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'There's Only One Gerry' | Time For Tea?

Vauxhall is celebrating the Droopsnoot Firenza today, and you can't talk Droopsnoots without mentioning one man in particular...

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Vauxhall's touring car history in the UK is an illustrious one: of course everyone remembers Cleland's Cavalier in 1995, and perhaps the 1989 Astra triumph as well, but the total domination of the early 2000s stands out most. Astras or Vectras brought drivers' titles in 2001, '02, '03, '04, '07 and '08, in addition to a host of manufacturers' and teams' trophies.

They all rather pale into insignificance, however, against the most iconic Vauxhall saloon car racing duo: Gerry Marshall and Baby Bertha. While the Firenza Droopsnoot road car had its success stymied by the fuel crisis - just 204 were made, when the plan was for 1,000 - the silhouette racer's 33 wins across 1975 and 1976 ensure it is remembered fondly.

It was Marshall, though, that cemented the legend. If ever a driver perfectly suited a car, Gerry did: large, imposing, a bit of a brute and yet monstrously fast, they were a match made in heaven. And quite possibly the most wonderful encapsulation of British motorsport at the time.

Why bring the two up today? Well, Vauxhall's UK press department is covering a decade a day in lockdown, with today being the turn of the 1970s. And what could be better to feature than Gerry and Bertha, Vauxhall's happiest couple? Naturally the release comes with a few pics of the road car, but it's the video you really want to see: 'There's Only One Gerry' is a 1975 film from Dealer Team Vauxhall, covering the exploits of car and driver in the Super Saloon championship.

The skids, sideburns and V8 soundtrack are all gloriously daft, and the video - while of course favourable to Vauxhall - shows clearly the talent that Gerry had in whatever car he drove (look out for the Brands Hatch production saloon car race nine minutes in). So get the kettle on, raid the biscuit tin and ensure that side parting is correct - it's time to celebrate the 70s!

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