Following up on the earlier 2002 Lotus Esprit V8, we’d thought we’d provide a more sensible, wallet-friendly, reliable classic as a counterpart. At least, we planned on doing that, right up until we ran into this 1986 TVR Tasmin 280i convertible on Craigslist.
If the Lotus requires a strong working relationship with your local import mechanic, this Tasmin should necessitate a reserved space at your local self-serve repair shop, if you catch our drift. I’m sure these are fighting words for a TVR club, but we’re not sure this TVR the right choice for someone looking for a reasonably trouble-free classic.
There’s a chance we’re being a bit harsh, especially considering the fairly pedestrian powertrain. Whereas modern TVRs pack bespoke I-6 and V-8 engines, the Tasmin was powered by Ford’s ubiquitous Cologne V-6, here making 160 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque routed to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission.
Compared to the figures put out by the naturally aspirated four-cylinders of today, it might seem woefully underpowered. However, the TVR was light, hovering above the scales at a relatively ethereal 2,368 pounds. Considering a contemporary Porsche 911 was right around 2,600 pounds, the TVR was no slouch. 0-60 arrived in eight seconds and top speed reached 130 mph.
As far as ‘80s British cars go, this Tasmin is sharp, especially with that sweet, sweet yellow-over-black scheme that seems to be strangely asymmetrical on the right side, incorporating a yellow rocker panel not found on the opposing side.
If you’re sick of how little your classic Alfa Romeo breaks down, head over to the Craigslist ad to pick up this 1986 TVR Tasmin 280i Convertible.