Few car companies have been as gloriously 'off the reservation' crazy for as long as British sportscar maker TVR. And while the status of the dormant manufacturer may not be entirely clear, it has lost a key figure who helped make it the wild, wacky and wonderful marque that it is: former TVR owner Peter Wheeler has passed away after a brief illness.

After making his money in oil equipment, Wheeler purchased TVR back in 1981 from Martin Lilley and owned it until 2004, when he sold the firm to young Russian plutocrat Nikolai Smolenski. Over the 23 years he was at the helm, however, Wheeler presided over not just the company's financials, he was present in virtually every decision the specialty car maker made, from model choices to styling decisions. He even raced his company's own creations in the TVR Tuscan Challenge.

Wheeler, 64, leaves behind a rich legacy of uniquely styled, uniquely uncompromised driver's cars from a brand we still hope has a future. Richard Meaden has penned a nice memoriam of Wheeler over at Driver's Republic – click on the link below to check it out.

[Drivers Republic | Image: TVR Car Club]