‘MEGA BERTHA’ HITS THE TRACK
Race debut in saloons/modsports at mallory
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.
Car was designed for Marshall (r)