• VAUXHALL SRV CONCEPT
Image description

NO PLATFORM ALLOCATED CONCEPT MOCK-UP

SRV CONCEPT DESIGN & BUILD

The XVR was the first Vauxhall Design Concept to be publically shown, in 1966, and whilst it was a masterpiece of design it could, by some, be accused of borrowing some its styling cues from other GM Designs - especially the then newly launched Chevrolet Corvette. The next Vauxhall Design Concept to be aired in public could not in any way be accused of the same thing. In 1970 it was something so futuristic that it would not have looked out of place in a science fiction movie, and what made it all the more surprising to motoring pundits at the time was that it was a Vauxhall. This was probably understandable, at the London Motor Show in 1970 Vauxhall were also launching their latest and most up to date model, the new HC Viva, however, standing alongside the SRV the new Viva looked at least 20 years out of date! The SRV (Styling Research Vehicle) project was headed by Wayne Cherry and started in 1969 with a 2 dimensional full sized wall drawing using draughtsman’s tape, as was usual practice at the time. The original plan was for a 2 seat sports concept but this was quickly changed to a 4 seat design, Wyane Cherry claimed he wanted to push the boundaries and create a full 4 seat sports car. The new 4 seat Lamourghini Espada had recently been announced and created a new niche, although it added to the idea of a 4 seat concept Cherry claimed that the real inspiration came form the cab-forward, long tail Le Mans cars of the time. Unlike the previous three XVR running prototypes of 1966 the SVR was purely a styling concept, this meant the designers could have a field day with all the gadgets & features on the car. From the original 2D drawing John Taylor and Chris Field moved to 3D drawings and fleshed out the styling.

Image description

THE SRV FULL SIZE RENDERING BY JOHN TAYLOR AND CHRIS FIELD

Image description

MORE SRV SKETCHES SHOWING THE PROPOSED DOOR ARRANGEMENT AND SIDE PROFILE

Image description

ANOTHER EARLY SKETCH DETAILING THE DRIVERS DOOR WITH INTEGRATED INSTRUMENTS

From sketches and drawings a full sized seating-buck was built, this was used to allocate space for the power unit wheels and seating positions.

Image description

THE SRV SEATING-BUCK WITH A VERY YOUTHFUL LOOKING WAYNE CHERRY HOLDING THE PROPOSED REAR DOOR FLAP OPEN

Because the concept was designed specifically to attract attention the normal practicality went out the window. The glass-fibre body featured movable panels to aid high speed aerodynamics. The huge front doors gave access for the driver and front passenger while smaller gull wing flap type rear doors gave rather awkward access to the rear seating. The exterior featured hinged rear covers for access to the rear wheels and a huge rear louvered cover for the engine compartment. Fortunately the SRV was a concept because the access to the engine would have been a big problem, as it happens the transversely mounted DOHC 2.3litre slant four with fuel injection and twin turbochargers was actually a dummy and like the rest of the car made from wood, glass-fibre and aluminium.

Image description

THE FULL SIZE SRV CLAY MOCK-UP FEATURED TWO DIFFERENT REAR END TREATMENTS, THE CENTRAL MIRROR ENABLED STYLISTS TO VIEW THE COMPLETE REAR END OF EACH. THE YOUNG MAN IN THE PICTURE IS NONE OTHER THAN GEOFF LAWSON WHO HAD BEEN RECENTLY RECRUITED TO THE VAUXHALL DESIGN DEPARTMENT

Image description

THE DE DION REAR AXLE WAS SPECIALLY CAST FOR THE SRV BUT WAS AGAIN FOR DISPLAY ONLY BEING RIGIDLY BOLTED TO THE REAR FRAME OF THE CAR

Image description

THE REAR VIEW OF THE SRV BODY FRAME, THE STYLING DEPARTMENT'S BEDFORD CA VAN IN THE BACKGOUND LOOKS ALMOST ANTIQUE BY COMARISON

Image description

THE SRV LOOKING FAR LESS GLAMOUROUS DURING THE MAKE UP THE GLASS-FIBRE BODYSHELL IN THE ENGINEERING WORKSHOP AT LUTON

Image description

THE SRV COMING TOGETHER IN THE LUTON ADVANCED ENGINEERING BUILD WORKSHOP

The inside of the SRV was easily a match for the futuristic exterior with aircraft style banks of switches and dials, a Ferrari style gear lever gate, seat belts that came down from the roof. The specific driver instruments were mounted on a hinged pod that swiveled out the way when the drivers door was opened. There were even another 6 dials on the lip of the engine and spare wheel bay along with more relays and switches. The range of dials was impressive and in Vauxhalls words at the time related to research equipment envisaged for such a vehicle including a manometer designed to collate air pressure readings from measuring points over the surface of the car, a fuel distribution gauge to work with the car ability to move fuel between tanks for better weight distribution, three instruments relating to the turbo chargers - boost gauge, tachometer and exhaust gas temperature. There was even a digital clock graduated in one tenths of a second and maintained a time scale on an automatic data recording unit. The front seats were fixed but control pedals, steering column and front seat rake were adjustable to suite drivers' individual requirements. The design featured an electric levelling system for the rear suspension and forward lighting was by lamps covered by retractable louvres mounted just below the windscreen.

Image description

VAUXHALL SRV COMPLETED DASC86A-Bk3-018 © GM ARCHIVE

Image description

VAUXHALL SRV COMPLETED WITH WAYNE CHERRY DASC86A-Bk3-018 © GM ARCHIVE

SRV CONCEPT PRESS PICTURES

Image description

THE ORIGINAL VAUXHALL SRV PRESS RELEASE PICTURE ISSUED 10.70

Image description

THE COMPLETED SRV CONCEPT ON THE TURNTABLE IN THE VIEWING AREA OUTSIDE THE DESIGN STUDIO LOOKING TRULY STUNNING, REMEMBER THIS IS 1970 - BMC WERE STILL BUILDING THE MORRIS MINOR AT THE TIME!

Image description

THE SIDE VIEW SHOWS OFF THE DRAMATIC PROFILE OF THE SRV THAT WAS SO FAR AHEAD OF ITS TIME AND GIVES LITTLE CLUE TO ITS 4 SEAT CAPABILITY

Image description

TWO VAUXHALL PRESS RELEASE PICTURES OF THE SRV ON THE VIEWING TERRACE OF THE DESIGN STUDIO ABOVE & BELOW

Image description
Image description
Image description

LEFT: A PICTURE OF THE INTERIOR OF THE SRV ON THE VAUXHALL STAND AT THE 1970 MOTOR SHOW. ABOVE: THE SRV PHOTOGRAPHED AT LUTON HOO WITH DOOR AND ENGINE COVER OPEN

The SRV was duly completed in time for the Earls Court Motor Show in October 1970 and was a major attraction on the Vauxhall stand, it was also shown at the Geneva Motor Show some months later in 1971. It is still given regular outings by Vauxhalls Heritage Centre today. It stands as a tribute to the forward thinking and sheer talent of Wayne Cherry, John Taylor and the rest of the design team at Vauxhall and is proof that, given a free hand, they were more than a match for any styling studio anywhere in the world at the time.

Image description
Image description

LEFT: THE SRV WAS FIRST SHOWN PUBLICALLY AT THE 1970 LONDON MOTOR SHOW AND WAS A MAJOR ATTRACTION ON THE VAUXHALL STAND AND STOLE SOME OF THE LIMELIGHT FROM THE LAUNCH OF THE NEW HC VIVA.

ABOVE: THE SRV TOOK PRIDE OF PLACE ON THE VAUXHALL STAND AT THE GENEVA MOTOR SHOW IN MARCH 1971

BELOW: ANOTHER PICTURE OF SRV ON THE STYLING TERRACE THIS TIME FROM THE VAUXHALL MOTORIST MAGAZINE

Image description
Image description
Image description
Image description

LEFT: ANOTHER PICTURE FROM THE VAUXHALL MOTORIST OF THE SRV DOOR MOUNTED INSTRUMENTS.

ABOVE: THE SRV ON DISPLAY IN THE DESIGN STUDIO MAIN CORRIDOR, LIGHTING WAS USED TO GOOD EFFECT

Image description

EVEN A SILLY COW LIKE THATCHER TRIED THE VAUXHALL SRV FOR SIZE ON A VISIT TO THE DESIGN CENTRE AT LUTON WITH VAUXHALL MD BOB PRICE, BUT IT DIDN'T STOP HER GOVERNMENT FROM LATER TOTALLY SCREWING UP THE BEDFORD & LEYLAND TRUCKS MERGER ALONG WITH HER WIMPY TRANSPORT MINISTER CHANNING. THE RESULT THE END OF BEDFORD & LEYLAND TRUCKS!

Image description

THE SRV CONTINUED TO BE SHOWN AT MOTORSHOWS THROUGH THE 1970s, HERE ON DISPALAY IN 1978 FOR THE VAUXHALL 75 YEAR ANNIVERSARY. NOTE THE FRONT END NOW FEATURED VAUXHALL STROBE LETTERING WHICH WAS REPEATED ON THE REAR

Image description

ABOVE & ABOVE LEFT : THE ONLY THING THAT LOOKS OUT OF PLACE IN THE INTERIOR WAS THE RATHER NAFF STEERING WHEEL WHICH LOOKS AS IF IT CAME FROM A REDUNDANT SUBMARINE

RIGHT : A CLOSE UP OF THE SWIVEL INSTRUMENT BINNACLE ON THE SRV DRIVERS DOOR

Image description
Image description
Image description

UNDER THE MASSIVE REAR COVER WAS THE DUMMY ENGINE, SPARE WHEEL (REMOVED) AND YET MORE DIALS AND CONTROL RELAYS & FUSES ALONG THE OUTER EDGE OF THE COMPARTMENT

Image description

A CLOSE UP OF THE REAR ENGINE COMPARTMENT PANEL

Image description

ACCESS TO THE REAR WHEELS ON THE SRV WAS VIA THESE OPEN OUT FLAPS

Image description

THE VAUXHALL SRV AS IT IS TODAY SAFE IN THE HANDS OF THE VAUXHALL HERIATGE CENTRE AND IS STILL USED RUGULARLY AT CAR SHOWS WHERE IT ALWAYS ATTRACTS ATTENTION JUST AS IT DID 1970. TAKE A CLOSE LOOK - THAT CAR IS OVER 40 YEARS OLD, TRULY AN OUTSTANDING DESIGN

VAUXHALL SRV LAUNCH ARTICLES

Image description
Image description

THE VAUXHALL SRV AS ANNOUNCED BY THE VAUXHALL MOTORIST IN OCTOBER 1970

BRIEF SPECIFICATIONS:

MODEL:                                   SRV (STYLING RESEARCH VEHICLE)


LENGTH:                                 16FT 8INS


WIDTH:                                     6FT 4.5INS


HEIGHT:                                   3FT 5.5INS


WHEELBASE:                         8FT 9INS


FRONT TRACK:                      5FT 2.25INS


REAR TRACK:                         4FT 4.5INS

   

FRONT OVERHANG:              3FT 7.5INS


REAR OVERHANG:                4FT 3.5INS


WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION:        5% - 65%


WHEEL WIDTH:                       FRONT 17INS - REAR 16INS


ENGINE PROPOSAL:             1975cc DOHC SLANT 4 TWIN TURBO WITH FUEL INJECTION (DUMMY FITTED)

BROCHURES:

Image description
Image description
Image description
Image description