My love of the Vauxhall Viva HB Estate dates back to 1977, when I first took ownership of one. This was given to me by my Uncle, having only passed my test earlier in the year. This was a white, Deluxe 90 model. It was a non-runner when I acquired it, however, it didnâ€™t take much to sort it out. I ran it for a year or so before blowing the engine. I tried to rebuild it, but didnâ€™t work out, and hence customised it.
Anyway back to my latest acquisition. This is another Vauxhall Viva HB Estate Deluxe model in blue, bought off eBay in August 2010 for Â£999, having only spotted it the day before. I had it delivered 3 days later, and thought â€œWhat the hell have I bought?â€
I thought I could rebuild the car in my spare time – in a lock up with no electricity! Yeah? Who was I kidding?
They came and gave me a price, and the work commenced in October 2010.
As you can see it was an extensive restoration. I decided to change the colour from blue to white, in honour of my first Vauxhall Viva HB Estate. The work was completed by August 2011 â€“ just in time to catch the end of the show season with her. She is kept as a show car doing approximately 2,500 miles a year. I’m a member of the Vauxhall Viva Owners Club, and attend the big Billing show every year.
The history of this car:
The HB was the second generation Vauxhall Viva (the first was the HA) and was produced from 1966 until 1970, when it was replaced by the third generation, the HC. The HB featured â€˜Coke Bottleâ€™ styling, popular in that era. Originally offered as a 1.2, 2-door Saloon, the estate joined the range in June 1967, followed by a 4-door model in October 1968. Also in 1968, a 1.6 engine was offered and eventually a 2.0 litre GT.
My particular car was first registered on the 25th February 1970 and the first owner kept her for seven years. In 1977 she was sold on to her second owner, who ran the car for a further ten years. When she was sold in 1987 to her third owner she had only done approximately 40,000 miles. This owner kept her for 20 years. She was offered for sale in the Club Magazine in Autumn 1998, with 102,000 miles on clock, however she remained in a garage until 2007, and was then given to local college in Taunton for students to work on (it needed new wings).
The car was sold again in February 2008 and was then offered on eBay, looking rough, in May 2010. The new owner gave her a re-spray and she was offered again through a dealer in August 2010. I bought her shortly after.