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HSV Maloo smokes hill-climb course

Record: Australian-born Autocar editor-in-chief Steve Cropley drove the Vauxhall Maloo to glory at the 107-year-old Shelsley Walsh tack.

Vauxhall-badged HSV Maloo the first LCV to tackle UK hill-climb

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Vauxhall logo8 Nov 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

A VAUXHALL-badged HSV Maloo ute driven by Australian-born, UK-based magazine veteran Steve Cropley has become the first light commercial vehicle to tackle the world’s oldest purpose-built motorsport venue.

The Autocar editor-in-chief drove the 317kW/550Nm 6.2-litre V8 UK-spec Vauxhall Maloo – GM’s UK arm sells the Aussie icon on a special-order basis, with three sold so far this year – up the 1000-yard (914 metre), 107-year old Shelsley Walsh hill-climb in Worcestershire.

Naturally, as the first vehicle of its kind to be driven competitively up the hill, the Maloo established a record, laying down a challenge to other LCV marques with a best run of 38.6 seconds. For comparison, the current overall record, set by Martin Groves in an F1-style 450kW Gould, stands at 22.5sec.

Mr Cropley said the plan was not just to establish an LCV record time, but to “make it respectable enough to stick for a while”.

“Despite the track being dampish, and littered with wildlife that thought the hillclimb season had ended, we managed a 38.65 second run, “ he said.

“The Maloo’s huge torque, decent launch control and easy handling made the whole experience less of a chore than it should have been, too.” Mark Constanduros, from Shelsley Walsh said: “We always welcome new ways of tackling the hill, and seeing such an incongruous vehicle blast up the track driven by one of our favourite journalists was quite something.

“I’m certain that it’ll lay down the gauntlet to manufacturers of other LCVs, though they’ll have to try hard to beat Steve’s time!”

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