It has been a while since we had a “Showdown” here on the Hooniverse, and it’s time to dust off this category for the weekend. Thanks to our own Alex Kierstein, We have brought to you what is probably two of the raddest British “Pony Cars” ever offered to the general public. Say hello to the Ford Capri Tickford, and the Vauxhall HP Firenza “Droopsnout”.
This is a 1986 Ford Capri Tickford Turbo, which was developed by Aston Martin Tickford Ltd, with the prototype unveiled at the 1982 Birmingham (UK) Motor Show. According to the auction listing:
Developed by Aston Martin Tickford Ltd (the famous Newport Pagnell manufacturer’s special projects wing), the newcomer was based on a standard MKIII Capri 2.8 Injection. Visually distinguished by the lift-reducing GRP mouldings that Simon Saunders (latterly of Ariel Atom fame) devised for its nose, flanks and tail, the fixed-head was credited with a 0.37 drag coefficient. Reworked via the addition of an IHI turbocharger and Garrett intercooler, its 2792cc Cologne V6 drove the rear wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
Credited with 205bhp and 260lbft of torque, the high-performance model was reputedly capable of 0-60mph in 6.0 seconds and 139.8mph. Priced at an immodest £14,985, it came with Recaro front seats and a leather-topped walnut dashboard as standard. The plan was to reconfigure 250 examples and an initial batch of 100 Injection Capris was purchased from Ford. However, at some 200 man-hours per conversion, the cars proved expensive to build and expensive to sell. Ultimately just 85 or so are understood to have been completed.
The Auction Estimates (which is scheduled for this weekend) is between £7,500 – £10,000 See the Auction Listing here.
The next car is the 1975 Vauxhall HP Firenza ‘Droopsnoot’, which is an offshoot of the Vauxhall Viva Coupe. By 1972, the Viva line included a 2279cc Sport model producing some 122 HP, and these were the versions that were fielded by Dealer Team Vauxhall in various events throughout the UK. According to the auction listing:
However, overall the range was recognised as a trifle dull and in need of a more dramatic figurehead – enter the High Performance (HP) Firenza. The 2.3-litre OHC Slant Four engine was uprated to 131bhp courtesy of 175 Stromberg carburetters, high-lift camshaft and free-flow tubular exhaust manifold. Suspension was uprated and lowered, the brakes improved and five-speed ZF dog-leg gearbox installed. The newcomer rode on Avon Safety Wheels and all examples were finished in Silver Starfire and featured a largely black interior with silver-grey cloth seats.
Last, but certainly not least, was the dramatically-styled GRP nose, housing two pairs of Cibie headlamps behind toughened glass covers – a distinctive feature that understandably earned the model its nickname of `Droopsnoot’. The model was launched with great panache by a celebrity race at Thruxton, which was won by Barrie `Whizzo’ Williams. The bad news for Vauxhall, but good news for anybody that now owns an HP, is that a mere 204 examples were sold versus the projection of 30,000!
Auction Estimates for this very rare Vauxhall is between £8,500 – £9,500. See the Auction Listing here.