1974 Vauxhall Viva HC 1.3


The best £90 spent in the world...ever!


The starter motor jammed one morning for no apparent reason.

The electrics were occasionally tempremental.

The front wings were very prone to rust, and were mostly made out of filler by the time I got the car!

General Comments:

A great car for the money. I paid £90 for this car, and drove 350 miles per week in it for 18 months with very few troubles. It was also surprisingly good to drive, and an excellent advert for Vauxhall durability. Unfortunately rust got the better of it in the end, and I eventually drove it to the scrapyard with the engine and gearbox still running sweetly!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st July, 2003

21st Apr 2005, 09:44

A shame to hear about the scrap yard having the viva, but I do agree with your general comments.

19th Jan 2006, 08:35

Agree with all the above, my first car was a metallic blue HC 1159 cc (K). Bought it for £550 Ran it for 2 years when again rust got the better of it. Mechanically sound though, and do you remember that speedo?

9th May 2006, 16:38

Yes the speedo is very similar to the Hillman Avenger! Both great british cars!

24th Jul 2008, 10:44

One thing I remember from the HC VIva was the strange little sign in the middle of the steering wheel stating 'Vauxhall Energy Absorbing', I know it was referring to the collapsible steering column but it always made me think my arms would get knackered just steering the thing.

1964 Vauxhall Viva HA 1.1




I bought it with some body damage, intending to repair (front wing). While checking out the rest of the car I found chassis members repaired with fibreglass. I fixed it with hand-made channel sections (dealer prices were way too much).

Fuel pump was worn, caused a lot of non-starts and total stops.

Clutch cable broke approaching a stop-light, I went right through the intersection. Thanks to the superb gearbox I got home with no problems, even downshifting to pass slower vehicles!

Engine died (blown piston). I sold the car to a friend who had a Bedford van with a good engine, but rusted-out body. He ran the composite for a while before rolling it.

General Comments:

Nice car, I had to fit seatbelts to stay on the weird front seats.

Best part: gearshift

Worst part: rust.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st July, 2003

1968 Vauxhall Viva HL 1.2 petrol


This HB series Viva was the best of the lot


Cannot remember fully after so long, but it did need

Clutch replaced

I think the starter motor needed attention

Replaced one or two wheel bearings

Nothing much else.

General Comments:

This car, like my previous Viva, had been bought new by my father, so when I bought it at 2 years old in 1970 I knew the service history. I was running a Hillman Imp at the time, and it was a good chance to trade up to something with 4 doors and a bit more space and comfort

This was the HB model Viva, and I really liked this car. The flare along the side gave it a classic "Coke bottle" shape, and the deep gloss black colour showed it to best advantage.

This car was the better specified version in the range- more upmarket that the base model, with deep comfortable seats, and nice to drive. All round it had a much better interior than the previous HA model and was a more competent vehicle. I toured Europe in it with no problems.

The rust problem was not as bad on this model as on the HA model Viva, but by 4 years old it was showing some signs of rust bubbling, but not too bad. It could have gone on for a few more years, but I decided in 1972 to trade it in for a new Hillman Avenger GT Automatic - big mistake - the oil crisis started to bite soon after and a thirsty auto was not a good choice.

When my father sold me the HB series Viva he replaced it with the HC series which I did not like at all - it had a different body shape, and was a whole different car to drive - the HB series was nicer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2003