Me and my motor - Mike Edwards - Vauxhall Firenza

Mike Edwards has lavished years of love and attention on his Vauxhall Firenza

My first car was a Vauxhall Viva, which I bought shortly after passing my driving test, then progressed onto a selection of other cars until I acquired this Vauxhall High-Performance (HP) Firenza in 1986, writes Mike Edwards who lives near Crewe.

It was a special model produced in small numbers – just 204 – by Vauxhall in the mid-1970s, and although it received good reviews in the motoring press it was launched at the time of the energy crisis and the three-day week, and suddenly no-one wanted a coupe with a large engine.

The car quickly gained the nickname of the “Droopsnoot Firenza”, because of the sloping shape of the aerodynamic nosecone. A highly-developed version of the car was raced very successfully by the late Gerry Marshall in the 1970s.

I bought mine from an ad in the Auto Trader in 1986, and it appeared to be in reasonable condition on first inspection. But as the MOT expiry date approached, a closer look revealed rust in much of the car.

I took it off the road and spent the next ten years gathering replacement parts and stripping the car down, then sent the bare body-shell to my local Vauxhall dealer to be repaired and painted. On its return in 1997, I put the car back together over the next twelve months and have been taking it to classic car shows ever since. The car certainly attracts attention, I think mainly because it’s unusual and an eye-catching shape.

I am a member of two different car clubs – the Droopsnoot Group is a national club specialising in the HP Firenza, the Sportshatch estate and the twin-cam Chevettes, and provides specialised technical advice and spare parts as well as attending shows all around the country.

Most Read

I mainly display at shows in the North West as a member of the South Cheshire Collectors Car Club, which was formed in the late 80s by a group of local enthusiasts to concentrate more on the social side of owning a classic car, and has been going strong ever since. We have a monthly meeting in a local pub, an annual car show, and various social events during the year including skittles evenings and trips to other car club events.

Your driving passion

If your car is your pride and joy or you ride the motorbike of your dreams, tell us what you love about it and don’t forget to include a photograph.

Whether you drive a vintage vehicle or a modern marvel, share your car stories and motoring memories with us at letters@cheshirelife.co.uk or post them to Features, Cheshire Life, 3 Tustin Court, Port Way, Preston, PR2 2YQ.

And for more information about the Droopsnoot Group and the South Cheshire Classic Car Club, go towww.droopsnoot.co.uk and www.scccc.org.uk.

Comments powered by Disqus