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DRIVING DOWN MEMORY LANE

26 January 2011 No Comment

Who can remember the Vauxhall VX490?

I was sitting watching Top Gear a few days ago and they tested the Vauxhall VXR.

Now look at these specs, I am about to quote in imperial measures – the reason being that it makes more sense!

The original Vauxhall Victor developed 75 horse power and did 0 to 60 mph in about two weeks.

A decision was made that General Motors had to develop a car to compete with the Ford Cortina GT.

This is what transpired: Push up the compression ratio to 9.5; Fit 2 Zenith carbs; Toughen up the front transverse spring; Do the head and fit a branch; Fit bucket seats up front. (Always makes a car go faster!!).

Now we have a rocket ship with 85 hp. Wow! And voila! A Cortina GT destroyer – close … but dependant on the driver. Some could and some blew their clutches.

And in my days, when I told people about this vehicle, I was called a liar as very few people even knew it existed.

Let’s get to the new Vauxhall VXR.

Here are the specs: 330 horse power; 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds in automatic configuration.

The VXR8 Bathhurst with Walkinshaw Supercharger pushes out 560 hp and with a high performance exhaust 570 bhp.

Now for the funny part.

Both these vehicles driven at 80 kmh will consume the same amount of fuel. So where have we gone with modern technology?

Cars cost 400% more, modern unleaded fuels cost astronomically more and what have we achieved?

NOTHING! NIKS! NOUGHT!

We can now travel to Durb’s in 4 hours, at midnight and hit a truck in the mist at Harrismith and never arrive, or we can get to our destination in 6 hours in either

vehicle, for the same cost on fuel.

One problem! Toll gates!! We never had them then and the roads were far better than today.

So here we go again – what’s it all about Alfie? Bring back sanity!

Never mind if you had to reverse up Ama Juba in your Morris Minor.

May your 2011 bring you great joy, good health and all the good things you could wish for.

Cheers till next month!

Comments to john@thecenturion.co.za

John Lemmon

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