative car; whether in the British GT series as a
race car or as a road car. Back in 1998, Peter Wheeler, the then owner of TVR
wanted to race in GT racing and needed an appropriate race car but to
homologate it. The race car TVR needed to compete with was the McLaren F1
and so they set about designing a car that would eclipse it on the track and the
road versions for the buying public.

The first concept car (Project 7/12) was shown to the public at the London
Motorshow in October 1998. With its sub 1000kg weight and 7.7 litre V12
engine the promised performance was massive. A few iterations of the Speed
12 developed in to the Cerbera Speed 12 with its honeycomb Kevlar and
carbon chassis and body, 6‐speed sequential Hollinger gearbox. On the faster
race circuits the Cerbera Speed 12 was devastingly quick. Concurrent with this,
TVR started the process of developing the road car which evolved out of the
knowledge gained in the race programme.

Prior to its launch, TVR had been taking many substantial deposits from the
rich and famous prospective owners for this McLaren beating car. At the time
the estimated price tag was £245,000. In 1999 and 2000 the only road car
produced W112 BHG was first Registered in 2000 and once ready Peter
Wheeler took the car home just to try it out. By now, with a kerb weight of
~950kg and >850bhp the car proved unbelievably fast, and despite Peter racing
a Tuscan race car, he felt that the car was simply too fast to sell to the public.
Many disappointed customers who had committed to the car had their
deposits returned.

In September 2003, the current owner saw the car for sale by TVR via Michael
Caine, the then factory race driver. When he approached them he was told
that there was significant interest and hence he would have to present himself
to the factory at Blackpool to be interviewed by Peter Wheeler, Ben Samuelson
and Michael Caine to ensure that he was capable and suitable to be the owner
of the sole road Cerbera Speed 12. Once he had passed this ordeal the process
of painstakingly rebuilding every part of the car was initiated ‐ with the only
difference being utilisation of the fully carbon race bodywork (saving even
more weight and looking even more dramatic). TVR kindly allowed some
disruption of this process to allow it to be the star attraction at the Goodwood
Festival of Speed in 2004. A little later, in March 2005, Sony requested that it
also be the Star Turn at the Million Dollar garage to assist them launch the
Polyphony game Gran Turismo 4. The perfect irony was that this was the exact
car that they used to obtain its sound and image. To get it to the car park, TVR
drove it through the streets of London and this was filmed and appeared on
the ITN 1800 news. Two days later, it was loaned to EVO magazine who tested
it around the South circuit at Silverstone and then around the local village
streets. John Barker gave it 11.5 stars out of 12!!!

Since this time, TVR were able to utilise the bespoke “bucket” that they had
designed but were unable to use in the GT racing. Additionally, the current
owner has had his race mechanics fabricate all of the brackets, spacers, etc. in
titanium along with replacement of all of the brakes with new AP items.