Mods and Con­se­quences

Vauxhall FD

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Richard Dredge

Launched at the 1967 Earl’s Court Mo­tor Show, the Vauxhall Vic­tor FD re­placed the FC 101 Vic­tor. Longer and wider than its pre­de­ces­sor, these large sa­loons came with a choice of 72bhp 1599cc or 88bhp 1975cc five-bear­ing four-pot over­head-cam en­gines.

The stan­dard trans­mis­sion was a three-speed man­ual but buy­ers could pay more for an ex­tra ra­tio, a three-speed au­to­matic gear­box or a four-speed over­drive unit. The sus­pen­sion con­sisted of dou­ble wish­bones up front while at the rear was a live axle with trail­ing arms, Pan­hard rod and coil springs.

When the FD estate ar­rived in 1968 it was of­fered with the same en­gine and trans­mis­sion op­tions as the saloon – along with a 123bhp 3294cc straight-six en­gine as seen in the Cresta and Vis­count. This big­ger en­gine was fit­ted as stan­dard to the Ventora, which also ar­rived in 1968 – a year be­fore the VX4/90. To dis­tance it from its cheaper sib­lings, this came with twin Strombergs, bucket seats, Rostyle wheels and over­drive.

Prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar FD mod­i­fi­ca­tion is an en­gine swap, es­pe­cially to a Rover V8. How­ever, Ford Zetec and Pinto en­gines are com­mon – the FD’s bay is so big that pretty much any­thing will fit. Be­cause it’s the same ba­sic slant­four unit, the Lo­tus twin-cam goes straight in and these aren’t costly. The most com­mon FD of all is the 2000, fol­lowed by the 3.3 then the VX4/90 and 1600. It’s easy to fit a 2.3-litre en­gine into a four-pot car and if you fancy a five-speed gear­box in­stead of the orig­i­nal four-speeder, an FE trans­mis­sion will fit, but you’ll have to swap the fly­wheel and clutch or fit the FE’s en­gine and ’box.

If you fancy cre­at­ing some­thing re­ally spe­cial, how about a replica of the Ventora Black Prince, two of which were built in 1971? Based on the Vic­tor FD, in the nose was a 5.4-litre Chevro­let V8 mated to a ZF five-speed gear­box and a lim­it­ed­slip dif­fer­en­tial, along with sev­eral in­te­rior mods.

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