Explaining the process which made this road car HS into a homologation HSR, Terry runs us through its history.
“This was SMTs demonstrator. They couldn't sell any. Because back in the ‘70s no one had any money. This was an HS in their showroom for a year and a half. Then it was converted to an HSR because Vauxhall wanted to convert some into HSR spec. Then it was in the showroom for another six months, and after that it was used as a demonstrator for another three months. It was finally purchased by a little old lady to go shopping in! It had five owners from there on and I purchased it in 1988 as the sixth owner.”
For such a special and rare car, and one which is in such good nick, surely Terry keeps it locked up for 9 months of the year? Not so. Another piece of evidence pointing to how enjoyable these homologation rally cars truly are.
“It's driven all the time. Most weekends. I got it at 40,000 miles, and it has now got over 125,000 miles on it. It's been to Switzerland, Holland, Denmark, Belgium – all over Europe. That's why I've still got it after 31 years. Every single time you get on it, it just puts the biggest grin on your face. I've retired it from track days now because I'm old and so is it! It surprises people though. It has so much grunt in it that it's just good fun.”
Thankfully, these special little cars are in good hands with Terry and his friends at the Droop Snoot Group. Making hot-hatches cool, long before they were even known as such. And as Terry rightly points out, the HSR is a rally car. “Simple as that”.
Photography by Joe Harding.