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View Full Version : Just Restored 1973 TVR 2500M, Barn Find



zapparacing
03-22-2012, 09:19 AM
I purchased this TVR 2500M right before my 26th birthday. I found it in a barn luckly only 25 miles from my house full. I brought it home in boxes, crates and on a trailer. Most of the parts were there but either rotted, rusted, broken or full of mice droppings. It's taken me 2 1/2 years to restore it to this condition and I'm proud to say I did everything myself (with some help from my father) and Jim Boffo. Jeff Jacobelli helped build the engine but all in all 99% was me. I guess I'm more proud because most people my age just want to focus on "rice-burners" and that's fine and I've been there but the pure driving and mechanical workings of everything in a vintage car can't be described.

I modeled the car after a late 60's - 70's touring car. I lucked out on ebay and found NOS ralley stop watches from somebody who didn't know what they had. As far as upgrades I did put a Toyota W58 (HVDA 5-Speed conversion) in the car (again from somebody who wanted to get rid of it), Alfin aluminum rear drums, Sparco 4-point harnesses, 4 point welded roll bar, vintage NOS sport seats. I custom made an aluminum dash, aluminum console, and aluminum door inserts. I restored all the Smith's gauges, carpeted and had custom Coco mats made in black and red. TWM intake and twin Weber DGV's. MSD/Pertronix and a BlasterII coil were used. I found headers and custom welded an exhaust and again found Ansa tips from Ebay. Since it was my first time painting we used Guards Red Laquer and a lot of patience wet sanding. I redid every suspension component, painted the chassis, welded the chassis/strengthened it and rewired the whole car. I did buy a set of XXR 513 wheels and used 195-50-15 and 205-50-15. I also put a Momo suede wheel in since I'll probably to light track/autocross. I used Bilstein shocks in the front and Spax in the rear. I also found an Aston Martin Lemans gas cap from ebay as well.

I set the car up on scales and did the toe and camber very close to how I run the Tuscan in SVRA Group 8. Wet, it weighed in at 2,097#

I couldn't be happier with the results and I'm proud to say this was a total body off restoration on my own...Time consuming is not a word I'm familiar with anymore! I hope more people my age take an interest in these classics because cars now with all the technology, although they may be faster, cant mach the driving enjoyment that a vintage car brings. I'd like to thank my parents Jeff Jacobelli and Jim Boffo (Boffo Motors). If you never met Jim Boffo, make it a point to do so. One of the nicest guys and best run shops in the North East. He's an old racer/Nat'l Champ in a Mini and has stories that are fantastic, racing with guys like Leitzinger, Newman, Tullius etc. It's not a plug for him but if you ever go to the races in the North East, he and his wife Diane (a former SCCA Marshal herself) come to the races with us and help out. Or if your car needs anything. Boffomotors.com Anyway... Here's a few photo's. ENJOY
Chris Zappa

https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/IMG957137.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/untitled.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/18.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/16.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/17.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/9.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/4.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/7.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/13.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/10.jpg https://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g433/zapparacing/3.jpg

Mickey Richaud
03-22-2012, 09:33 AM
Fantastic - VERY NICE!

Congratulations on a job very well done, Chris. There's truly no greater satisfaction than stepping back and looking at one's work.

As for others of your generation catching the bug, you certainly provide the example. Get out there and spread the word!

:cheers:
Mickey

DNK
03-22-2012, 04:17 PM
Very Sweet Chris.
You should be proud of that baby

zapparacing
03-26-2012, 08:04 PM
Thanks I really appreciate it, as it was a lot of hard work but for my first restoration...well worth it. Especially coming from a crowd that has been around a lot longer than me and "seen them all", thanks. Vintage TVR's are underappreciated and I hope someday people recoginize how cool/different they really are from everything else out there.

DrEntropy
03-27-2012, 05:00 AM
VERY nicely done, Chris! Congrats.

TVR's are indeed under-appreciated and by now so obscure as to be an automotive "footnote", unfortunately.

You're "traveling" with some rare folks up there, glad you recognize that. I've known Jim (and siblings) for decades, must say your opinion of him is spot-on. If ya ferret around in the "Members Articles" section here, the transmission story mentions a "local Guru". That was Jim's brother Tommy. :wink:

TRclassic3
03-27-2012, 10:42 AM
Chris

Too sweet for words! Absolutely stunning.

Any chance you will bring it to Summit Point so I can see it up close and personal?

zapparacing
03-27-2012, 11:35 AM
Chris

Too sweet for words! Absolutely stunning.

Any chance you will bring it to Summit Point so I can see it up close and personal?

Thanks!
No, not bringing it to Summit Point anytime soon but the Tuscan will be there for the Jefferson 500

booley
04-01-2012, 08:38 PM
Wow! Beautiful restoration! Very nice job you can be proud of!

urchin
04-21-2012, 03:35 PM
I'm in awe! That's a fabulous job by any British car enthusiast. Congratulations!

I'm lusting after a 2500 M and hope I can make it happen. It won't look as good as yours!

Jeff

tr8todd
04-27-2012, 05:39 AM
Looks fantastic!! About 20 years ago I was traveling along a rural state road in Mifflin Pa. Sitting in a driveway with a big for sale sign was a 2500M that looks like it could be the same car you have. To this day I still kick myself for not buying it. Price was right at $5500 but it was overheating just sitting in the driveway so I shyed away. At the time I had a 280i and several TR8s. There is a derelect Vixen sitting about 2 miles from my house now. Several attempts to rescue it from it's current owner have gotten me nowhere. Seeing your car has given me new enthusiasm. I'll go see the guy again today and see if I can motivate him to sell.

Dino_V
04-28-2012, 01:42 PM
Beautiful TVR, and great job!

zapparacing
05-07-2012, 10:37 AM
Thank you for the nice comments. A lot of time and effort went in to this car but it's paying off now as it is a wonderful driver. I wish I would have grown up in this era of sports cars

Simon TR4a
05-11-2012, 12:20 PM
What a great car! I am especially pleased to learn its not just old fa#ts like myself who enjoy these cars and appreciate the direct mechanical response that is such a vital part of what makes a sports car.

One question, did you use downdraft Webers, and if so what led you to make this unusual choice?

zapparacing
05-13-2012, 07:51 PM
I would have loved to have used triple 40 DCOE's but I just couldn't afford them at the time. I missed out on a set plus the intake at Import Carlisle last year for $400. So I found a set of DGV's, cleaned and polished them and they work great! Sure the DCOE's look cooler and have a slight HP advantage but until I can come across another cheaper set or one's that need restored, these work great!

mallard
06-06-2012, 01:59 PM
Super car, now that it's done would you like to trade it for a TR6? You never get to see ant TVRs on the road. I just love them. If I could find one I would like to trade my TR6, and TR3, and cash for a Griffith. Again very nice job.

Britishautobody
07-20-2012, 11:23 PM
Sweet ride!!!!

Shinsen774
08-19-2012, 08:29 PM
Bring it to Classics on the Green next month!!!

www.classicsonthegreen.com (https://www.classicsonthegreen.com)

RCBrewer
11-29-2012, 11:16 PM
Your M resto is fantastic! I am in late stages of restoring 2885TM, with a small block Ford crate engine and T-5 trannie. I need to decide what wheels and tires to use, and yours look great. The XXE 513s have a 15 cm. positive offset. Doesn't that put the front wheel onto the A-arm? Or do you use a spacer? What rubber did you buy? The 205 and 195 50R 15 tires are only 22+ inches in diameter whereas the original 185 14s are 25". Yet your pix show a full sized wheel filling up the wheel wells. Beautiful. I need to make some decisions pretty soon, so any help you can provide would be most appreciated. Bob Brewer

zapparacing
12-03-2012, 11:00 PM
Your M resto is fantastic! I am in late stages of restoring 2885TM, with a small block Ford crate engine and T-5 trannie. I need to decide what wheels and tires to use, and yours look great. The XXE 513s have a 15 cm. positive offset. Doesn't that put the front wheel onto the A-arm? Or do you use a spacer? What rubber did you buy? The 205 and 195 50R 15 tires are only 22+ inches in diameter whereas the original 185 14s are 25". Yet your pix show a full sized wheel filling up the wheel wells. Beautiful. I need to make some decisions pretty soon, so any help you can provide would be most appreciated. Bob Brewer


Thanks, I appreciate it. I spaced the wheels out with aluminum spacers. I get more compliments about the XXR 513 wheels from other British car owners since I guess nobody else runs them. You won't have any problems. For tires I used 195/50 and 205/50...the ride I lowered a just a tic but have had 0 issues and just set the car up with 50/50 cross wt. 1/8 toe-in in the rear and 1/16 toe out in the front. Negative 2 deg of camber all around. Pretty much exactly how I run the race car. Here's a video of the car a buddy shot the first time I took it out...Since this spring I have put almost 2,700 miles on the car!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PUYrvYjoLw

blurooster
09-24-2014, 11:50 AM
I just got here, beautiful car, well turned out.

zapparacing
04-16-2015, 10:36 AM
I just got here, beautiful car, well turned out.

Thank you!

My father and I just restored a 2500M Hybrid this past winter now.

vixen-mk2
04-19-2015, 11:38 AM
You didnt want to copy the modifications on your dads M series V6 racer then looking good though
Andrew

Yuros
11-17-2015, 11:08 AM
Whoa, fantastic build! Sets the bar high for my own 2500M.
Could you please post some more photos of the interior? I'm hoping to make an aluminum dashboard this winter.

Steve
12-16-2015, 01:14 PM
This is a perfect example of how it should be done... Congratulations, it looks wonderful!

Roger
12-16-2015, 01:37 PM
Nice job! I've always had a soft spot for TVRs, this looks like a very nice one.

bravenrace
02-03-2016, 02:26 PM
Very nice! If you don't mind me asking, who did the roll bar, is it legal for vintage racing, and approximately how much did it cost?