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Performance Vauxhall - - VTEC CHEVETTE -

ny Vaux­hall fan with even a pass­ing in­ter­est in clublevel mo­tor­sport will have no­ticed that though Vaux­halls them­selves can be a fairly rare sight (de­pend­ing on the na­ture of the dis­ci­pline of course), Grif­fin-badged en­gines most cer­tainly are not.

per­for­mance VaUX­HaLL There’s a rea­son that half the ral­ly­ing Es­corts in the UK run the ven­er­a­ble C20XE and their own­ers pick said en­gine over the Ford Zetec, and that’s be­cause even af­ter all th­ese years it’s still a po­tent and tun­able lump that’s ut­terly suited to mo­tor­sport, largely be­cause it was de­signed with it in mind. Of course it just oc­ca­sion­ally works the other way, with the re­sult be­ing a Vaux­hall with a de­cid­edly odd en­gine un­der the bon­net, one from an­other part of the world and an­other man­u­fac­turer en­tirely. An en­gine that has earned its stripes in the ral­ly­ing world of late is the VTEC, specif­i­cally the one that was fit­ted to the firm’s S2000 sports car. We ac­tu­ally fea­tured a Corsa C with this setup a good few years ago, and to­day’s fea­ture car, while be­ing vastly dif­fer­ent in al­most ev­ery re­spect, is pow­ered by the same, scream­ing, high-revving en­gine.

We’re get­ting ahead of our­selves though, and we should prob­a­bly wind back, take stock and ex­plain a lit­tle more about the car in ques­tion, its owner and his rea­sons for shoe­horn­ing a Honda en­gine into a late ‘70s Vaux­hall hatch­back.

“My dad was a suc­cess­ful tour­ing car racer in the ‘70s

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