John Cleland will be racing a freshly restored, competition-spec Vauxhall VX4/90 in the first of the Revival’s St Mary’s Trophy races on Saturday, 14 September. The car, which will receive works support from Vauxhall Heritage, will be celebrating 50 years since its first appearance at Goodwood, when it was driven by Vauxhall tuning-guru, Bill Blydenstein in the 1963 St Mary’s Trophy.
Now owned by historic racer, Paul Clayson, the VX4/90 will be backed by a crew from Vauxhall’s Heritage Centre and Press Garage. ‘Team Vauxhall’ will be easily identified in Goodwood’s paddock by its freshly-restored Bedford CA van, sporting period works colours and ‘Vauxhall Sales & Service’ logos.
812 FNM, the Goodwood VX4/90, started life as a Vauxhall Motors’ press car, before it was given to tuner, Chris Lawrence, to develop. In ’63, it competed extensively in the European Saloon Car Championship, before being transformed into a rally car for the ’64 season at the hands of ex-Lawrencetune employee, Rod Cooper.
Paul Clayson acquired the car looking rather the worse for wear and he and ex-Vauxhall/Blydenstein man, Gerry Johnstone, embarked on a mission to bring it back to its ’63 Touring Car appearance. Producing 108bhp at 6250rpm, the car retains its original Lawrencetune inlet and exhaust manifolds, twin Weber 42DCOEs and bespoke cylinder head. ‘I wanted to keep it as near to original spec as possible,’ said Clayson. ‘It’s never going to win anything, but the fit with this year’s St. Mary’s Trophy race at the Revival is perfect and it’s a great chance to put the car back on the map.’
Vauxhall will also have a presence in the Revival’s Earls Court Motor Show, where a heritage-meets-modern display is set to wow show-goers and illustrate the depth of the company’s 110-year manufacturing history in the UK. More cars from its heritage collection will be used to taxi drivers and VIP guests around the site throughout the event.
More information at www.goodwood.co.uk
- Photography: Vauxhall and Classic & Sports Car
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