2000 TVR Cerbera Speed 12

Lot Number: 846

2000 TVR Cerbera Speed 12

The only Cerbera Speed 12 built by TVR specifically for road use, the defining example. An opportunity to own an exceptional and unique motor car, fully sanctioned by the marque and coming from diligent enthusiast-ownership.

  • Sold for: £601,500

LIVE AUCTION: This lot was auctioned on Saturday 20th May, 2023 at 1.00pm BST at Sywell Aerodrome, Sywell, Northampton, NN6 0BN

  • Body Colour

    BODY COLOUR
    Red

  • Drive

    DRIVE
    RHD

  • Registration Number

    REG NUMBER
    W112 BHG

SUMMARY

The only Cerbera Speed 12 built by TVR specifically for road use, the defining example. An opportunity to own an exceptional and unique motor car, fully sanctioned by the marque and coming from diligent enthusiast-ownership.

DESCRIPTION

  • The only Cerbera Speed 12 built by TVR specifically for the road, the defining example and the only remaining factory-built complete car
  • Fully prepared by TVR engineers, this road-going GT car is uniquely fitted with the correct, race-bred 7.7-litre 840bhp V12 engine and the final evolution of the race car carbon-fibre/Kevlar bodywork with a flat-floor and powerful aero
  • Originally offered for sale directly by TVR boss Peter Wheeler
  • Widely featured in the motoring press (see images of EVO magazine article by scrolling through above) and immortalised in the Sony PlayStation game Gran Turismo
  • One of the rarest and most revered supercars of the last 25 years, a truly special machine

In today’s crazy world of ‘hyper-cars’, with manufacturers continuing to indulge their seemingly irresistible need to build the most rapid cars the world has ever seen, the TVR Cerbera Speed 12 would fit right in, however 20 years ago, the idea of a road car weighing 1,100kg with nearly 900bhp wasn’t so much unprecedented as unhinged.

‘Project 7/12’ was originally conceived in the 1990s with the design brief to develop a supercar to rival the McLaren F1 GTR, whilst also producing a true GT road-racer. It debuted at the 1996 Birmingham motor show and, predictably, it caused a sensation. The possibility that it might actually be quicker than the McLaren F1 wasn’t vigorously denied by TVR boss Peter Wheeler though, unlike the F1, the Speed 12 had a development brief that was heavily biased towards a career as a GT1 class endurance racer with the aim of taking it to Le Mans.

The 7/12 project tag denoted the proportions of its monster engine, essentially two Cerbera Speed 6 straight-sixes spliced together, utilising a steel block, further developed by TVR’s John Ravenscroft creating a 7.7-litre V12. The story goes that it snapped the input shaft of the 1,000bhp-rated dynamometer and consequently TVR’s engineers were obliged to measure each bank of cylinders separately. This resulted in output figures of 480bhp on each side suggesting a total output of 960bhp, although the figure eventually quoted ‘officially’ by TVR was 800bhp as set up for road use.

As a would-be Le Mans GT1 Class entrant, FIA regulations required that the TVR’s mammoth output be pegged back to around 675bhp by the use of air intake restrictors, however, the Speed 12’s competition career was short-lived as, after a few outings in the FIA GT Championship, a sudden rule change to accommodate purpose-built GT1 machines such as the Porsche 911 GT1, and the subsequent withdrawal of the class in other championships, effectively made it obsolete.

In late 1999, TVR decided that rather than let their efforts with the Speed 12 go to waste, they would develop a new car to race in the GT2 class of motorsport. Again, with homologation in mind, there was fresh impetus around a road car version - the ultimate TVR would run the full-house 800bhp engine and cost £245,000, and the now-badged ‘Cerbera Speed 12’ was ready in 2000. Its design, which began with the Speed 12 GT, had now evolved over time, and its final style favours the Cerbera, but was essentially a totally separate concept created for racing and is dramatically unique. Deposits for the new road car began to pile up, and the new race car was rolled out too, where it would go on to win several races from 2000 to 2002, the best-known example perhaps being the Scania-sponsored Cerbera Speed 12 race car.

Unexpectedly, the road car’s future came to an abrupt end one night when the Boss, Peter Wheeler, took one of the finished prototypes home for the night and, on his return, declared it too powerful and too wild for the road. Production plans were canned, deposits returned, and the remaining prototypes were broken up for spares to service the race cars. Except for one.

In August 2003, TVR shocked the automotive world by advertising for sale a Cerbera Speed 12 with the registration ‘W112 BHG’. At that point, a complete car didn’t actually exist so with the racing program now consigned to history, TVR set about creating a true best-of-breed road-going Cerbera Speed 12, putting all their engineering knowledge into it.

The completed road car was eventually ready by 2005, having taken a team of three race engineers (headed by Jonny Greenwood) over two years to build and test, piece-by-piece. Rightly, the engine utilised was the 7.7-litre, ‘bucket-head’ V12 – the last example of its type-originally developed by TVR for racing. The team utilised the best components from the race development program, with the express design criteria that W112 BHG should be road-legal. Many new items were utilised, such as the gearbox, transmission and brakes, and the race car influence was obvious in the air-jacks and the final evolution of the carbon-fibre/Kevlar bodywork from one of the GT racers, with the wind-tunnel developed aerodynamics offering state-of-the art levels of downforce at high speed.

This special car obviously had to satisfy Peter Wheeler’s perfectionism ensuring he would be proud to sanction and oversee the sale of it, which he did to an enthusiast that he personally vetted. The new enthusiast-owner later utilised the skills and experience of the original TVR race engineers to further optimise its performance by remapping the engine and replacing many components with uprated items. It now weighs around 1,000kg, whilst producing around 850bhp, and over 900lb/ft of torque.

The car was subsequently sold to our vendor in 2010, a true TVR aficionado who sees himself as a custodian of this supremely special machine. Like the previous owner, he sought out the close assistance of Brian Hosfield who was Peter Wheeler’s personal race engineer for 15 years and also managed the Works’ racing team. Post-TVR, Brian went on to set up and run the highly regarded Lawfield Engineering, but has been fully hands-on with W112 BHG for many years. The car was fully re-commissioned in 2014, following its appearance at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed, where it won best in class at the ‘Style et Luxe’ Concours d’Elegance and is now always kept in full race-ready mechanical and cosmetic health.

Some additional parts accompany the car including an ECU and exhausts for MOT testing. Our vendor is keen to stress that any new owner is very welcome to stay in touch with him and Brian Hosfield as their combined knowledge, experience and engineering know-how about this 'race-car-for-the-road' might prove invaluable in getting the best out of it, at least in the short-term.

Silverstone Auctions are very proud to offer for sale such a car- a unique example of its type from an era of British automotive brilliance. For any serious collector, enthusiast or driver this is a remarkable opportunity to acquire this legendary motor car and, as its owner, you and it would be welcome and much admired at any high-profile motoring event anywhere in the world.

 

SPECIFICATION

Lot Number
846
Make
TVR
Model
CERBERA SPEED 12
Registration Number
W112 BHG
Chassis Number
SDLCC14A0YB001521
Transmission
Manual
Body Colour
Red

CONSIGNOR

Consignor

For further information regarding this lot please contact Joseph.

CONTACT

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SEE IT IN ACTION

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Vehicles

All cars must be removed from the venue between 9am – 2pm on Monday 22nd May. Full payment must be received before any items are available to be released.

Our transport partner, EM Rogers, can assist with collection and delivery. Please contact them on +44 (0) 1604 755511 or trafficdesk@emrogers.co.uk for a quote.

Any cars not collected by 2pm on Monday 22nd May will be taken to EM Rogers storage facility in Northampton for a fee of £175 + VAT. Storage will be charged at £10 + VAT per day from the Monday onwards.

A member of the administration team will contact you to confirm your transport plans after the auction. If we do not hear back from you by 9am on Monday 22nd May, we will arrange for our transport partners to collect the vehicle on your behalf.

Automobilia

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