Mallory Park CSCC 2018
The last round of the season of the CSCC 'Special Saloons + Modsports ' series on October 7th 2018 at Mallory Park marked the first time 2 very famous Vauxhall super saloons had been seen togther .Like others I had watched the Goodwood Festival of Speed a few months earlier and had a jaw-dropping moment when Ric Wood blasted his 'new' car up the hill, including a hairy moment caught on camera nicely. The car that he had kept secret until the event was the mythical Vauxhall Cavalier Coupe supersaloon dubbed 'Mega Bertha' due its extreme wide body. The car had been announced by Vauxhall way back in 1977 as the racing replecement for Gerry Marshall`s all conquring 'Baby Bertha' Firenza. The car had got as far as the mock-up stage for publicity shots and then the project was cancelled. DTV seemingly deciding moving into Rallying was the direction they`d prefer to go into. The shell was left dormant and as the decades passed enthusiasts may have wondered if the car actually ever had existed. The then owner David Cousins, despite being a gifted builder of Vauxhall`s sold the project on in 2017 to car and engine guru/racer Ric Wood of Stockport . Within a year Ric created a chassis for the body fitted all the custom parts and panels needed and in keeping with his dedication to keep it 'in period' fitted a mighty 8.2 Chevy Can-Am engine ! The result is astonishing and the sound it makes really is from another era.
In my role as part of the CSCC promotion team it was my immediate thought to try and get Ric and Mega Bertha to our season finale and also CSCC series' favourite car 'Baby Bertha' that Joe Ward frequently races to join us. Both parties were happy to not just show their cars but entered the races. This being the actual track debut of 'Mega Bertha' some 40 after those first publicity photos made the press. Saturday though was wet for qualifying and with these big cars kicking up the spray as Ric and Joe`s son Piers took things steady not to be caught out and both wisely decided to scratch race 1 that afternoon to keep their powder dry for Sundays dry-forcasted races.
Sunday was indeed perfect and both cars made for a fantastic sight and sound as the cruised round in unison just outside the top 10 stealling the show . I`d cleared it with the race organisers to get both cars parked on the start finish line after the race as it was just into the lunch break. The occasion not lost on anyone there, the organisers, the drivers and photographers as these 2 long lost 'sister' cars were finally united for the photo shoot.
It was a privilage to get to sit inside Mega Bertha, the engine is located under the extra wide windscreen and my left knee was up against the firewall it was that snug . Ric and his team have very professionally built a truely unique car. With the shoot over but the lunch noise curfew still active the owners had plenty of volunteers to push the cars quietly all the way down the pit straight and back into paddock. A memorable day indeed for special saloon enthusuiasts and my thanks to all parties for their co-operation in making a special moment reality.