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LOT 111

1965 TVR Griffith 400 Coupe Chassis no. 400/5/009 Engine no. 1072-K25F

Sold for US$134,400 inc. premium
Lot 111
1965 TVR Griffith 400 Coupe

1965 TVR Griffith 400 Coupe
Chassis no. 400/5/009
Engine no. 1072-K25F

289ci OHV Hi-Po Ford V8 Engine
Holley 4-Barrel Carburetor
271bhp at 5,900rpm
5-Speed Manual Tremec Transmission
Independent Front Suspension - Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Wilwood Disc Brakes

*The 9th example of just 59 ever produced
*Beautifully restored condition inside and out
*Striking Opalescent Gunmetal Grey over Black and Scottish Tartan livery
*Well-documented example with an abundance of records


'The performance of a Griffith was quite phenomenal by any standards. Certainly, in straight-line performance, if not in ultimate road behavior, the car was good enough to embarrass severely an E-Type Jaguar and many V12 Ferraris!' – Graham Robson, 'TVRs Volume 1'.

Founded in Blackpool in the late 1940s by Trevor Wilkinson, TVR began by making various 'specials' before introducing its first series production model – the TVR Sports Saloon – in 1954, most of which were sold in kit form. The car that really put TVR on the map though, was the Grantura. Launched in 1958, the Grantura used a multi-tubular spaceframe chassis with Volkswagen trailing-link independent suspension all round, which was clothed in very pretty fiberglass coachwork that set the pattern for TVRs for years to come. The generously proportioned engine bay could accommodate a wide variety of engines, those of Ford and BMC being the most popular, while Grantura owners intending to go racing, as many of them did, usually specified the 1.2-litre Coventry Climax FWE unit.

Perhaps inspired by Carroll Shelby's Cobra, which had resulted from dropping a Ford V8 engine into an AC Ace, American motor dealer Jack Griffith and close friend of Shelby performed the same trick on a MkIII Grantura. The prototype was shipped to the UK and the concept approved by the factory, with production of the new model commencing towards the end of 1962.

The Griffith 400 was designed by Mark Donohue (Graduate at Brown University in Mechanical Engineering) and David Hives of TVR. Mr. Donohue was hired by Mr. Griffith to develop the Griffith 400, including the suspension which was 'State of the Art', and featured unequal wishbones and coil springs in all four corners. Lightweight and compact, the Griffith afforded the prospect of some seriously exciting motoring.


This powerful 1965 Griffith Series 400 is the 9th of just 59 examples produced by Jack Griffith at his Plainview, New York, facility. Extensively documented and listed in the original Griffith Registry of 1975, the car is said to have been first sold by Tom's Pit Stop Motors of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and spent time in Maryland before it was campaigned in autocross events by former Griffith Club of America president Joe Rauh in California. It additionally spent time in Connecticut, where it was refurbished in 2013. The seller acquired it in 2019.

The car is finished in Opalescent Gunmetal Grey over black leather upholstery with Scottish Tartan cloth inserts, and power comes from a Ford 289 cubic-inch Hi-Po V8 paired with a Tremec five-speed manual transmission. Additional equipment includes Wilwood four-wheel disc brakes, 14″ Minilite magnesium wheels, and a Nardi wood-rimmed steering wheel. An August 2020 service performed by Moyer's Repair Service in Santa Ana, California, included the installation of replacement wiring, mahogany dash panels, and new upholstery, and the Holley 750-cfm Double Pumper carburetor was rebuilt in March 2021. This Griffith is now offered with period literature, complete tool kit, service records, and a clean California title in the seller's name.

The fiberglass body on this example was reportedly modified using components from Nigel Reuben Racing Design of Worcestershire, England, under previous ownership before a repaint was performed in 2013 in Opalescent Gunmetal Grey, a period Jaguar color. Features include chrome split bumpers, Ford Cortina Mark I-sourced taillights, Talbot-style mirrors, a vented hood and fenders, and Lucas fog lamps. Mark Donohue lettering has been applied to the front fenders along with American flag decals. There are 4 bins of documents, photos, parts and much supporting documentation that accompany this very rare piece of automotive history.

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