5 Vauxhall CheVette 2300 hS/hSR (1979-80)
WHY IT’S HERE For Vauxhall to gain rally kudos and thus sex up the Chevette range in the late 1970s
Building a works rally beast used to be so simple. You took a small family car, shoehorned in the biggest engine in your range that would fit, then uprated the brakes and suspension to match. It’s a well-tried formula that nearly always results in something exciting and a lot of going sideways. Which is exactly what Blydenstein Racing/Dealer Team Vauxhall did with the Chevette 2300 HS.
That ‘HS’, in case you hadn’t made the link, stands for Homologation Special, in honour of the 400 examples that Vauxhall would have to build and sell to qualify the car for international Group 4 rallying. The Chevette proved to be quite successful on the stages too, clocking up wins in the hands of Russell Brookes and Tony Pond and really annoying Ford who for too long had been rather dominating proceedings with its Escorts.
The Chevette was fast and fine-handling, if rather unrefined for a road car that cost twice the price of a regular Chevette. But to remain competitive Vauxhall had to build an evolution version to homologate upgrades – the HSR. It only needed 50 of those, so converted unsold HSs (reputedly just 32 in reality), adding fat arches, inch-wider wheels, a twin-plate clutch and five-link rear axle location.