Tech spec

Performance Vauxhall - - VTEC CHEVETTE -

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...

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