Weekend Edition – Black Gold 1982 TVR Tasmin 200i


When this TVR Tasmin caught my eye over at mobile.de, it really did that. The wedge shape is especially pronounced on the coupe version; I saw a related roadster one in Germany last summer and this somehow strikes me even more. The BLACK GOLD colour scheme dials the attention grabbing up a notch, too.

Hold that thought for a moment, though. What do you think when thinking TVR? Rover V8? Cologne V6 even? Not a chance here. The Tasmin 200i is a hyper-rare version of a rare car – under that hood of fairly phallic length lives a Ford Pinto two-litre four.


There it is, so we can get it dealt with. The Pinto engine sits behind the front wheels, making the car essentially a mid-engined car, S2000 style. Even the radiator sits atop the front axle. The TVR also benefits from the lightness of the engine, as the Tasmin 280 weighs 1074 kg and the 200 only 971 kg. It won’t help the car reach 100km/h quicker (9 sec versus 8 sec), as the humble Pinto unit only manages 105hp while the Cologne V6 has all of 160 horses in the doorstop-shaped stable.


The lighter engine also makes the front ride higher than the 280’s nose, but the shape is still bold as ever. It looks like it’s been designed with two rulers, centimeters for the cockpit section and inches for the nose. The top of the windshield is way behind the car’s centre point.


The CRX-esque glasshouse is especially striking, and on the rear panel there’s a window pane. I do imagine the interior is cramped, but there’s no doubt that all-around visibility should be fine. The tail lights are European Ford Granada ones.



The rear hatch is all glass, so care is required when closing it.



I’m adamant the fish-eye lense used makes the cockpit appear airier than it its, but it still looks like a place I’d happily spend time in. And yeah, anything that has such a grippable-looking wheel can’t be all bad. Everything looks pleasantly clean and well kept. I’m also fond of the token wood here and there.




And as a final point of note, the car has pop-up headlights on its wedge-shaped nose. The pods are curiously shaped and seem to be all plastic.

The Tasmin 200i is one of 16 produced cars and the only one in Germany. It is currently for sale in Hamburg for 9900 eur, and appears completely original down to the paint and graphics. Bushings and liquids have been changed, and the rear axle, diff and brakes have been overhauled. The wheels are shod with new tires. It all sounds like it’s mostly seen storage lately, and the 144 673 claimed kilometres back that – it should show 89k miles on the clock. The gauges are of course imperial, as the car is RHD.

So, could you live with 105 hp and a four-pot soundtrack, with a package like this?

See the listing here at mobile.de

[Source: Garage 11/mobile.de]

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20 responses to “Weekend Edition – Black Gold 1982 TVR Tasmin 200i”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    How could a design like that jump off the drawing board and become real? And that includes the choice of heart donor… Extremely interesting car, but more of the curiosity-at-a-gathering-kind – wouldn't want to own it.

  2. B72 Avatar

    Methinks there might be enough room in there for a turbo. That might add a wee bit of get up and go without adding much more weight than a month's worth of Big Macs.

    1. julkinen Avatar

      Imagine the car with 2.3 turbo Stang power.

      1. JayP2112 Avatar

        My very thought.

      2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

        Why bother with the Lima turbo when the 2.0 Cosworth unit uses the same block for more power? 204hp stock and tuneable to infinite levels.

    2. Manic_King Avatar

      That model was later available as convertible with modified 325 hp Rover V8 (TVR 450 SEAC) so there's enough room for turbo 4, I guess. This poverty spec. TVR is really something special….would that be secretary's car in UK when her big boss with a bad coke habit would drive "widow maker" Porsche 930 Turbo?

  3. Martynas Avatar

    Is Gary Numan's face spray painted somewhere inside? If it is, I just might be booking a flight to Hamburg

  4. JayP2112 Avatar

    I am diggin' this TVR- not a surprise.
    Has a Penthouse Pet of the Year feel about it.

  5. Spring-heeled Jack Avatar
    Spring-heeled Jack

    Wow, it's an English mullet-mobile, or would that be Yob-mobile? Nevertheless, I'd drive it with T-Rex blasting from the Eight-track.

  6. faberferrum Avatar

    I love it! I would happily live with 105 hp to drive this around

  7. dukeisduke Avatar

    How about a later model BMW four under the hood, or maybe an Alfa four?

  8. dukeisduke Avatar

    I've always been a fan of the Tasmin. This one just needs a better engine. Ooooh, how about a Cosworth Vega engine with two Webers?

  9. Rover1 Avatar

    Sorry to nitpick, but those taillights are off a Rover SD1. A car that would be a great donor for a nice light V8 engine to replace the Cortina lump.

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      You know, I'm not so sure. I know that the Rover lamps were used on some, but these look a lot like 1979-on Capri units.

      1. julkinen Avatar

        Looks more like it. Fact check fact check!

      2. rover1 Avatar

        You are right! I stand corrected. Hangs head in shame,goes to stand in corner. : )

  10. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Talk about the horns of a dilemma. The car's ultra rare, and looks to b in tremendous condition, plus the price is probably as reasonable as you could ever hope. Keep it in excellent condition and it might bring a nice return eventually. OTOH, it's an orphan now, with a dodgy supply chain, and the low line engine doesn't impress anyone. Plus, TVR not bothering to adjust the front springs to account for the reduced nose weight doesn't say much about how the car might have been developed at the factory. Stuff in a hotter motor and do the suspension work and you could have a wonderful period piece sports car, but you'd wreck the historical value. Or you can keep it stock and be outclassed by the cheapest new stripper on any dealer's lot.

    1. julkinen Avatar

      A bunch of classic sportscars can currently be outclassed and outgunned by a number of almost entry-level cars. It just reminds me how they're supposed to be enjoyed in context, as a product of their time.

  11. Alff Avatar

    If Ace and Gary wanted something '80s modern, they'd get this.

  12. mallthus Avatar

    This car brings home a drunken argument I had yesterday about the pros and cons of re-engining a S1 Lotus Esprit with the original Lotus 900-series motor.
    I argued that although the original motor was outclassed in every way by newer engines, it would be sacrilege to put anything but a Lotus engine in a car that originally came with a Lotus engine.
    Now, this TVR comes to the party with its original engine looking quite clean. Certainly big points for originality, but it isn't an engine unique to TVR. In fact, even TVR knew it was a crappy choice.
    I'd argue for swapping a Ford for a Ford though. Perhaps a new EcoBoost 4-pot like this one.
    <img src="http://stwot.motortrend.com/files/2011/12/Ford-2.0-liter-EcoBoost-1.jpg&quot; width=600>
    240 horses and 270 lb-ft would make this thing a hoot.