Mega Bertha fi­nally makes race de­but

Autosport (UK) - - CONTENTS - RACHEL HAR­RIS-GAR­DINER

Dealer Team Vaux­hall’s last spe­cial sa­loon, dubbed ‘Mega Bertha’, made its race de­but in the Spe­cial Saloons and Mod­sports se­ries at Mal­lory Park last Sun­day, 40 years af­ter the project be­gan.

The car was the brain­child of DTV chief Bill Bly­den­stein, who set about cre­at­ing the Cav­a­lier-based spe­cial for Gerry Mar­shall to race. It fea­tures a widened body and an 8400cc rear-mounted en­gine, but never raced in pe­riod af­ter Vaux­hall stopped fund­ing the build in 1979.

The 7ft6in-wide ‘Mega Bertha’, which is owned by car pre­parer Ric Wood, pro­duces 800bhp and uses 110 litres of fuel per hour. “Awe­some, that’s the best word for it,” said Wood. “It feels very heavy, very wide, but wow – fun to drive.”

Wood fin­ished 14th in the se­cond Spe­cial Saloons race, be­hind Piers Ward in the Vaux­hall Firenza ‘Baby Bertha’.

“It’s got too much power and not enough grip, but that’s ex­actly what Gerry would want,” added Wood.

Wood missed the first race on Satur­day be­cause the car’s win­dows fogged up ex­ces­sively in the wet weather, and it was excluded from the third-race grid be­cause the ex­haust was too loud.

Mar­shall died in 2005 and never knew that Mega Bertha would be com­pleted, but Wood be­lieves he would be proud. “This was his ul­ti­mate sa­loon,” he said. “He’ll be up there look­ing at this and he’ll have a big smile on his face.”

Owner Ric Wood says Mega Bertha is “very heavy, very wide” Mega (l) and Baby (r) Berthas head-to-head

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