Vauxhall Magnum Profile

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Vauxhall Magnum General Information

Please read also the Vauxhall Viva story. Though this is yet another car that is difficult to explain. Vauxhall for once created a name confusion that is more known from Alfa or Lancia. Basically we are talking coupé versions of the Viva. But the original coupé version to the Viva was called Firenza. Magnum was a name that was not strictly intended for the coupé, but for upmarket versions of both Viva and Firenza. However even if that would be the correct way to look at it, it only causes confusion! Since the Magnum name was very rare on the gorgeous Viva estate, and since there was also a 2300 version of the Viva, and the Viva itself being a smaller, not really posh car, the Magnum name is hardly remembered on saloon versions. If I wrongly beg you to forget about the existance of saloon Magnums, the reason is what happened next to the Firenza itself:

When Opel successfully sold coupé versions of their large Rekord and Commodore models, the Vauxhall equivalents Victor and VX were never available as coupés. But since Viva and Magnum were available with big 2300cc engines, why not take one of those coupés upmarket. Eventually it was not the Magnum but the Firenza that was taken into that direction. Yes, this contradicts to the official intention of using Magnum as an upmarket name. I told you, to save confusion forget about Magnum saloon versions! Since the "Viva Coupé" sold better with the more powerful engines, it was sold mostly as a Magnum, so to change the successful Magnum would have been risky. To then address the lack of a Commodore/VX sized coupé, it was the Firenza that was given a massive makeover. Actually not that massive, but the car received a completely different front. It was the first time Vauxhall experimented with special aerodynamic fronts. Yes, before the Chevette and yes I do say on several other occasions the Chevette was first with that Vauxhall trademark. But on the Firenza this was not the typical Vauxhall front to identify a Vauxhall from an Opel. It was even more flat, with edges and with the headlights behind a glass cover, quite like on the Alpine A310 and making the whole front just one flat line. For Vauxhall fans this is the famous Droopsnoot! Despite this dramatic and famous change the Firenza was discontinued in 1975, leaving the Magnum as the only name for the Coupé version for the last three and a bit years, which in turn explains even further that Magnum here identifies the coupé despite the existence of Magnum saloon and estate versions.

What may have helped to this idea, apart from the availability of a 2300cc engine, is that the Magnum Coupé shared the platform, wheelbase, etc. with the Viva, it had a very tiny rear side window, a low, curved boot, and despite all this it still was 165mm longer than the Viva saloon. This makes it look quite large. Indeed if Vauxhall didn't have an Ascona A equivalent, they did not have an equivalent to the Manta A either, yet the Magnum Coupé was even slightly longer than a Manta A. And the Droopsnoot front of the Firenza made it even longer yet.

However the Droopsnoot was the Firenza, and combined with the 2300cc engine this could be regarded as going quite into the direction of an upmarket Commodore Coupé, while the Magnum kept the classic Viva front design with the normal grille. And this is the best way to look at it. While the Firenza was based on the Viva somewhere down the line, eventually the Firenza was changed to the Droopsnoot and discontinued soon after, leaving only the Magnum to be the straight Coupé version of the Viva.

Though the Magnum Coupé was also available with the Firenza's 2300cc engine, which also found its way into later Viva saloons. As you can read in the Viva story, this was on the Viva done to move it slightly above the Chevette, even though both originally were derivates of the Kadett. But this is actually the base engine of the group4 Chevette HSR with the same 2279cc dimensions and also explains how it came to the idea of putting such a large engine into a Chevette.

So, despite being a small scale, national group2 effort, the Magnum was in many ways a pointer to the future with 2300cc Chevette HSR and 2400cc Ascona 400 and as well we do find drivers as Pentti Airikkala and Jimmy McRae in Vauxhall Magnums!

Vauxhall Magnum Related Content

Vauxhall Magnum Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Vauxhall Magnum 2300 Sport SL (74-76) 0 0 4303.1643.1303 1040 (0) RWD (2464)

Random Vauxhall Magnum Photos

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Vauxhall Magnum Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
12th. 1976 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. McRae I. Muir #42 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
22nd. 1975 WRC Rally of Finland E. Nuuttila . UNKNOWN #39 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
30th. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain P. Falkner M. Peters #41 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
9th. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain W. Sparrow R. Crellin #25 [UNKNOWN] 6:18:04
31st. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain C. Lord P. Boland #123 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
20th. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain P. Airikkala J. Davenport #19 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
16th. 1974 WRC Rally of Finland P. Airikkala H. Haaksiala #29 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
16th. 1974 WRC Rally of Great Britain W. Sparrow R. Crellin #32 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
23rd. 1974 WRC Rally of Great Britain G. Hill P. Bryant #70 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Vauxhall Magnum Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 2014 IRC Circuit of Ireland J. McRae . UNKNOWN #0 [UNKNOWN] SS0 course opening car only
Ret. 1977 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. McRae I. Muir #39 [UNKNOWN] SS48 clutch
Ret. 1976 WRC Rally of Great Britain C. Lord . UNKNOWN #82 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1976 WRC Rally of Great Britain P. Falkner M. Peters #34 [UNKNOWN] SS99 transmission
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally of Great Britain G. Hill P. Short #49 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1975 WRC Rally of Finland P. Airikkala H. Haaksiala #9 [UNKNOWN] SS3 crash
Ret. 1974 WRC Rally of Great Britain A. Cowan . UNKNOWN #30 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1973 WRC Rally of Great Britain W. Sparrow . UNKNOWN #43 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?