• VAUXHALL 94000 FD - 2 DOOR COUPE CONCEPT
Image description

Since the launch of the very first Victor F in 1957 Vauxhalls middle range car had always been deliberately aimed at the unadventurous family car buyer, the FB Victor in 1961 continued the trend and used many of the mechanical components of the previous model as did the FC Victor 101 range launched in October 1964. Each model was an evolution over the model before, however, there were variations with sporting pretensions such as the VX4/90 versions of the FB and FC but even these were very conventional in both style and engineering. When planning for the next generation Victor, the FD, started in 1965 Vauxhall’s Styling Department had already signed off the design of the new PC Cresta featuring the soon to become fashionable “coke bottle” styling as well as the next generation Viva, the HB, which also followed the same style. This exterior design style was primarily the work of Australian born Leo Pruneau, who would go on to head Holden design in the 1970s, he was also assisted by Wayne Cherry who joined Vauxhall in 1965 from General Motors Design Centre in the US just as the Victor FD project started. David Jones wanted to widen the Victor's appeal and to this end the plans for the new FD would encompass a 4 door Saloon & a 5 door Estate as before but also a sporty 2+2 Coupe version as a top of the range model. As can be seen in the pictures the early full size side view 2D drawings included the 2+2 Coupe but with a very Mustang like window outline.

Image description

FORGET THE GT CONCEPT IN FOREGROUND, THE ORIGINAL FULL SIZE 2D DRAWING OF THE FD TWO PLUS TWO SPORTS COUPE IS ON THE BOARD BEHIND. UNFORTUNATELY IT IS PATIALLY OBSCURED BUT THE MUSTANG LIKE WINDOW LINE CAN BE SEEN. ON THE OTHER BOARD IS THE FD STATION WAGON PROPOSAL WHICH WAS PRETTY CLOSE TO THE PRODUCTION VERSION

Image description
Image description

ANOTHER VIEW OF THE 2D DRAWING OF THE FD COUPE, AGAIN THE FULL VIEW IS ELUSIVE

FROM THIS ANGLE ANOTHER 2D DRAWING CAN BE SEEN WHICH IS TITLED "FD ALTERNATIVE FRONT" WITH SINGLE HEADLIGHTS. ON THE LEFT IS A BOARD WITH FOUR DIFFERENT AMERICAN 2 DOOR COUPE MODELS - INSPIRATION PERHAPS?

Between April and November 1965 full size clay mock ups of all 3 body variations were made and all featured the “coke bottle” style, in common with the PC Cresta and HB Viva, along with a single oblong headlamp grille including the Coupe. This front end treatment was eventually ditched in favour of the 4 round headlamp version, which would be required in Canadian export markets, for all versions to save tooling costs. Opel “borrowed” the original FD grille for their Commodore A launched in 1967.

Image description

ANOTHER PICTURE FROM INSIDE THE DESIGN STUDIO, AN HB VIVA IS IN THE FOREGROUND WITH A PROTOTYPE GRILLE, IN THE CENTRE IS AN EARLY FULL SIZE CLAY MOCK-UP OF THE FD WITH ANOTHER VARIATION OF THE TWO HEADLAMP GRILLE AND TO THE RIGHT IS A COMPLTED CONCEPT WITH A LATER VERSION OF THE SAME GRILLE BUT OTHERWISE LOOKING VERY MUCH LIKE THE PRODUCTION VERSION

The 4 door Saloon and Estate versions were signed off straight away by the Product Planning Committee and the styling altered very little prior to going into production in September 1967, the grille was the only significant change. The 2+2 Coupe was rejected on the basis that the car was simply too big to be sold as a 2+2 and a revised project to produce a full 4 seat FD 2 door Coupe was pursued. One full size mock-up was built, this featured two different side window arrangements on either side of the model for evaluation. Although made from wood and covered with clay once covered with DiNoc it gave the appearance of paint on a real car, it featured the top half of the interior for realistic effect but had no running gear or engine and you couldn’t even open the doors. In the initial planning it would have been a candidate for the V8 version of the slant 4 ohc engine under development at the time, but by the time it was cancelled it would have probably used a V8 from Holden, as did other FD and FE top line concepts. Definitely an opportunity missed, much better looking than the equivalent Opel Rekord / Commodore Coupe, the reason for canning the project was “too limited market appeal” – I bet the Canadians would have bought all that Vauxhall could have built. The following pictures are all that remain of the project.

VAUXHALL VICTOR FD 2 DOOR COUPE RIGHT HAND SIDE:

Image description
Image description

VIEWED HEAD ON FROM THE SIDE THERE IS A DEFINATE CHEVROLET LOOK TO THE WINDOW LINE. THE 3/4 REAR ANGLE HAS A PURPOSEFUL LOOK WITH DUAL EXHAUSTS INDICATING A V8 INTENSION, MAYBE ROSTYLE WHEELS WOULD HAVE LOOKED BETTER

Image description

THE FRONT 3/4 ANGLE VIEW SHOWS CLEARLY THE PILLAR-LESS DOOR DESIGN WHICH WOULD HAVE CREATED WATER SEALING AND WIND NOISE ISSUES, THE FRONT END WAS DESIGNED TO BE THE SAME AS LESSER MODELS, THE FOUR HEADLAMP GRILLE HAD YET TO BE FITTED

VAUXHALL VICTOR FD 2 DOOR COUPE LEFT HAND SIDE:

Image description
Image description

VIEWED HEAD ON FROM THIS SIDE THERE IS MORE OF A PONTIAC LOOK TO THE WINDOW OUTLINE, THE 3/4 ANGLE FROM THE FRONT VIEW GIVES A SQAT DOWN PURPOSEFUL LOOK WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN EVEN BETTER WITH THE FOUR HEADLAMP GRILLE

Image description

THE 3/4 ANGLE FROM THE REAR VIEW SHOWS THE PILLAR DOOR DESIGN BUT THE THICKER REAR 1/4 DESIGN MAY HAVE CAUSED REAR VISIBILTY ISSUES

VAUXHALL VICTOR FD 2 DOOR COUPE FRONT & REAR:

Image description
Image description