FIVE WAYS TO MAKE IT BET­TER

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

1 SWAP THE GEAR­BOX

The Vixen is yet another clas­sic that can ben­e­fit from the swap to Ford’s Type 9 fivespeed gear­box. The im­proved spread of ra­tios are ideal if you’ve upped the per­for­mance, and long-dis­tance cruis­ing will be a more pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence too. Ex­pect to pay from £300 for a sec­ond­hand unit, and the swap it­self isn’t espe­cially chal­leng­ing.

2 GIVE IT A POWER BOOST

The use of pro­pri­etary en­gines means that a wealth of tun­ing op­tions are avail­able. The Ford units re­spond well to con­ven­tional tun­ing meth­ods such as port­ing and fit­ment of a more sport­ing camshaft, while fit­ting twin We­ber 40DCOE carbs are a proven route to ex­tra shove. You’ll need to de­cide on how far you want to go, but 125-130bhp is eas­ily achiev­able from a four-cylin­der Ford en­gine.

3 UP­GRADE THE BRAKES Thanks to the light kerb­weight, the stan­dard brakes are up to the task, but if you’ve boosted the per­for­mance then up­grad­ing the front discs and pads costs less than £150. Or you could go fur­ther and opt for a rear disc con­ver­sion from the likes of TVR spe­cial­ist, DG Sport­scars. An ef­fec­tive cus­tom set-up, it costs in the re­gion of £850.

4 SORT THE SUS­PEN­SION

We’ve al­ready flagged the need to check the rear sus­pen­sion hubs/up­rights as fail­ure will lead to the wheel com­ing off the axle. For­tu­nately, spe­cial­ists can sup­ply fully re­built and up­graded units that in­cor­po­rate a stronger quill shaft. Bud­get £350-£400 for the parts, although fit­ting is straight­for­ward.

5 FIT BET­TER ELECTRICS

The orig­i­nal wir­ing is rather ba­sic, so up­grad­ing the sys­tem by adding ad­di­tional fuses and re­lays to cir­cuits is rec­om­mended. Com­po­nents are cheap and eas­ily sourced and there’s plenty of knowl­edge within the own­ers’ club if you want to tackle the job your­self. A new loom costs less than £350.

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