VAUXHALL, Chrysler and BMW Concessionaires have all announced new deals for marketing conversion and tuning equipment for their respective ranges. What’s more, they even took space at the Racing Car Show to display their wares, acknowledging a fresh awareness of the importance of competition and the tuning business.
For BMW Concessionaires GB Ltd., the venture into the tuning business is entirely new and coincides with the announcement of the company’s 1971 involvement in Group 1 and Group 2 racing (see “Around and About”). Both the conversion and competition sides are being run by John Markey from the firm’s new premises on the old Paton and Baldwin site near the Fiat headquarters at Brentford. Four- and six-cylinder BMWs are catered for and the bulk of the equipment, including engine and chassis modifications and accessories, will come from Alpina, including the parts fitted to the Alpina 3.9 CSL tested above. The Concessionaires acknowledge that Alpina parts will be expensive and for those who don’t want to spend quite so much they’re offering a choice of Mathwall Engineering and Mangoletsi equipment too. Mathwall, who prepared last year’s Group 1 BMWs, will also build race and rally cars and customers’ special engines to BMW specifications. All necessary parts for competition are available and a complete competition car build service is being offered.
Orders for conversions can be placed through local dealers, but fitting must be carried out at Brentford if the BMW warranty is not to be invalidated. Later in the year its intended to open tuning depots in Leeds and Scotland, probably in Edinburgh. Full details of parts and prices can be obtained from John Markey or Mike Heath-Wise at the Concessionaires’ old address (for the moment), 361-365, Chiswick High Road, London, W4 (01495 4651).
Vauxhall have selected 12 dealers scattered throughout the country to sell parts and accessories under the Sportpart name. These Sport dealers stock or can obtain all the Blydenstein and Coburn Improvement parts for competition use and for improving road car performance and handling, which should encourage the widespread increase in the use of Vauxhalls for competition.
Chrysler’s move is to open a Special Tuning Section at the Chrysler Competition Centre, PO Box 25, Humber Road, Coventry, CV3 IBD (Coventry 452144), to extend the activities of Des O’Dell’s Competitions Department to the ordinary man in the street. The full range of Chrysler modifications can be ordered through any Chrysler dealer, who in turn will place his order through Tim Millington at the Special Tuning Section. Millington can supply anything from a carburetter kit for a standard Avenger, to a kit to convert any 1,500-c.c. Avenger M full Tiger specification, or to a full Group 6 Imp. Des O’Dell is in overall control and continues as Competitions Manager, the responsibility of his own separate department being to build cars only for the new Dealer Team Chrysler and to develop new tuning equipment for over-the-counter sales. The Special Tuning Section, now virtually a small AVO, will build competition cars for customers and also complete the assembly of Avenger Tigers, which leave the production lines without the specialist bits and pieces.—C. R.