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 The rivals: Vauxhall Viva

 

In September 1963, the announcement was made that Vauxhall was to return to the 1-litre economy market with an entirely new two-door saloon called the Viva. This car had been rumoured for some time, and was initially available in standard and de luxe forms. It was not too long before Vauxhall was enjoying another sales success.

The Viva design was simplicity itself. The Vauxhall styling shop had started with a clean sheet of paper. This time there was to be no American style influences. The American styling refers to the conventional three box design, as most American cars at the time were produced under. The Viva did however look very much like the Opel Kadett (Did someone mention badged engineering?) However a new 1057cc cast-iron engine, that shared the stroke as the Kadett would be fitted, but it would have a larger bore.

The models were as follows, I have included models up to 1973:

Model Engine From To

HA

Viva

1057

Sept 1963

Sept 1966

Viva de Lux

1057

Sept 1963

Sept 1966

Bedford Beagle

1057

Oct 1964

n/a

Viva SL

1057

June 1965

Sept 1966

Viva SL90

1057

Late 1965

Sept 1966

HB

Viva saloon 2-door (fleet only)

1159

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

Viva De Luxe saloon 2-door

1159

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

Viva 90 De Luxe saloon 2-door

1159

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

Viva saloon SL 2-door

1159

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

Viva saloon 90 SL 2-door

1159

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

Viva De Luxe Estate

1159

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

Viva estate SL

1159

June 1967

Sept 1790

Viva estate SL 90

1159

June 1967

Sept 1970

Viva GT Mk 1

1975

Mch 1968

July 1969

Viva 1600 De Luxe saloon 2-door

1599

June 1968

Sept 1970

Viva 1600 SL saloon 2-door

1599

June 1968

Sept 1970

Viva De Luxe 1600 estate

1599

June 1968

Sept 1970

Viva SL 1600 estate

1599

June 1968

Sept 1970

Viva De Luxe saloon 4-door

1159

Sept 1968

Sept 1970

Viva 90 De Luxe saloon 4-door

1159

Sept 1968

Sept 1970

Viva SL  saloon 4-door

1159

Sept 1968

Sept1970

Viva SL90 saloon 4-door

1159

Sept 1968

Sept 1970

Viva GT Mk 2

1975

Aug 1969

Sept 1970

Brabham Viva (on "90" models)

1159

Sept 1966

1968

Crayford (convertible)

Any

Sept 1966

Sept 1970

HC

Viva 2-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe 2-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe 4-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe estate 3-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe 90 2-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe 90 4-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe 90 estate 3-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe SL90 2-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe SL90 4-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva De Luxe SL90 estate 3-door

1159

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva SL 1600 2-door

1599

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva SL 1600 4-door

1599

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva SL 1600 estate 3-door

1599

Oct 1970

July 1971

Viva Standard 2-door

1256

Aug 1971

Dec 1973

BMC thought that with Vauxhall announcing new models it would loose out, mainly because Vauxhall were offering a model for all classes of people. Prices of these models produced also made BMC sit up and think that Vauxhall were producing a car that people could afford. Prices for a Viva HA were £528 (Basic model) and £566 (De Luxe).

17 selling features of the 1100 over the Vauxhall Viva:

 

Four doors standard.

 

Front-wheel drive.

 

Hydrolastic Suspension - Front.

 

Hydrolastic Suspension - Rear.

 

Rack-and-pinion steering.

 

No. of turns lock to lock.

 

Oil filter warning light.

 

Parcel accommodation below rear seat.

 

Map pockets.

 

Two ashtrays front (Austin); illuminated ashtray (Morris).

 

Overall length shorter.

 

Overall height lower.

 

Overall width less.

 

Leg room front greater.

 

Leg room rear greater.

 

Fuel consumption - Touring.

 

Fuel consumption - Overall.

Did the 1100 outsell the Viva? Well from figures gathered adding production of all Viva models together the total is some 1,615,005 and the 1100 was approx. 2,078,384 (that's only in 1971!)



Information gathered from "The Viva - The baby that grew up" and various other sources. Thanks must go to Declan Berridge for supplying the aforementioned article.

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