2003 TVR Cerbera

4.5 Red Rose Coupe 4.5 L

Vehicle values by condition

Condition 4
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Condition 3
#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.
Condition 2
#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.
Condition 1
#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
2003 TVR Cerbera 4.5 Red Rose Coupe 4475
valued at £24,600
£576.79 / year*

History of the 1996 - 2003 TVR Cerbera

TVR Cerbera (Coupe) 1996-2006

The TVR Cerbera was in production from 1996 until 2006. Styled in house by Damian McTaggart, it is a front-engine, rear wheel drive coupe range seating two adults and up to 2 children.

The Cerbera story begins with the purchase of Rover by BMW. Peter Wheeler, then boss of TVR, didn't want to find himself without a source of engines if the Germans decided to axe the Rover V8. So race engineer Al Melling was hired to create a new V8 for TVR - the engine which would become the Speed Eight. The idea was that TVR might expand by selling engines to others for race purposes too, but it developed its latest model around this new powerplant. Broadly, the Cerbera was a stretched Chimaera with a fixed head, 2+2 layout - both firsts for TVR under Wheeler. Early Cerberas were fitted with a 4.2 litre variant of the ALP8 V8 engine, later options included a 4.0 straight six, and 4.5 litre variants of the V8.

The last Cerbera was built in 2006, a one off auctioned by then owner Nikolai Smolenski. It reached £45000 - beneath its reserve, but the sale was agreed despite that. Including VAT plus commission, the owner of the final car paid almost £57000 for the privilege. It was not directly replaced.

Nothing about a Cerbera is soft. From the unassisted steering to the meaty gearchange it's undoubtedly a hard going, brutish GT of the old school. Accelerating isn't so much about the power, more a practical demonstration for anyone unsure of the definition of torque. Keeping it on the boil takes practice because of the gearbox and the heavy clutch, but when you do there's nothing like it. The direct steering frees off a little at speed, where just two turns from lock to lock make it a pleasure to flick through sweeping curves. The four pot AP brakes are more than up to the job too - good job, given that this car is capable of seeing off Ferraris and Lamborghinis with barely a shrug.

Electrical issues are rife, as are body issues. They might look good on top being GRP, but accident damage is often poorly repaired and sink marks or cracking can be your biggest clues to this. Check the chassis too - the outriggers and top rail can suffer with peeling powder coating especially on the Speed Six models. You shouldn't cut holes in the floor to mend this but people do - a proper job involves removing the body and won't leave change from £3000. Head gaskets rot if the car hasn't had regular changes of antifreeze, or if the wrong stuff has been used, and valve seats can burn away if the clearances aren't checked every 12000 miles.

Most desirable are the V8s, especially the 4.5 litre cars. Collectors might value the early examples, but the majority of Cerbera enthusiasts are seeking raw power. The 4.0 is therefore the best value model of the Cerbera range - despite being more than fast enough for the majority of enthusiasts who would use their cars on a semi regular basis. Pre 2000 cars are prettier; later cars facelifted to more closely resemble the Tuscan with several small projector lamp units.

Alternatives include TVR's own Tuscan and Sagaris models, while fans of 1990s brute horsepower really should look to the Aston Martin Vantage for a similar shove. A Chimaera or a Griffith will offer equal enjoyment with more limited practicality and slower overall speeds. A BMW M Coupe is arguably the closest true rival of its era, though you'd have to sacrifice the rear seats if you wanted the BM.

All 2003 TVR Cerbera body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1996 TVR Cerbera 4.0 Speed Six Coupe 4 L £ 11,400 12,900 16,500 23,100
1996 TVR Cerbera 4.2 Speed Eight Coupe 4.2 L £ 11,900 13,400 17,400 23,300
1996 TVR Cerbera 4.5 Red Rose Coupe 4.5 L £ 24,400 24,600 26,300 30,900
1996 TVR Cerbera 4.5 Speed Eight Coupe 4.5 L £ 22,200 23,400 24,600 29,400
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