Lot 222 - 1976 Vauxhall Firenza HPF (Droop Snoot)

Lot 222 - 1976 Vauxhall Firenza HPF (Droop Snoot)

Lot 222 - 1976 Vauxhall Firenza HPF (Droop Snoot)

Lot Number 222
Registration LBL262)
Chassis Number 9F37REX1B6469
Engine Number 3231672
Odometer reading 3,736 miles
Estimate £4,000 - £6,000
Result Sold - £6,832

The Vauxhall Firenza was introduced in May 1971 and continued until 1976. It was a development of the Viva, but had a distinctive fastback coupé body style and only two doors. The initial Firenza was available in a base model 1159cc overhead valve and two models with overhead camshaft, in 1598cc and 1975cc variants. The latter was the same engine as used in the earlier Viva GT. Some six months after launch, in December 1971, performance was boosted when the engine capacities were enlarged. All models had a front mounted four cylinder engine driving the rear wheels. Suspension was double wishbone and coil springs at the front, and a live rear axle with trailing arms and coils at the rear. The SL model carried the highest level of trim. The model changes in early 1972 included the introduction of a top-of-the-line 2300 Sport SL model introduced at the Geneva Motor Show, using the 2279cc engine. In 1973, Vauxhall acknowledged that their rather dull model range needed a makeover, and developed a radical version of the Firenza, known officially as the High Performance Firenza or HPF, but known colloquially as the Droop Snoot after its dramatically styled aerodynamic nose. The nose was moulded from GRP, and featured two pairs of Cibié headlamps behind toughened glass covers. The car was a design triumph for Vauxhall, but a marketing failure. The car was launched too much publicity in a special one-off race at Thruxton circuit in Hampshire, with top drivers of the day taking part including Gerry Marshall and Barry ""Whizzo"" Williams, who won the race. However, with some production line difficulties in actually building the car meant that sales and delivery were slow, and eventually just 204 examples were built, far short of the 30,000 projected. This very low volume was obviously a disaster for Vauxhall, but ironically it has led to the car becoming a very collectible classic, thus ensuring its survival. The Firenza was also very successful in saloon car racing in the 1970s.

This Vauxhall Firenza HPF is an end of line production car assembled for one of the Vauxhall directors and then it appears that the car was part-prepared for racing with indications of racing transfers to the body work. The car is fitted with a half roll cage, revolution alloy wheels, uprated and lowered suspension and Recaro bucket seats. The engine and drivetrain is reported to be in excellent condition and a set of competition cams and followers are supplied with the car. The body is described as absolutely rock solid and is painted in blue.  This model has become very rare, especially roadworthy examples. The striking example is supplied with a V5C registration document, a MoT test certificate valid until April 2012 and is ready to drive away and use.

Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Buyers are advised to inspect the car in person or use a professional to carry out this service.

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