DHR or Should That Be VLT?
I can now rest in peace!

 

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Well who would of thought it! After all these years of trying to find the truth about DHR's history, all can now be revealed.

I always knew DHR was W. B. Blydenstein's car. I saw paperwork in the 1980's saying it was. But because I am who I am I lost it all. What with the DVLA losing it all as well when they went computerised I had no solid proof. Now I do.

Totally out of the blue on Monday morning the man who bought VLT 513G from Bill Blydenstein in 1971 contacted me. I can't reveal his name on the net as he doesn't want me too but because he is not me he has all the documentation I don't and has very kindly sent it to me. (He even has the proper gearbox spanners for a Viva after all this time).

I have had a long chat with him on the phone and he has filled in so many blanks and confirmed things I knew. We hope to meet up soon so he can see DHR again.

VLT/DHR's True History

The car was built around April/May time in 1968 at Luton. Vauxhall's registered the car on the 15th of April 1969 with the registration plate VLT513G. After a short period of time they gave two cars to Bill Byldenstein, one of which was VLT513G, which he used as his everyday car. Click here to see the original press picture outside Bill's Shepreth works. On the 7th of January 1971, at the 'Racing Car Show' at Earls Court, my new best friend paid a deposit for the car and on the 30th of January 1971 went to collect VLT 513G from Shepreth. When he got there they were still working on the car as it had to have a new big valve head put on after the previous one had cracked while it was being road tested for a magazine. (Maybe the Car article in March 1971). As in the article, click here to read, everything was still on the car when he bought it. Bill used his own car and Gerry's car as test beds for the racing cars and once or twice if they had a problem with the race cars they were known to use their daily drives for racing. Gerry did this at the 6 hour relay race at Thruxton in the summer of 1971.

He already raced an HA with Bill's tweaks in sprints etc. and also did a fair bit of marshalling. He was in the 'original' Viva Drivers Club which was set-up to race Viva's and was pretty successful, including the 6 hour endurance race held at Silverstone. In this race Bill's, Wallace Arnold prepared Montlhery record breaking attempt car ran, with a Blydenstein GT driven by Gerry Marshall and Chris Coburn in another Viva. Six in all made up the VDC team that day. He said he didn't didn't do too much racing in VLT but did race at Snetterton and winning at Lydden Hill. He also use to do sprints run by Vauxhall themselves at, I think, Chaul End, before Millbrook times. He is very knowledgeable about Viva's and its a pity he doesn't live near me as I would be calling in for help probably every week.

While he owned the car his Dad was trading in his old Victor which had a private plate and guess what the number was? Yes that's right, DHR 990C. So they moved the number from the Victor to the Viva, hence how DHR became a 1968 Viva. Below you will see the invoices showing the dates etc. but I have removed his name and address. So in the November of 1973 he sold the car to J.S. Monro, a Vauxhall dealers in Andover. Some may remember the big race day with 22 Firenza's racing at one time after the model was released. Well he sold the GT to buy one of those. He did buy a Chevette later but the only other Vauxhall was a home built Westfield with an Astra GTE engine in it. I can now complete his car history and its certainly one I'd be proud to have, so here we go. Following on from the Chevette was a Mk1 Astra which was in the family for about 20 years.

So here endth the true story...DHR really was Bill's old VLT 513G. Now the big question is "do I try and get the original number back from DVLA"?

My thanks to the previous owner who really has made my day.

I hope to do some more about the original VDC soon as I have a few articles on them.

Remember to click on the images for a bigger view.

 

Miricle Document 2

Collecting the car from Shepreth.