Hard to think that once upon a time this was a sexy beast. Even harder to believe that it was 40 years ago that it first made its public appearance. Coincidentally, it was Vauxhall’s first production car to beat the 10 second 0 to 60mph sprint!
Vauxhall celebrated this birthday when the Droop Snoot Group had a gathering at Vauxhall Motor’s Heritage Centre in Luton. This included an extra 13 recently restored Firenzas in the gathering of 40 of these iconic cars.
Anyway, it brought back memories. It was the Firenza which launched Jim McRae on his rallying career. He first rallied a 4 door Cortina in 1974 then a supercharged MkI Escort before turning to Vauxhall in 1975, on the basis that it would stand out from the flocks of Fords in the forests in that time.
It worked. He attracted support from SMT in Perth and with his brand new Group 1 Firenza beat the two DTV works Group 2 cars on the Lindisfarne Rally. And the rest, as they say, is history.
On that basis, Jim’s appearance in this year’s Historic Rally Championship in a Vauxhall Firenza will be well worth watching. Don’t miss his next outing on the Scottish Rally next month.