Mods and Consequences
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.