Peter Robert Wheeler graduated in 1966 from the University of Birmingham with a BSc in Chemical Engineering. He had an illustrious career in oil, sports cars and motor racing, culminating in him being Chairman of TVR 1982-2004.
He transformed TVR from a small, relatively unknown operation into an infamous fleet of lightweight, powerful cars including the British Design Council Award-winning Griffith, and the Chimaera, Cerbera, Tuscan and Sagaris. Such is Peter's legacy that both TVR and his earlier company Eta Process Plant both remain operational today.
Sadly Peter passed away in June 2009, aged just 65. David Faulder is now writing Peter’s biography. He believes Peter was not recognised enough for his many achievements and hopes that by putting together the story of his life it will demonstrate to his young family how highly he was thought of. David has many stories from former colleagues and racing chums, but is at a bit of a loss when it comes to Peter’s early life.
Can you help?
It’s understood Peter attended Grammar School in Sheffield before joining the University. He was under the tutelage of Prof John Davies, Steve Ellis and Phillip Garner and graduated in 1966.
To jog your memory Peter was very tall, around 6' 6", and from Sheffield. It’s believed he was quite a poker player while at university and apparently this often involved trying to get money back from his landlord, plus financing his day to day living. He may have had a motorcycle at the time too, most likely British and possibly made in Birmingham. Later in his career, before joining TVR, he worked in the onshore and offshore oil industry. Beyond this, very little is known of him in his early life.
Do you remember Peter?
Was he your classmate, housemate or poker-buddy? Do you have any stories or even photographs of Peter from his days at University and in his 20s or 30s?
Many people in his later life described Peter as self-effacing, almost shy until he got to know you; it would be interesting if that is how his university contemporaries or indeed lecturers remember him.
David, along with Peter’s family, would be very grateful of any stories or anecdotes you may have. Any information that could help towards Peter’s biography would be wonderful.
They’d love to hear from you and you’re welcome to email David directly on email@example.com.