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Thread: A Sad Loss to the Vauxhall Tuning World

  
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    A Sad Loss to the Vauxhall Tuning World

    From Ian Coomber of the VBOA

    Sadly I have to report that tuning guru and cylinder head expert Bill Blydenstein, one of the legends of the Vauxhall marque, passed away on Wednesday September 12th.



    Bill commenced his racing career in 1958. In 1966 he read a report in a motor magazine about the new HB Viva. Bored with shoehorning bigger and bigger engines into Minis he wrote to Vauxhall to suggest some assistance in preparing one of the new cars for racing. Fortunately Vauxhall men Colin Wood and Roy Cook of Engineering and Jeremy Lawrence from Marketing persuaded the management of the day to work a little “back door” magic. The result was the 1967 Shaw & Kilburn Special Viva. A tuned, pushrod engined HB, it was developed and built by Blydenstein in the double garage at the side of his house and driven by him to a sensational debut class win at Snetterton. But capable driver that Bill was, he realised that if he was to concentrate on getting the best out of the car, they would need to get another driver.
    Enter larger-than-life Gerry Marshall, to start a career that would take Vauxhall to the top of saloon car racing in the UK and earn Gerry the title “Mr Vauxhall”.
    Following a very successful 1970 season, in January 1971 a group of London Region Vauxhall dealers decided to circumvent any opposition from General Motors or Vauxhall to racing by forming Dealer Team Vauxhall or DTV.

    In 1971 the team switched to the new Firenza body style and a range of specialised racing engines were developed over the next few years with fuel injection and special heads with capacities between 2.0 and 2.6 litres. The final iteration used Lotus LV240 16-valve heads and with a capacity of 2.3 litres developed around 230bhp. The chassis was continually developed too, acquiring a five speed ZF gearbox and droop snoot in sympathy with the 1974 HP Firenza. The car became the stuff of legend, achieving 63 victories and many championships in its long career and earning the nickname “Old Nail”.



    Bill was a quiet, self effacing engineering genius to whom the Vauxhall marque owes a huge debt of gratitude.

    Rest in peace.

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    Shame to hear about the passing of such a legend

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    ditto.....
    NOW - Sapphire Black 3dr Astra G

    THEN - Glacier White 2.0Di Estate - 136bhp 1.6 Pineapple Yellow Mk3 - Flame Red 2.0Di Van - Chianti Red 1.8 Coupe - Star Silver 2.2 Zafira - Flame Red 2.2 Linea Rossa Coupe - Titan Gold 1.8 Coupe

    9 Years, 7 Astras, 1 Zafira, No Regrets.

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    A true peice of Vauxhall heritage... He will be sadly missed.
    Its a jam thing

    Haec credam a deo pio, a deo justo, a deo scito?



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    rest in peace
    www.ni-vaux.co.uk

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    rest in peace
    2 Door E350 CDI - OM642 power baby
    emJlZnIgdmYgZmJiYmIgeW5mZyBscm5l

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    rest in Peace my friend
    Drives - Phase 2 Astra Mk3 Gsi = 139.56 BHP with 138.81 Torque

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    such a shame to see a ledgend like bill pass away.
    Castle Combe Saloon Car Championship. Car 21, pug 106 GTI. Gone from track days to full on racing

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    Rest in peace....my thoughts go out to his family

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    OMG I used to speak to Bill when I worked at Courtenay 10 years ago, he was a true gentleman and always willing to talk about what he did. He was also very financially astute as invoices were always settled before the goods dispatched!
    Tell me what you've done, not what you're going to!

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