The car that dared challenge the AC Cobra.
In the 1960s, Jack Griffith made his mark in automotive history as the man who challenged Carroll Shelby; not through a race but by the other craft that Shelby was also good at: making fast cars. It wasn't just an empty challenge, mind you, as Griffith pulled through and came up with this – the Griffith 200.
Known as the TVR Griffith 200 in the UK, the grandfather of the TVR Griffith roadster of the '90s may have started as a challenge born out of inebriation, but Griffith delivered. This particular example on auction at RM Sotheby's is the third Griffith factory development car, bearing the chassis number 200/5/002.
Gallery: Original Griffith 200 in auction
Jack worked with TVR in making the Cobra-killer, using the TVR Grantura as the base vehicle while using Ford V8 as the engine. Later Griffith 200s carry a 289 cubic-inch (4.7L) V8, however, this sample is the only one with a 260 cu in (4.26L) V8. The design of this current Griffith 200 for sale is the basis of the 261 models that followed.
The second owner of this car kept it for 50 years since 1968, almost garaged for the most part of its life but always kept in good running condition. So yeah, it's still running but we doubt you'd want to drive a piece of history like this every day.
Over the years, the car only had subtle modifications in aesthetics. The wood-rimmed steering wheel is still original, but the rear seats have been restored and the rear windows received tinting.
Under the bonnet, however, there are several upgrades employed like an Edelbrock Streetmaster intake, upgraded radiator fans, MSD ignition, Cobra aluminium valve covers, a Jaguar differential, and an aluminium petrol tank.