The 1997 Playstation racing game Gran Turismo is often credited with the explosion of knowledge and desire for Japanese Domestic Market vehicles in the United States. It’s true…the Subaru WRX, the Mitsubishi Evolution line, Nissan Skylines and Silvias, Toyota Mark IIs and the really good Celicas and Supras that we hadn’t known about were suddenly at the mercy of our ability to drive a car via a controller. We learned quickly that an R32 Skyline could, in the right hands, have it’s way with a C4 Corvette and not bat an eye about the ordeal. We knew what the Subaru Impreza was, but we’d never seen one move quite like what we saw while racing around Grand Valley Speedway.
Gran Turismo was the only video game I openly and unabashedly begged for as a kid. When I got it, I went through the vehicle list and immediately started taking notes. And one note that stuck with me was TVR. Gran Turismo‘s selections of TVR products all boiled down to vehicles produced during the Peter Wheeler era of ownership, so mainly it was two forms of the Griffith, the Cerbera, the Tuscan, the absolutely psychotic Speed 12, and a LeMans spec Cerbera. That started the desire to actually own one of Blackpool’s ballistic machines. But which one should I choose? It boiled down to two for me: the Cerbera two-door coupe and the Chimaera drop-top. Either one would suit me just fine. One problem, though…TVRs hadn’t been sold in the States since the 1980s, and those that were, the “Wedge” cars like the 280i, just don’t do it for me.
Well, it’s been long enough that the 25-year import rule is finally a non-issue for owning a TVR in the States, and this 1993 Chimaera 400 is looking pretty proper. The backbone chassis has had rust repair done (a common problem with this era of TVR) and has been cleaned up and had it’s Buick 215-based engine gone through. The visuals do not disappoint…while kids are going nuts over imported Skylines, this TVR might be the better option, if for no other reason than nobody will know what the hell it is.