The British small car market was swelled in 1963 by the belated entry of Vauxhall with its Viva HA. Stylistically, it was nothing to get excited about; the angular looks were bland by comparison with rivals. However, the mechanical package was neat enough with a four-speed all-synchromesh gearbox, sharp rack-and-pinion steering and front disc brakes as an option. The more desirable variants – the De Luxe and the SL90 – boasted 54bhp from their 1057cc engines, but the Viva’s main claim to fame was in being the first UK car with acrylic lacquer paint. Which doesn’t make it that memorable...
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