In 1977, G&W figured it was time to make another attempt to break into the US market; Plans and permits weren’t finalised the end of the year, which worked well with the release of the 2nd generation Stamford coupe in 1978. Units destined for the US market were finished on a modified line, forcing G&W to expand their workforce slightly.
As per standard with G&W, they offered a choice of 2 radios, or a delete option, with the default being a 4-speaker 8-track player - the better option, a high-quality set, was actually quite desirable. Typical quality cloth-covered seats, and durable carpet were specified as internal furnishings. The instrument cluster now contained a prominent tachometer, with both a voltmeter and ammeter in addition to the expected gauges. A hydraulic-boosted steering system made pointing the sub 1100kg car effortless, but a touch floaty at higher speeds. 15" steel rims were the go on all vehicles, shod with 195/65 rubber on all Euro, and on 6 cylinder US units.
Safety features included a “flexible” (in collision) steering wheel, collapsible steering column, and head restraints.
Suspension was maybe a touch old-tech, with twin tube dampers being employed, but there were progressive rate springs. It sat comfortably in the minds of those who were looking for a sporty ride.
In European market cars, the WC6-S329 Windsor ii with throttle body injection had 102Kw (137hp) @ 5800, as there was no catalytic converter. With the best demonstrated time at Castle Combe being just under 1:34, it was marginally faster than the US spec. There were no 4 cylinder cars in Europe until the '82 facelift. Fuel economy was 14L/100Km, or 20.1 MpG [16.8 in US units].
Available with either the WC6 ii 2.9, or the AU4-S322 “Aethelred” 2.2L (135Ci) 4 cylinder, coupled to the buyers choice of automatic or manual (yeah, like they’d buy that). The injected 6 cylinder offered greatly superior performance when compared to the 4 cyl, with 130hp @ 5800 and 143 Lb-ft @ 3200 giving a tested top speed of 118mph. In the hands of a profesional driver, on road tyres, a time of approx 1:35 at Castle Combe was recorded, with almost 4 more seconds taken off running on same-sized super-soft rubber. It was even viewed by some as an attempt to grab the end of the “Muscle Car” fad, interesting for a sub-300Ci engined car.
The sky-high ground clearance of 223mm had some state-side critics open with both barrels, but in their defence, G&W stated that it gave the best compromise over selected subjective metrics. The front brakes were derided as being a touch grabby, most likely due to being over-sized.
4 cylinder cars were fitted with 185/65 all-season compound rubber.
US FUEL ECONOMY
Although the 2.2L (135Ci) met the latest regulated fuel eco requirements, the 2.9 failed.
4cyl auto at 55mph, 25MPG US - avg 19.0
6cyl man at 55 mph, 21MPG US - avg 15.9