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V8 Firenzas


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#1 RS2000

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 20:55

I'm not expecting a reply but, just in case, does anyone know which axle was used in the South African (homologated or not) V8 Vauxhall Firenzas that were rallied there? (the question arises from someone wanting to build a V8 Firenza for the British Historic Rally Championship which, depending on Category, requires the item to have been homologated or "used in rallying in period"). Clearly the intended driver and co-driver are braver than me...

Edited by RS2000, 24 September 2009 - 22:34.


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#2 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 21:38

I'm not expecting a reply but, just in case, does anyone know which axle was used in the South African (homologated) V8 Vauxhall Firenzas that were rallied there? (the question arises from someone wanting to build a V8 Firenza for the British Historic Rally Championship which, depending on Category, requires the item to have been homologated or "used in rallying in period"). Clearly the intended driver and co-driver are braver than me...

Dare I say that any period GM diff will be a little fragile.In period would probably include an 8 or 9" Ford, if it will fit under the car. Will probably have to be narrowed. It depends how strict the rules are. The Fairlanes and Mustangs used both 8 and 9" diffs. The Aussie stillborn XU1 V8 would still have used a banjo Holden diff which while fragile was defenitly used in Aussie rallying, And XU1s were very succesfull rally cars with a triple carb 200 hp 202ci engine. And they are both a Viva based platform.
You dont have to be brave, just use your head it will be front heavy so drive around it but otherwise probably easier to drive than a twin cam Escort in that it falls off the powerband so easy.Build a good 'Grunter' 327 and drive it on torque.2500-4500 Rpm and about 6000 on the straight bits. Close ratio Muncie will keep it going fine.
And dare I say modern tyres will hook it up far better than what they used in the 70s.

#3 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 21:59

I'm not expecting a reply but, just in case, does anyone know which axle was used in the South African (homologated) V8 Vauxhall Firenzas that were rallied there? (the question arises from someone wanting to build a V8 Firenza for the British Historic Rally Championship which, depending on Category, requires the item to have been homologated or "used in rallying in period"). Clearly the intended driver and co-driver are braver than me...

While i do not know the relevant rules and how strict they are with period parts the obvious is 8 or 9 inch Ford diffs if you can get it under the car. Will probably have to be narrowed. They were used in both Fairlanes and Mustangs.Anything GM for those cars is probably a little fragile.The Aussie XU1 diff while fragile would have been used in the stillborn V8 XU1. The triple carb 200hp 202 XU1s were very succesfull in Oz rallying. And both of these cars are Viva based. And not very nice road cars but were quite succesful racecars. Built properly you should be able to get near 50 50 front to rear.
Depending on the rules[and even period envisaged] you can get a fair lump of weight out of a Chev engine by using alloy intake, waterpump, heads and modern lightweight engine internals making a far better proposition. Build a "Grunter' small port engine with 350-400hp and drive it on the torque between 2500 and 4500 and about 6000 on the straight bits. A close ratio muncie will keep it on the boil and are period and fairly light.
You wont have to brave, just use your brain in that it will be front heavey with plenty of grunt. Probably be easier to drive than most of the very narrow powerband torquless 4 cyl engine that have been favored for so long. Far better on a longer event.
And modern tyres should be far better than anything from the period though it will use plenty.

#4 RS2000

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 22:33

The question is very specific - does anyone know which axle was actually used on the V8 Firenzas in rallying in SA. Salisbury "4HA" (actually a Jaguar number but now commonly used to describe that type of axle on other period cars) would be the hoped for answer!
We would like to think we are masters of the specific regulations, so more general info/advice is not sought. (I'm also aware of what was used on 4 cylinder 2.3/2.6 cars in the UK, homologated or not)

#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 September 2009 - 23:29

I don't know, but I would guess the same as the V8 Monaros, though the era might make a difference...

Up to the mid-seventies, we saw the 10-bolt Salisbury style GM unit in force here. As Lee mentioned, Toranas raced with the banjo Holden unit (with fine spline axles), this being from the beginning of the XU-1s through to the L34s. The thing was fragile, but did win many races with about 400hp on tap.

Then the A9X came out with a Salisbury style housing. I think this is your man. It was strong and it's the right period for you and about the right track as well. It might well be the same 10-bolt thing that the Monaros had, but it was naturally enough mounted more like a Vauxhall fitment. It was also carried on in the Commodores.

#6 cheapracer

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 07:36

You might try contacting Basil Van Rooyen - maybe through this article's writer ....

http://www.oldracing...asil_vanrooyen/

#7 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 22:45

Or just try here:- http://forums.autosp...howtopic=114648

Slightly easier than some suggestions and if you struggle with info then just ask me nicely.  ;)

#8 cheapracer

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 02:31

From Basil Van Rooyen himself....

"In speccing the car, I had to try to use GM suppliers whenever practical. I thus had freedom to pick from the parts bin of Borg-Warner in Port Elizabeth. I ended up using the S.African Volvo diff, which ran the B/W 8" C & P, and had good side shafts. The axle tubes were narrowed to suit the track, and the side shafts to suit. Then the identical Firenza mounting brackets for the links were fitted. It retained the Volvo rear drum brakes, which I thought adequate for road use with such a light car, and of course they would and could be changed to discs for the race versions. In the next issue of Classic and Sports Cars - the top classic UK magazine, there will be a comparison impressions of the Capri Perana and the Firenza CanAm".

#9 cheapracer

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Posted 04 October 2009 - 06:59

Basil sent me this pic from a couple of weeks ago of the only V8 Firenza in the UK.

Terry (the owner), Basil Van Rooyen and some unknown bloke named Gordan Murray.

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