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Founder of UK sports car manufacturer TVR dies in Spain

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The TVR No 2, the oldest surviving TVR, pictured in 2006

Trevor Wilkinson, who founded the UK performance car manufacturer TVR has died at his home in Minorca, Spain. He was 85.

Wilkinson, from Blackpool, left education at 14, getting an apprenticeship at a local garage. In 1946 he bought a local wheelwright's business, which he renamed Trevcar Motors, which sold and repaired cars, as well as undertaking light engineering work.

He built his first car the following year. It was a two-seater based on an Alvis Firebird chassis for his own use. He then formed TVR Engineering, the name derived from his own - TreVoR. The first TVR was unveiled in 1949. It was a two-seater with an alloy body and a multi-tubular steel chassis.

The first production TVR was initially called simply the 'Mark I', but became known as the Grantura. This M-type glass fibre bodied car was to remain in production, in a modified form, until 1980, when it was replaced by the Tasmin, which had an angular wedge design.

Wilkinson himself left TVR in 1962 to form another engineering business, which specialised in glass fibre construction. He moved to Minorca after retiring.

The TVR Car Club website announced yesterday that he had died in Spain. The news was confirmed by a spokeswoman for Minorca's Mateu Orfila Hospital. According to the TVR Car Club's site "He was aware of the serious nature of his final illness but, according to a friend, took it in stoical fashion that was typical of the man."


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