Love at first fright

Do you remember the first time you fell in love? In the automotive sense, I mean. We all have an affinity with a particular brand (or brands) and in most cases that obsession is forged in childhood.

For me, it was TVR. In truth, my fascination with these brawny and often-problematic British sports cars probably stems from my dad. He had an old M-Series stashed away in a rarely-visited lock up garage a few miles away from our house. We also lived relatively close to one of TVR’s few main dealers, so my summer days must have been peppered with the sound of misfiring Rover V8s right from toddlerhood.

But my first distinct memory of seeing a TVR – the one I still think of every time I twist the key on mine – was actually a bright yellow Griffith in the Lake District. It was parked up in a small marina at the end of Derwent Water, looking like the ultimate lifestyle photo shoot. It was the beginning of the summer holidays, and I was still in primary school at the time, so it can’t have been much more than about 1992.

This morning I was flicking through the Griffith buyer’s guide in the latest copy of Evo. In it, Peter Tomalin says he recalls driving the first Griffith press car 25 years ago this month. Where? The Lake District. Maybe he’s the one I’ve got to blame.