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Viva Vauxhall!

Viva Vauxhall!

A very long time ago, in days when men wore hats and jackets with leather patches on the elbows, Vauxhall motors made a car called the Viva. That’s a version of the 1963 original in our image. It was designed to compete against the Ford Anglia and the Minor from Morris Motors and very popular it was too, right from the word go.

New car buyers were struck by its modern (for the time) looks which made the competition look dowdy and old fashioned. It was to mature in two new versions over the following sixteen years, following the design fashions of the time and influenced by the upstart imports from Japan.

Those who remember the car look back with fondness whilst viewing their memories through rose-tinted glasses. More down-to-earth folk don’t recall it being that good. It has to be remembered that the British car industry was in freefall at the time and nothing special was being produced anywhere so buyers took what they could get.

Vauxhall have clearly been thinking about this car from another age and have decided that enough time has passed to resurrect the name so let’s hear a hearty ‘viva!’ for the new Vauxhall Viva. After all, other companies have brought back iconic names like Mini or Fiat 500, so why not?

Vauxhall has long since been a part of the mighty General motors empire and the emphasis now is on the idea of ‘world cars’. Vehicles that can sell around the globe with little or no revision. The plan then is to make the new Viva a city car; an automotive  sector that is booming just now.

Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be a new car from the ground up but rather a rebadged version of something already in the company’s range – the Chevrolet Spark, perhaps. This is interesting because GM have already said they are withdrawing the Chevrolet brand from Europe owing to poor sales. So it would appear to be a plan to keep selling cars – in the UK at least – by revisiting an old British name.

GM/Vauxhall believe that the Viva name will work because it was a long time ago and ‘nobody will remember it’. Well, here’s the news – we do remember it and not especially fondly. This rebadged relaunch might not be as popular as they think.

This post was written by:

- who has written 474 posts on Motor Blogger.

Geoff is a freelance writer and photographer.

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