The Tuscan story begins back in 1962 at a time when cash-strapped Grantura Engineering was building four-cylinder TVRs in a difficult market. American motor trader and TVR owner Jack Griffith had in his workshop, the cars of Getty Sagerman and Mark Donohue who had driven a works TVR at Sebring. Donohue's car was a Ford V8-engined AC Cobra, Sagerman's a 1962 TVR Grantura and the story goes that the mechanics tried to fit the V8 into the Grantura, "just for fun". The experiement failed, but Griffith was so inspired by the idea that he undertook an installation of a 4.7 litre Ford V8 into his own Mark III Grantura.
With handling and braking issues to overcome, Griffith approached TVR with the idea and the North American distributor, Dick Monnich shipped the prototype back to Blackpool. Grantura Engineering received funds to finance the project and once underway, Jack Griffith secured the rights to market the TVR Griffith in North America, though he dropped 'TVR' when the Griffith 200 made its appearance at the Boston Motor Show as he considered it had been his idea. So keen was Griffith to get the cars to America and on sale, they were exported without engines or gearboxes, which were installed at his workshops on the East Coast.
Many of the Griffith 200's suffered overheating as the air intakes were the same as on the original Grantura, so 1964 saw revisions and the Griffith 400 was considered to be a much improved car when it was unvelied at the New York Auto Show. Until 1965, every Griffith was exported to the US, but they were shown in the UK for the first time at the Olympia Racing Car Show in 195bhp and 271bhp versions. At this time, the USA was in the grips of a prolonged dock strike which hit exports and both Grantura Engineering and Griffith's assembly business suffered. Grantura eventually collapsed in 1965, and with it, the production of the Griffith.
The remains of the TVR business were taken over by the Lilley Family and a further 10 Griffiths were produced from April 1966 before the name was dropped. The model continued however, as the Tuscan V8, but even as it was launched at the beginning of 1967, Martin Lilley was developing the concept to produce its successor. With an updated, improved and lengthened chassis, the Tuscan V8 LWB received a restyle, but was to give rise to a further significant development, Martin Lilley's definitive 'widebody' Tuscan V8 SE (pictured below) which was announced at the 1968 New York Auto Show. The car was the first time that the coupe had been comprehensively re-worked bringing a wider body, smoother lines and new bumpers front and rear. It is from this shape which Classic World Racing built their new TVR Tuscan racer and forms the basis of the 2010 CWR Titan.