'Visit any club rally event and in addition to the traditional tuned Escorts, Sunbams and Mantas you'll also find one-off creations purely for the closed tarmac or loose stages. Included in this category are Vauxhall Chevettes powered by the Astra 16v twin cam motor.
One such machine is owned by Steve Broughton. Originally fitted with a two litre 8v motor, this car proved quick but at breaking rocker fingers, so 16v power was decided upon.
The car was built by Steve and co-owner and regular navigator Martin Bailey. So far this combination has won six trophies, including first in class. And when the Chevette finishes, it's generally in the top seven.
The underlying theme throughout the project was not to 'bodge' anything. As Martin is a skilled sheet metal worker by trade and Steve runs Vauxhall tuners SB Developments, the build was approached with a professional attitude. This started with a solid shell instead of a rusty carcass.
All the components were chosen to support a 200bhp motor, Steve wanting to show what was possible with an essentially standard engine. However, the output was increased to 220bhp to make the car more competitive, so some of the components are approaching the limit of their performance.
We invited Steve up to Bruntingthorpe to see what the car was capable of. True to form, as the Correvitt timing equipment was being fitted, the skies opened and it bucketed down for around an hour.
However, time was pressing on so we tested the car anyway. Even with wheel spin all the way through first gear, the car still managed to hit 60mph in 5 1/2 seconds and cover the 1/4 mile in 14 seconds.'
Read the rest of the technical detail in the feature