Vauxhall through the ages: The Firenza HP DroopSnoot

By: Mark Higgins, Unique Cars magazine

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Vauxhall DROOPSNOOT Vauxhall DROOPSNOOT

Get up to speed with Vauxhall's awkwardly named, but rare, racer: the Firenza HP DroopSnoot

Perhaps it was modelled off the Concorde that had recently started flying when in 1973 Vauxhall rationalised its Firenza range and created the HP ( High Performance) model with its distinctive aero developed nose, earning it the nickname, Droopsnoot.

A ground-breaker for Vauxhall in so many ways, it became the flagship for the company’s motorsport programs during the Seventies, fulfilled with the help of two English motorsport legends: Bill Blydenstein and Gerry Marshall.

The two-door  Drooopsnoot was based on the Magnum Coupe with the HP gaining the previously mentioned additional aero treatments.

The Droopsnoot had the brawn to match its, shall we say unique look.

It became the first Vauxhall with a five-speed gearbox, which was bolted to a 2.3-litre slant-four engine featuring hand-finished combustion chambers, inlet tracts and valve throats to extract another 21hp. 

As a result, the Droopsnoot became the fastest-accelerating Vauxhall with a 0-60mph time of just 7.6 seconds and a top speed of 120mph.

Vauxhall timed the launch of the model to coincide with the marques return to motorsport in the form of DTV (Dealer Team Vauxhall).

But industrial disputes, a looming fuel crisis and the consequent sales fall-out from the performance car market signalled an early death for the Firenza HP. Despite a brave sales projection of 1,000 cars per year, only 204 cars were ever built. Today they are a highly sought by collectors and enthusiasts. 

Here is a link from Vauxhall of Gerry Marshall giving the Droopsnoot a good workout in the British Championship.

 

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part I - Vauxhall's first car

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part II - Britain's first racecar

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part III - Britain's fastest car

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part IV - The H-Type Ten-Four

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part V - The Cresta

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VI - The XVR Concept

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part VIII - Vauxhall's first hot hatch

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part IX - The world's fastest sedan

Vauxhall Through the Ages: Part X - The Australian finale

 

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