The TVR Elephant: the restoration

The TVR Elephant: the restoration


August 2004

Having just rescued Nelly, she is put on display at the next meeting of the West Lancs
TVR Car Club. Albeit she arrives on a trailer of course. Two weeks of trying to diagnose a starting problem lead to the diagnosis that it has some very rusty electrics and several blocked injectors at the very least. So the restorers make the decision to start stripping her down almost immediately.

February 2005

The US spec Borg Warner T5 box & the standard Jaguar Salisbury diff were re-built by ATJ Transmissions in Chester. Both units were stripped and acid-bathed before being thoroughly examined and then re-assembled by Alan. The gearbox was re-machined to accept an updated seal kit and an updated thrust bearing was installed in the bell-housing. Several hours were also spent re-finishing both units to bring them up to an ‘as-new’ finish.

September 2006

As the original exhaust system was is a very poor state of repair, we fabricated a new one – sympathetic in every way to the old one – but this time made from high quality stainless steel for better aesthetics and longevity. As the system may well not bring the noise level down below 105db, we also have the option of fabricating a pair of track-day baffles for the end of the system, to allow us to pass scrutineering for hill climbs and sprints.

October 2008

Having completed the in-house bodywork tasks, the shell has been returned to Bristol Avenue for the Surface & Design team to work their magic and complete the bottom end and engine bay finishing. There is plenty to do, including fabricating a new, stronger bonnet which will hinge, this replacing the original kevlar bonnet which had to be lifted off completely to access the engine bay. The inner nose also needs an amount of work to ensure the new radiator can sit flush for optimum performance. Both footwells also need some attention as the passenger side is wafer thin and the driver’s side has a sizable hole in the front corner. By the time the shell has been fully prepped and given a coat of two-pack primer, the engine bay, tunnel, nose, sills, rear valence and wheel arches will all be finished in the car’s signature pearlescent white, at which stage she will be ready to mount straight on to the rolling chassis.

June 2009

As the restorers have to install the engine in the chassis before they can drop the body on, it makes sense to complete the final painting of the inner nose and engine bay as soon as we can. Due to the intricacies of spraying these areas they have to spray the entire front of the car to finish this section seamlessly. Once the engine and chassis are reunited once more and the body is lifted on, they will bolt on the doors, set the gaps and finish the painting.