Mega Bertha finally makes race debut
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