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