Vauxhall’s first post-war small car was something of a late arrival to the party, but it was well worth waiting for. And not just by those employed in Ellesmere Port to build it at its state-of-the-art new factory.
By the time it was launched in 1963, rival cars such as the Triumph Herald, Morris Minor, Austin A40 and Ford Anglia 105E were well established and selling like hot cakes to new drivers, getting into their first cars.
Despite the late entry, the Viva HA did well during its four-year production run, selling more than 300,000. The Viva owed a lot in terms of styling and design to its cousin, the Opel Kadett A, so it was very finctional in appearance, lacking in some of the flair of the opposition. The mechanical package was spot on, though – with a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox, rack-and-pinion steering and disc brakes up front as an option.
It was revised to become the HB in 1966, and civilised further in 1970 to transform into the HC Viva, Magnum and Firenza. A much-loved family car mainstay, now on the endangered list.
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The Vauxhall Viva is one of the most underrated British family cars – it was built at a new factory in Cheshire, and more than 1.5 million examples rolled off the line. Time to remember a great British institution…
Keith Adams tells the story of the promising Vauxhall Equus – a sports car from Luton which could have shown the Triumph TR7 the way home, had it made it off the ground. Panther Westwinds would have built this Magnum-based ragtop, but would it have sold in the post-hot hatch world of the 1980s? Luton reinvents […]
Vauxhall Heritage’s restoration of its Monza Red Viva GT (HB) is complete. It will be shown publicly for the first time at the 2016 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, held at the NEC, on 11-13 November. The Viva GT will be unveiled at 11am on Friday, 11 November on the Vauxhall stand in Hall 5 (near Entrance 5.1). It will form […]
The cars that form the backbone of AROnline are some of the fastest disappearing motors on British roads. New research into the top British family cars by Honest John Classics reveals that many of UK’s once-popular family cars are on the most endangered.