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Marque: Vauxhall - Company History & Models - Cars By Brand

Vauxhall

Vauxhall

Vauxhall has been building cars for more than a century, with the first (5hp) example built in 1903 and named after the Vauxhall Iron Works in south London. The engineering business had originally been started by Scottish engineer Alexander Wilson in 1857. The firm moved to Luton in 1905, and the ‘trademark’ fluted radiator/bonnet sides (used until the 1960s) first appeared in the same year.…

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Vauxhall ‘Droop Snoot’ HP Frenza

Vauxhall ‘Droop Snoot’ HP Frenza

PRICE: Rough, £1000. Good, £1800-£2200. A1, £3700.

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1973-5
  • Bodywork:
    Two-door coupé
  • Engine:
    Four-cylinder, overhead camshaft. 2279cc, 131bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    8.5 sec
  • Top Speed:
    120 mph
  • MPG:
    18-30 mpg

With just 204 produced, this motorsport Dealer Team Vauxhallderived two-door coupe was exclusive from the outset, and a true classic. Distinctive styling came as standard, with a Firenza-type body shell incorporating a glass reinforced plastic nosecone and twin Cibié halogen headlamps.Providing exhilarating performance was a modified, overhead camshaft 2.3 litre engine, driving the rear wheels though a five-speed ZF gearbox. Helping to release additional power, compared with the standard motor, were tweaked Stromberg carburettors, a hand-finished tuned cylinder head and a special tubular steel exhaust manifold. In 1973 a nought to 60 mph acceleration time of 8.5 seconds and a top speed of 120 mph was unheard of for a Vauxhall , and even today the figures are impressive.The late great Gerry Marshall had considerable success in motor sport with the HP Firenza; Dealer Team Vauxhall eventually turned from this model to the HS/HSR Chevette for rallying. Sadlt this great car never had a chance as its launch coincided with the 1973 fuel crisis and the car was killed off soon after. A true classic all the same.

Vauxhall Chevette HS/HSR

Vauxhall Chevette HS/HSR

PRICE: HS: Rough, £1500. Good, £2400-£2900. A1, £4000+; HSR: Rough, £2500. Good, £3330+- £3700. A1, £5000+

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Fast Facts

  • Produced:
    1976-81
  • Bodywork:
    Three-door hatchback
  • Engine:
    Four-cylinder, twin overhead camshaft, 16-valve. 2279cc, 135bhp
  • 0-60 mph:
    8+ sec
  • Top Speed:
    117 mph
  • MPG:
    18-30 mpg

Making its debut in 1976, the three-door hatchback Chevette 2300HS was developed for competition use. The newcomer was identifiable by its wide (6J) Vega sports wheels, deep front airdam, rear spoiler and comprehensive instrumentation. Powering the beast was a hot 16-valve, double overhead camshaft development of that trusty 2.3 litre engine, giving excellent pace (top speed of over 115 mph, having passed 60 mph from rest in a little over eight seconds). The ultra-rare HSR version was produced between 1979 and 1981; just 50 were built, of which 34 were modified for rallying by Blydenstein Racing. The HSRs featured wider (7 inch) wheels and glass fibre bonnet/ wings/side skirts. Beware of ‘fake’ HSRs; talk to the ‘Droop Snoot Group’ – this enthusiastic organisation runs its ow n authentication scheme.These rare, fascinating and highly competent sporting classics have a huge amount to offer. Your biggest problem is finding one that’s up for sale…