pumps out a very handy 240bhp, can rev to almost 9000rpm and (thanks to its all alloy construction) weighs next to nothing. Say what you want about the more prosaic offerings found in lowly, road going Civics, Honda well and truly nailed it when they designed the F20C.
“I got the engine from a breakers, then set about working out how to fit it into the car without sacrificing the Quaife ‘rocket box.’ I was able to get some Escort-VTEC mounts from Yukspeed and made them fit in the Chevette’s engine bay, but I still needed to find a way of mating the Ford gearbox to the Honda engine.”
A solution was soon found by way of a bell-housing conversion plate from Race Engine Design (the same firm also supplied a dry sump kit), a stunningly engineered part that allowed Oliver to connect the Dagenham-sourced ‘box to the Hamamatsu-built engine. A lightweight flywheel and a Tilton competition clutch complete the setup, with a custom single-piece prop (with a correspondingly enlarged tunnel) snaking its way to a ZF LSD differential. Internal modifications have been forgone in favour of proven induction
performance VAUXHALL and exhaust work, the former handled by Jenvey throttle bodies (controlled by Omex management), the latter by a stunning H&S tubular manifold and system. The result? Well, we’ll let Oliver fill you in.
“Put it this way, I wholeheartedly agree with my dad’s assessment of the Chevette. It’s just amazingly balanced and the engine... the engine is just sensational. It revs past 9000rpm, has loads of power and sounds insane at the same time.” We should also stress just how comically light this car is, tipping the scales at approximately 750kg, possibly a tad less now that the all alloy Honda lump has been installed. Not only does that make it fun to drive, it makes it devastatingly effective when being used in anger. Indeed, the list of cars that Oliver’s out-driven on some of the UK’s most famous circuits is deeply impressive, with Lola T70 and Ferrari 250SWB drivers all having had to have made way for the ‘plastic fantastic’ Chevette, though it should also be noted that the implosion of the YB happened whilst Oliver was chasing down the latter car!
Weight is only a partial factor in this car’s sensational handling though, and its chassis certainly plays a major part as well. Oliver struck up a friendship with Gerry Johnstone early on in the build, and the DTV engineering whiz wasted no time in furnishing him with colourful stories and incredibly detailed suspension and brake setup information. The four-linked-Watts linkage rear end is a case in point, with Oliver’s car now sporting an arrangement that’s as close as it’s realistically possible to get to the one used by the works HSRs
It may have an ‘alien’ engine, but there’s no denying the heritage Rebuilt 1997cc Honda F20C with 11.0:1 CR and 87x84mm bore x stroke, RED dry sump kit, Honda gaskets, Jenvey throttle bodies with Omex 710 management, H&S tubular manifold and stainless steel system, T1R crank pulley, alloy Pace radiator with silicone coolant and fluid hoses, Demon Tweeks air box, Mocal oil cooler, NGK spark plugs, custom engine mounts, modified crossmember and relocated steering rack, high pressure fuel pump
265bhp Close ratio Quaife ‘rocket box,’ RED bell-housing conversion plate, Tilton competition clutch, Moss clutch cylinder, competition clutch release bearing, custom one-piece propshaft from Northwest Propshafts, ZF LSD with uprated half-shafts, enlarged transmission recesses Front: Spax adjustable dampers and uprated lowering springs, Superflex polyurethane bushes, rose-jointed TCA s Rear: Spax coilovers, Rally Design four-linked rear end with Watts Linkage, Superflex polyurethane bushes, rose-jointed lower arms Front: BRT alloy hubs, Wilwood fourpot calipers and Girling discs, high friction pads, braided lines, Tilton top-mounted bias pedal box Rear: BRT alloy hubs, Wilwood twopot calipers and Girling discs, high friction pads, braided lines, Rally Design fly-off handbrake 7x13in Minilite alloys with Dunlop Sport tyres Safety Devices bolt-in roll cage, Mugen FIA-compliant bucket seat, plumbed in Lifeline fire suppression system, alloy fuel cell, remote fuel and engine shut-offs, Momo pedals,