01 March 2023
Automodello 1965 Griffith Series 400
REF NO: 43G40S
Griffith cars were made in Syosset, Long Island, New York. In 1964, Jack Griffith’s garage workshop, in the small town, shoe-horned a Ford 289 cu. in. (4,727cc) V8 engine and gearbox into a British TVR Grantura coupe, and the result encouraged him to persuade TVR in Blackpool to supply chassis and bodyshells. When these arrived, they were fitted with the Ford engines and gearboxes, and the end result marketed as a Griffith.
The bodyshell used was the latest from TVR with the Manx tail and the round (Ford Cortina Mk1) tail-lights. The end result was a lightweight fibreglass coupe with 150 mph performance, which, besides being exciting on the road, delivered excellent competition results, frequently beating the heavier AC Cobra in American club events.
Unfortunately, in January 1965, however, the East Coast of the USA suffered a crippling dock strike, which prevented the import of the TVR body – chassis units in any quantity, and so only 59 of the promising Griffith 400s were built before the company collapsed – as did TVR themselves as a knock-on result. Whereas TVR were resurrected, by the Lilley family, however, Griffith were not rescued, and the name passed into history much too early.
Automodello’s new release is top-notch. The squat lines and stance are caught to perfection, and the finish is flawless. All the fine details are there too.The interior, in black, is very well-detailed. The wire wheels with their knock-off spinners are well-executed, and the small corner bumpers complete a fine model, of which only 99 examples have been made in this colour.