Before I get in to all the details about this car let me give you some history as to how the TVR Speed 12 came to be. First of all, the vehicle, known as the TVR Project 7/12, first appeared at the 1996 Birmingham Motor Show which resulted in attracting more crowds than any other cars in the show. The number “7” referred to the 7.7 liter (469 cubic inch) engine, and “12” for the number of cylinders in the engine, thus the 7/12 was born. TVR said it would have over 800 horsepower and be faster than the McLaren F1. The first concepts shown were based upon a developmental FIA GT1 class race car that was current at that time. It would also be restricted (for public usage) to a modest 660 horsepower and the weight would be kept at roughly 2204 pounds but the real statistics were never properly recorded. The motor in this bad boy was essentially two TVR AJP6 inline 6 cylinder engines that were mated on a single crankshaft. The thing that was unusual for an automobile of its type was that the engine block was made of steel. It also offered a specially built 6-speed manual gearbox and clutch.
By 1998 the car had been renamed the TVR Speed 12 and their GT1 racer was almost ready to go. TVR wanted to race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but that never happened. The Speed 12 GTS did manage to compete in a few races in the FIA GT Championship in the GT1 class but rule changes caused by advanced high-cost purpose built racers (mentioned on other blogs within this series) such as the Porsche 911 GT series of cars along with the subsequent demise of this class rendered the Speed 12 obsolete. In order to salvage all the work that went into this car, TVR immediately set about creating the road-going Speed 12, although the project would not be completed for another year.
Once all the bugs of the car were finally resolved (so it was thought), the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 would also be built in parallel with a new race car, although TVR was forced to opt for GT2 since they could not compete in the GT1 class anymore. The new race car managed to run for a few seasons in the British GT Championship and it had some success but the mechanical gremlins that were thought to be resolved along with a diminished amount of funding ultimately caused it all to come to an end. Yes, the car hung in there for a couple of years but it was primarily used for racing in the GT2 class of racing up until 2003.
It is a shame that a car like this had to come to an end but a car not only has to be fast as well as handle like it is on rails, it also has to be well funded and extremely well built.
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