A look back at the Vauxhall Viva HA (1963 – 1966) 0
You’d be forgiven for calling Vauxhall’s first post-war small car a bit ‘after the Lord Mayor’s show’. By the time it made its debut in 1963, its main rivals such as the Triumph Herald, Morris Minor, Austin A40 and Ford Anglia 105E had been around for a while, were well established and selling in huge numbers to new drivers getting behind the wheel for the first time.
Despite being somewhat late to the party, the Viva HA sold relatively well over the course of its four year production run, shifting over 300,000 units and acquiring a reputation for reliability throughout this period. In terms of styling and design, the Viva HA was clearly inspired heavily by its cousin, the Opel Kadett A and therefore looked ‘functional’ in appearance. The same could be said for what was under the bonnet, four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox, rack-and-pinnion steering and disc brakes up front as an option. The two more exclusive variants – the De Luxe and SL90 – were capable of 54bhp from 1057cc engines.
The Viva’s main claim to fame however, is the fact it was the first car to roll off Vauxhall’s production line at the Ellesmere Port factory in Liverpool.
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