If a standard Chimaera isn’t mad enough for you, try this special-edition Chimaera 500. Just ensure you bring spare trousers for the test drive…
Are you hairy chested? Does the concept of fiery damnation make you break out into frenzied laughter? Then you need a TVR in your life. Not just any Blackpool warrior, either. To ensure you enjoy every turn of the wheel without mutilating innocent bystanders xxxx, you want a Chimaera 500.
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For those of an insane belief that proper TVRs must have a murderous fixation on one’s well being and offer the sympathy of a serial killer, any normal Chimaera seems somewhat truncated. Base models provide ‘only’ 240bhp and top out at 152mph. From a standstill to 100mph, the entry-level 4.0-litre V8 takes a yawn-inducing 12.5 seconds. For shame.
However, when the Chimaera’s Rover V8-based powerplant was bored out to 5.0 litres, things got interesting. The magical 100mph mark could now be breached before you could count to ten, with 0-60mph smashed in 4.1 seconds. Top speed was now in excess of 175mph, whereas power was ramped up to 340bhp.
This was enough to separate the men from the boys. If an inexperienced driver tried to show off, it would kill them. If a TVR novice attempted a corner at speed, it would kill them. If they looked at the Chimaera the wrong way, it would kill them. The succeeding TVR Tamora was a limp-wristed dandy in comparison.
All this grunt and image did come at a price, however. The Chimaera 500 wasn’t cheap to buy, insure or run. Even driving with extreme caution and a light foot could yield only around 15mpg to the gallon, whereas piloting the vehicle with any form of force would return consumption in single figures.
Yet, who cares about economy with a TVR? That’s like venturing into Stringfellows and asking for a back rub. What you have here is raw, unadulterated power with trademark TVR aesthetics and the ability to pummel any German rival into submission.
While we’re on the subject of things you shouldn’t care about when driving a TVR, ride comfort, reliability and build quality will leave you reaching anxiously for the Valium.
These vehicles won’t soften your posture like a Jaguar or start every morning like a Mazda MX-5. Nor will the trim stay in place; even when sitting still. But none of this matters. Would you have been satisfied on a night out with Oliver Reed if he ate salad and drank mineral water? We think not. TVRs remain characterful because of these traits.
Boiled down, the Chimaera is faster than Lindsay Lohan legging it down the street with stolen jewellery, aggressive enough to keep all attack dogs at bay and downright cool. What’s not to like?
From the classifieds – yours for £19,000
Got you sold yet? What if we told you that a healthy example can be purchased for under £20k? Well, here’s proof.
This 1999 Chimaera 500 from our classifieds boasts Starmist Green paintwork, half-hide biscuit interior trim, green carpets and a black hood. It also features power steering, uprated speakers, CD player and electric windows.
There have been only three owners, with the current vendor having owned the car since April 2000. Seriously, what more could you ask for? It’s going for £19,000 and could turn your commute into something of a hoot. Ready to upgrade your life? Get a closer look at the TVR with the AutoClassics classified advert.