1993 TVR Chimaera

400 Convertible 4 L

Vehicle values by condition

Fair
Condition 4
£6,200
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Good
Condition 3
£9,400
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Excellent
Condition 2
£13,700
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Concours
Condition 1
£21,700
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1993 TVR Chimaera 400 Convertible 3950
valued at £9,400
£289.85 / year*

History of the 1993 - 2003 TVR Chimaera

1993 - 2003 TVR Chimaera
1993 - 2003 TVR Chimaera

When chemical engineer Peter Wheeler took over TVR in the 1980s, the company transitioned from naturally aspirated and turbocharged V-6 engines to big V-8s. While TVR worked to develop its own engine, it used the Rover V-8 in a line of bold new models, including the Chimaera, Griffith, Cerbera, Tuscan, and Tamora.

The first of these were the Griffith and Chimaera. The Griffith was a traditional hard-edge performance car in the spirit of the original, while the Chimera was designed to be a grand tourer and the most user-friendly TVR to date. Powered by four variations of the fuel-injected Rover V-8, 5,256 Chimaeras found buyers over the course of 11 years, making it the best-selling TVR to that point.

Not that The Chimaera was underpowered; horsepower ranged from 240 bhp in the first 4-litre 400 model in 1992, (with an optional 255 bhp in the 400 HC) to 340 bhp in the 5-litre 500 from 1994, which delivered 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds and top speed of 167 mph. The 240 bhp version was “only” good for 0-60 mph in 5.1 seconds and 158 mph top speed.

The Chimaera (a mythological beast composed of pieces of others) had a larger GRP body than the Griffith, softer suspension and plusher interior, with leather upholstery and walnut veneer dash with full instruments. The Chimaera had a decent sized trunk and was capable of 28 mpg, if driven carefully. Brakes were effective, with power-assisted 10-inch discs all round, with the front ones ventilated. Rack-and-pinion steering offered 2.6 turns lock-to-lock, 2.2 turns with power-assist.

The high-performance, 5-litre 500 engine option with wider tires replaced the 4.3-litre 430 model in 1994, and about 600 examples were built. The first cars had Rover’s LT77 five-speed, but that was upgraded to the T5 in 1994, the same year that multiple belts were replaced with a serpentine one.

Bigger radiator fans were fitted in 1995 and a design facelift accompanied a change to the same chassis as the Griffith in 1996. The 4.5-liter 450 replaced the high-performance 400HC in 1997 and the 400 was dropped in 1998. All models were updated in 2000 with covered headlights, new seats and switchgear and the 500 was discontinued in 2003, followed by the last 450 in 2004.

While the Rover engine and gearbox are sturdy, some other aspects of the car are still a bit agricultural. The electrics are dubious, and water leaks can wreak havoc. The radiator is fragile so look for cracks, and the powder-coated frame can rust, especially the outriggers which should be examined on a hoist. Since the seatbelts are anchored there, that’s doubly important. Also check suspension wishbones, particularly at the rear, and anywhere on the chassis where there’s a welded joint.

Perhaps most important to consider is that the Chimaera is still new enough and sophisticated enough to have been driven a lot, which means it’s been exposed to the weather throughout its life and structural rust can lurk in hard-to-find places. A detailed pre-purchase inspection is vital and should include a search for accident damage. Quite apart from MOT issues, these cars are much too fast to take chances.

Alternative performance cars include the Aston Martin DB7, the Jaguar XJS and the Porsche 911 (993).

All 1993 TVR Chimaera body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1993 TVR Chimaera 400 Convertible 4 L £ 6,200 9,400 13,700 21,700
1993 TVR Chimaera 430 Convertible 4.3 L £ 7,100 11,800 15,300 22,600
1993 TVR Chimaera 450 Convertible 4.5 L £ 7,100 11,800 15,300 22,600
1993 TVR Chimaera 400HC Convertible 4 L £ 6,700 11,100 14,400 22,300
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