‘MEGA BERTHA’ HITS THE TRACK

Race de­but in sa­loons/mod­sports at mal­lory

Motor Sport News - - News - By Rachel Har­ris-gar­diner

The 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 Bill Bly­den­stein who set about cre­at­ing the Cava­lier-based spe­cial for Gerry Mar­shall to race.

It fea­tures a mas­sively widened body and an 8400cc en­gine in the back but never raced in pe­riod as Vaux­hall stopped fund­ing the build in 1979.

The fin­ished car, which is owned by car pre­parer Ric Wood, has 800hp, is 7ft 6in wide 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, fin­ish­ing be­hind Piers Ward in the Vaux­hall Firenza ‘Baby Bertha’.

“I de­cided to work the op­po­site way round from a nor­mal rac­ing driver, so in­stead of crash­ing it first time out, I’ve gone slow,” Wood said.

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

He missed the first race on Satur­day be­cause the car’s win­dows fogged up ex­ces­sively due to wet weather and it was ex­cluded from the third race grid as 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’ll be up there look­ing at this and he’ll have a big smile on his face,” added Wood.

Pho­tos: Jakob Ebrey, Steve Jones, LAT, DPPI

Car was de­signed for Mar­shall (r)

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