Saturday, 8 October 2011

The GM Chevrolet Van

We arrived early morning at Ginger’s workshop in Lausanne, which was located in the Total Service Station on the Route de Berne, Epalinges, just outside Lausanne, to drop off the Oldsmobile and picked up a new GM Chevrolet van that had been delivered a few weeks earlier. The Oldsmobile or “Olds” as Ginger called it was being sold off as it had a very high mileage. We collected some Porsche spare parts and equipment and put everything in the new GM van.
This GM Chevrolet van was very impressive indeed; similar to a large Ford Transit van, but it had a special order 350 cubic inch Corvette Stingray engine fitted in it with a four barrel Rochester Holly Carburettor! Richard Broström had purchased two of these GM vans, one white and one blue, whilst in the USA and had imported them into Switzerland, one for himself and one for his brother-in-law, Ulf Norinder. Ulf had his own racing team and he raced Formula 5000 and Lola sports cars as a hobby.
Our white GM van had automatic transmission; power steering and Ginger had worked modifying a few things on it prior to leaving for Thruxton. There were some legal reasons with the registration at that time so he could not drive it outside of Switzerland, but upon his return it was now legal with Swiss number plates fitted. He showed us one of his modifications, which were two additional fuel tanks taken from Porsche 356 models. He had fitted one on each side of the van’s interior and these tanks gravity fed into the main GM tank. When Bob and I asked why this was necessary, Ginger replied, “For longer range and you will see why in due course”. The front cab had three rally seats fitted with built in headrest and full harness seats belts and a state of the art, 8-track tape cartridge and radio

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