Magnum ex Works DTV, "Will Sparrow"Advert ID: 43394 Serious Offers
1974 Vauxhall Magnum DTV ex works rally car “Will Sparrow”
We will provide FREE UK delivery on this car. Worldwide shipping is also available, £1200 to most parts of Europe. Call me direct on +44 0 790 8588 962
We are delighted to have the opportunity to offer this incredible historic ex works rally car for your consideration.
DTV: Dealer team Vauxhall was a racing organisation
General motors had a no racing or rallying policy which meant that building a fully funded works team was looking impossible. However all hope was not lost, there was a way forword. Shaw & Kilburn the London based Vauxhall Dealership together with Bill Byldenstein developed a Viva and later a Firenza rally car that was driven very successfully by Gerry Marshall, he was winning many races and the factory couldn’t help but take notice. To get around political barriers, in June 1971 over 600 Vauxhall dealerships got together and formed their own association called DTV dealer team Vauxhall, which would finance and operate their own works rally team. Castrol oil where their chief sponsors and is evident on the red and green iconic body decals.
Lotus where developing a series of high performance engines know as the 900 series engines, the 900 was the first engine Lotus had fully developed in-house. It would be a 2.0 in line 4 cylinder angled at 45 degrees to accommodate a low bonnet sports car. Lotus had expanded its operations which involved a move to a larger factory and so put a major halt on the production of the 900 series engines.
Coincidentally in 1967 Vauxhall unveiled their new Victor FD model which was fitted with their latest slant 4 engine that actually shared some design features of the engine that Lotus was developing. The Vauxhall engine was an inline 4 cylinder with a belt driven overhead camshaft, the block was also slanted at 45 degrees, the bore centres where also the same as the 900 series Lotus engines too. When Colin Chapman discovered this he contacted Vauxhall’s John Alden who was head of engineering and arranged to buy some of their engine blocks. Lotus used these iron blocks for testing while they continued development of their own alloy blocks. The alloy blocks that Lotus developed where infact completely their own design and where not inspired by Vauxhall’s.
Bill Blydenstein was a dutch aeronautical engineer and would go on to become the genius master mind behind making Vauxhall racing engines go very fast! He began working with DTV in 1966 and its very ironic because the claboration Lotus had with Vauxhall a year later would work out to be a great opportunity for the DTV rally team, Blydenstein realised that the Vauxhall engines where cast iron and where much too heavy for racing and also he realised that Lotus had developed a twin can 16 valve alloy head that would bolt onto their existing block which would result in the much needed power upgrade and weight saving!! Blydenstein would further develop the Lotus cylinder head to get the maximum out of it by gas flowing it etc. In 1972 the standard road cars increased to 2.3 which was even better and Blydenstein was able to develop a very capable Magnum rally car fitted with the Lotus alloy twin cam 16v head that was a very serious threat to Ford’s Mk1 BDA escorts.
The Magnum was never the best handling rally car but many people agree that, that’s what made them so special, it brought out the best of skill in any driver who drove them, they had to work that little bit harder to get the most out of the car, its like a story of the underdog, I guess its steeped in nostalgia as the car that really started it all for Vauxhall, if it wasn’t for the Firenza/Magnum and the creative passionate genius of the Vauxhall dealers who formed the DTV we may never have seen the Chevettes and Mantas that followed and all that golden era of the 70’s and 80’s you can’t help but love the Magnum like a big brother.
There where four main drivers who drove for the DTV Gerry Marshall, Jimmy McRea, Will Sparrow and Pentti Airikkala, four really big names in the rally World indeed. This particular car that we have here was Will Sparrows car and she comes with the most fascinating pictorial history folder documenting its competition career and also what is very special is that Vauxhall filmed a documentary at the manx rally in 1975 and includes a substantial amount of video footage of the car both on board and off and interviews with Will Sparrow, all of this incredible history captured on film is an invaluable part of the cars already fascinating story. There is also a number of photographs of Jimmy McRea driving it in Scotland during testing in 1976 with quite a bit of snow on the ground too!!
This Magnum was the first car produced which was a totally new Lotus powered weapon! However in that particular year of 1974 with the upgrade of the Lotus cylinder head the engine had not yet been homologated so Sparrow focused this Magnum on group 1, and actually won the group 1 category of the Lombard RAC rally this year which was a very impressive success as the RAC rally is one of the toughest and also most prestigious events on the rally calendar. Sparrow campaigned this Magnum in events throughout the 70’s in Ireland and all over the British isles and he is respected as being one of the best rally drivers of his generation.
This Magnum is in outstanding unrestored original condition with current ownership of close to 40 years so this is the first time this car has come to market in this time. Most historic rally cars have been reshelled and restored resulting in them becoming very disconnected from the actual car that was rallied at all and they lose their historical significance. This Magnum has to be one of the most original historic rally cars that we have seen and is exactly as she would have been in 1974 with even the original seats included.
She has recently been the subject of some recomission work with an expensive full engine and gearbox rebuild by a rally car specialist and also the back end and brakes where rebuilt at the same time, and she then passed an mot.
Needless to say she is turn key ready to rally and is in superb mechanical condition throughout. The historic significance of this rally car makes it eligible for many prestigious competition events like goodwood etc so it will be the gateway to a lot of fun, and a great way to network with other like minded people.
10 Jul 2017
Phone: 07908 588962
Phone 2: +44 7908 588962
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