Imagine the scene. It's the early 1970s and Vauxhall has decent business, but his image is dubious and his new models worthy of being can not compete with the sex appeal of those of his great rival, the British Ford. The dull looking Viva HC competes with the Mk1 Escort while curvaceous, while the slabbed FE series seems dull next to the prestigious Cortina and Granada. What's needed is a new approach: a sporty halo model that will give Vauxhall a sharper image, appeal to younger buyers, and show how good the best Vauxhall of the future will be . Fortunately, in 1973, this car comes in the form of the Firenza HP – better known by its nickname "droop", a reference to aerodynamic nose grafted by the Vauxhall chief designer, Wayne Cherry. produced later – historians in Vauxhall attribute the oil crisis to a manager, although a powerful rival in the form of Ford Capri also played his role. But this low production figure conceals how important Firenza was to chart the course for Vauxhall's future. Not only did its sloping nose become the model for almost every new Vauxhall until the early 1990s, but the reason for the most well-known HP feature – its aerodynamic purity – became an integral part of Vauxhall's mindset . The result was a sleek and efficient series of cars – Chevettes, Astras, Cavaliers and Carltons – that seemed avant-garde and at the cutting edge of technology, culminating with the 1989 Calibra – nothing but a Spiritual successor of the Firenza HP with its remarkably low drag coefficient and slashed shape. That said, the Calibra, in its standard form, never had the declared sportiness of the Firenza HP. Just look at the slanted 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine, for example, its cylinder head, made with love by the famous car maker Bill Blydenstein, each example being finished by hand; The suspensions were lower and stiffer than those of the standard Firenza, as well as a reinforced rear axle and a five-speed ZF gearbox – the first ever mounted on a production Vauxhall.

The sporty appeal of the Firenza HP has been enhanced by a new aerodynamic spoiler on the nose and chinMore

The result was a 131hp coupe that was as clean and elegant as it was radical and pretty to look at. Climb aboard the droop-snoot today and it always feels special, its suede-covered seats feeling upscale and strangely modern, and the three-dial crackled black dashboard is undeniably sporty, though Is the last word in terms of fit and finish. Sunrise is a weird thing to use, its long throw gives the impression of breaking pebbles into a bag. In fact, the gearbox is the main problem of the Firenza HP, because it creates an all-powerful racquet when you're on the move, shouting almost as if it had straight wheels, to a deafening extent when you reach the higher diets. Which is rather unfortunate because it covers the noise of this big-bodied four-cylinder engine. It's not a car that feeds on diets; Instead, the HP serves all that is low, then disappears the minute you are above 4,000 rpm, almost like a modern diesel. But what performance is delivered all at once, in a great, delightful torque plate that lets you go up a gear every time, just to keep the engine in its ideal location and continue to ride the wave of its torque wave. The story continues

It may not have the agility of an MK1 escort, but the Firenza HP wants to drive hard. The grip is good and the engine of 131 hp. MuscléPlus

At first, the Firenza gives you the impression that the corners will be flawed. The absence of a Panhard rod at the rear induces a disconcerting shimmy when moving in a straight line, in the same way as in the other fast Vauxhalls of the time. And although the ride is not firm by modern standards, the HP likes to hit the bumps; the rather noisy interiors make a lot of noise every time. Fortunately, this does not prove that bad things are going to happen; in the corners, snoot snop is a joy. Flip the little flat flywheel and it is fleshy, but not too heavy, the voluntary return and progressive rather than lively and flying. There is as much roll as you would expect from a car of this age, but once you've selected a line and installed the Firenza, it's predictable and adherent. , allowing you to rely on outdoor tires and to use all that gorgeous torque. being able to get out of the corner.It is interesting to note that driving fades when it is driven as well; It seems that the minute you weigh a little on one HP or another, it does not hang so hard, nor is it upset by unexpected ruts.

Before the unleashing of the HP, the Firenza 2000 SL Coupé was the closest vehicle to Vauxhall. Without the snoot snoot, it's much less distinctive

It does not have the flexibility and agility of its greatest rival, the Mk1 Escort, but the fast Firenza is fun in a different way. It is a car at its best when you grab it by the skin of the neck; when you do, you are rewarded with a reassuring grip and the joy of a really muscular engine. It is tempting to think that it is a muscular miniature car, but that would not do justice to the predictability of the chassis and the confidence it inspires. It's a shame that the Firenza HP did not last longer or found more buyers. But this remains an important part of the history of Vauxhall. Alongside cars like the Chevette HS, which has followed in his footsteps, he has proven the value of a really sporty top-over by giving the brand a youthful image. But more than that, he has established an air-inspired design model that has influenced so many success – successively – from Vauxhalls.In this regard, one can only think that modern Vauxhall could do with a car like Firenza – a car so radical, unusual and captivating that it proves that society will no longer play with authenticity and security. Rumors say that she exactly has such a car aligned. Hope he will meet more success this time. For tips and tricks, visit our Tips section, or sign up for our newsletter right hereJoin the Telegraph Motoring Club's Facebook group to discuss all things automotive with the Telegraph Cars team right hereFind a carStories of more classic cars at Telegraph Cars