Vauxhall Ventora and Viva

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Vauxhall Ventora 'Big Bertha'
Engine:
Holden 5000cc
Configuration: front engine, rear-wheel drive
Driver: Gerry Marshall
Class: Special Saloons over 2500cc and Super Saloons
Date Built: 1974
Mention racing Vauxhalls of the 70s and Gerry Marshall's name is bound to crop-up. His ability to win races is legendary (he is still wining races today "2002"). Three of his racing cars are still known simply by their nicknames: Old Nail, Big Bertha and Baby Bertha. Big Bertha was a Vauxhall Ventora, a large Super Saloon that had a short but successful career. Of the six races it contested, it won three and set one lap record at Silverstone. This car was a collaboration between the ace designer Frank Costin and ace Vauxhall tuner, Bill Blydenstein. A Vauxhall Ventora 4-door saloon provided the body and chassis for this car; the roll cage was used to integrate the tubular front subframe with the rest of the car. Lightweight, fibreglass was used for the one-piece front end, the 4 doors, boot and rear panels. A 500bhp, Repco tuned, Holden V8 engine fed its power into a Borg Warner gearbox with Hurst shifter. The front suspension was double wishbone with ventilated disks and 15 inch diameter wheels, 12 inches wide. At the rear was a de Dion tube with three radius arms and a Panhard rod. Rear brakes were XJ6 inboard disks and the wheels 15inchs x 15 inches wide. After a 140mph crash at Silverstone in 1974, Big Bertha was stripped for parts and these were used to build B aby Berth, a Vauxhall Frenza
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magnum_harris.jpg (6714 bytes)Vauxhall Viva
Engine:
5000cc Gurney-Weslake
Configuration: front engine, rear-wheel drive
Driver: Bernie Harris
viva_harris.jpg (15811 bytes)Class: Special Saloons over 2500cc and Super Saloons
Dates taken: March 1976 Silverstone paddock (top)
Dates taken: March 1978 at Silverstone (lower)
Image Copyright: Rober Brown (top)
Image Copyright: Colin Stubbs (lower)
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