1973 Vauxhall Viva 1300

Engine 1256cc 4 cylinder 8OHV
Power 58hp at 5500RPM
Performance 78mph 0-60 in 20.8 seconds
Weight 880kg

This was my first car. In 1984 I went to a car auction in Kinross with my friend in his run down mini-van. We weren't sure it would get us home so it was imperative that I bought something.

Unfortunately I bought this dog of a car, one of the last lots, for £115. It had rust in all the usual places. I had to rebuild the inner wings with fiberglass filler, probably did my lungs no favours with all the sanding I had to do. The rear suspension arms were also rotted through.

My priorities were all over the place, one "investment" was one of those Nikki aftermarket twin-choke carburettors they used to sell in the home catalogues like Littlewoods.

I never did get to drive the car on the road. I decided to build the Dutton Phaeton S3 kit car so swapped the Viva for a Ford Escort 1300XL to use as a donor car.

Sometime later I got a summons from the Police for unpaid tickets on the Viva. That was a lesson in always completing your own part of the Registration document and sending it in yourself, rather than relying on the purchaser to do it. A year or so later I saw the poor old Viva in a scrap yard. Someone had already swapped the Nikki carb back for an original.