A TVR Speed 12 is a rare enough thing, but the -15 prefix on the registration plate tells us this mad, mad, mad thing was built only this year. Old TVR went pop gears ago and new TVR aren’t on the road yet, so what is this machine? A bit of Google-sleuthing turned up these few pictures and a very interesting story.

The DVLA reckon this is a “TBR 612 Tempest”. It wouldn’t be the first typo they’ve made, the useless baginas [sic]. TVR geeks might know the name Graham Abbott (who owns the two original Speed 12s) but apparently this isn’t one of his cars. It was built recently as a technology demonstrator by Lancashire based Helical Technology Ltd, a British company with expertise in valves, actuators and other engine parts, with involvement from M Vernon Automotive. The bodywork looks to be mostly Speed 12 but the mechanicals are different. The original Speed 12s used TVRs own engine – here there is an Aston Martin V12 with 600BHP. There are plans for forced induction and 1000BHP, we assume using Helical’s technology. All very intriguing.


These pictures were taken at AutoSport and outside Pistonklause in Nürburg (!) Has this thing been thrown around the world’s hairiest toll road? What are Helical’s plans for it? Is it true that it is so powerful that if you face it East and spin the wheels you can actually slow the rotation of the earth? We’d love to know more. The whole thing is mad, mad, mad.

Pictures cobbled together from Facebook, Autogespot, and Pistonheads. Info on Helical Technology here. Thanks for reading.


About The Author

Rich Duisberg

Rich Duisberg* has had work published in Classic & Sportscar, Practical Performance Car, Modern Mini, Banzai, MogMag, Evo, GT Porsche, Complete Kit Car, Absolute Lotus, Alternative Cars, Classic Retro Modern, and elsewhere. Rich often appears on CBS’s XCAR and Carfection channels, and Motors TV, plus JayEmm on Cars, enthusing about historic motoring. His latest book (find his work on Amazon) was described by SniffPetrol as "hilarious", although he was also threatened with legal action by elderly DJ Tim Westwood. In his Midlands man cave is a 1972 Fiat 500, a Lotus Elise, a BMW barge and a vintage Royal Enfield pushbike. Previous machines of interest include an Mk1 MX5 (owned for 14 years!), an Alfa GTV6, a Porsche 968 and a Sinclair C5. The Metro (right) was bought for an experiment, and abandoned in Africa. "I am not getting in a car with him" -  said Le Mans winner, Derek Bell. *A nom-de-plume inspired by the BBC's League of Gentlemen.

2 Responses

  1. Jools Bank

    Rumour has it – only 350HP or thereabouts. It was thrashed at the ring by vans and mx 5’s and generally got in the way.

    Reason for low power is poor engine design/setup and poor quality exhaust system. (at least that is the rumor). Hopefully this is all completely untrue but there are questions to be answered by the look of it. It is running with a dry sump arrangement but sucking hot air which is no good. Front end structure has been heavily compromised by bending the structural metal work to reach over the plenums. Not a clever move as structural integrity has been compromised. It also has a plastic (GRP) heavy body. There are also some questions regarding the possible use of incorrect materials for some critical suspension components. If this is true it might be difficult to get a balls out driver to get in it.

    The only thing notable about this car is the complete absence of any comments on any forums from the TVR crowd. Perhaps they have insider knowledge? Thinking about it, it isn’t a TVR; IMO it is a sloppy replica at best, so I guess it will always be out of favor.

    Would love to be proved wrong about the mechanical/structural issues, or maybe it is just work in progress. It certainly looks menacing enough.

    • Nick

      As recent press reports, July 2018, state what was about in 2015 has been gradually worked into an Aston V12 engined monster with over 1000 bhp with the first production car sold for £1.2M.


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