The name Vauxhall Viva has been around for over 50 years. First launched as a Vauxhall Viva HA model in 1963, it was a contemporary of the Ford Anglia and the Morris Minor.
Only as recently as 2015 was the name Viva revived after a gap of 36 years since the last Vauxhall Viva HC model was produced. So, when Paul Moore, a customer of our Evans Halshaw Gateshead dealership, came in to say that he had restored a 1966 Vauxhall Viva SI we were delighted to greet him and to find out more about his story.
Modifications to the Vauxhall Viva
Paul has had a life-long love for Vauxhalls, he also owns a Meriva and a Corsa. He bought the Viva HB some years ago for the princely sum of £150. The original Viva came under some harsh criticism for its sluggishness when accelerating. Even the GT model, with a 1975cc engine, was slow when compared with its contemporaries, such as the Beetle, Morris Minor and the Ford Anglia.
For this reason, Paul chose to replace the original 1159cc engine with a more substantial 2.3-litre engine. The larger power unit was incorporated into later models, such as the Victor. Combined with an overdrive gearbox, replacing the magnum four-speed transmission it came with. The wider gear ratio gives the classic Viva more legs on the motorway, something it sadly lacked in its original form.
Ask a Man Who Knows
Having discovered the car in a reasonable state, there was much welding required to repair the bodywork to its original condition. One of most challenging issues was repairing the driver side door post. The post had completely corroded through and so Paul called upon the skills of a friend to make the necessary repairs. Paul's friend managed to make the two sides match and carried out all other necessary welding work.
Another mate lent his wiring skills and helped to install the engine. At the third attempt they managed to install the larger 2.3-litre engine into the engine bay.
Finally, to give the Viva a quality finish, Paul took his E reg. Viva to a garage in the village of Winlaton who completed the look with a professional finish to the paintwork.
The New Vauxhall VIVA
The new VIVA replaced the Vauxhall Agila when it was launched in 2015. The 5-door Vauxhall VIVA comes in 2 trim levels, SE and SL. Both trim options come with a punchy 1.0-litre engine. The standard SE line offers Daytime Running Lights, Air Conditioning, Emergency Brake Assist, Power Steering City Assist Mode, Hill-Start Assist and a 15" structured wheel. The SL model also comes with Climate Control, electrically-adjustable/heated seats, electric front windows and Bluetooth and mP3 connectivity.
To take a look at the new VIVA, and to see why Vauxhall revived the name, visit your nearest Evans Halshaw Vauxhall dealership or click on the link below to view our offers or arrange a test drive.
New Vauxhall Viva Offers