Saturday, January 5, 2013

Forbidden Fruit: 1998 TVR Griffith 500 Blackpool Edition in the USA

final edit, 2/13/2013: SOLD! Again, we hope we influenced it, and we'd love to hear from the new owner!

edit, 1/18/2013: This car is on hold by the seller. We hope that we helped influence this move.

(all photos from the seller,

This rare British roadster, with only 18,000 miles, and a model never sold in the USA, somehow ended up at a British sports car specialist in Florida. While still too new for legal ownership in the US, it just turned 15 years old, so this car can be legally imported and enjoyed by Canadians, it can be repatriated to the UK very easily, and there are many other places that this car can be owned and driven legally. Just 10 more years before it can come to the US, assuming that a politician with protectionist or uberenvironmentalist intents does not overturn the 21/25 exemption in favor of something stricter or no imports at all, or if 21/25 is liberalized into something like what Canada has for private vehicle imports.

The design is unusual but appealing, the engine is a 5.0-liter, 340hp Rover V8 with fuel injection and backed by a 5-speed Tremec manual transmission, it is fully loaded with leather seats, air conditioning, an alarm system and power windows/locks, and being a British car manufactured for Japanese exports, it is right-hand drive. 

$43,900 USD buys this car, but Insomniac Garage does not recommend that an American purchases the car unless they export it to a vacation home or timeshare in Canada or some other place that it is legal, registers it there and does not bring it to the US until it is legal.

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