1960 Envoy (Vauxhall Victor)
Out of the jet age and into the space age — welcome to the 60s! Regardless at the asking prices on fleabay or craigsrip, the ’55-’57 Chevrolet values don’t really seem to be going anywhere. Contrary to the drive-in movies, salacious rock-and-roll dancing, and milkshake brain freeze memories conjured up by the tri-five Chevy crowd, those with firsthand experience of Vauxhall ownership probably remember their late 1950’s motoring past much differently; getting run off the road by larger cars, uncooperative Pontiac dealers, and relying on English pen pals for parts. Snag this 1960 Envoy Special (Vauxhall Victor almost everywhere but Canada) for all the looks, all the fun, of a ’56 Bel Air at a fraction of the price. This
post is part of DT’s 2016 Birthday Celebration of 100 cars;
enjoy the ride!
While Buick was busy selling the Opel Rekord across the street, Pontiac dealers here in the States sold these cars in very limited numbers up from 1958 until 1961. A handful of FB Victors were sold in 1962 before they pulled out completely. In Canada, Vauxhall had a much for vibrant following as those North of the border were much more open minded in an automotive sense, welcoming a far wider variety of imports. It’s not entirely uncommon to see Vauxhall Vivas, Firenzas, Crestas, and others for sale on the provincial Kijiji’s and craigslists.
This particular car seems to not need much. Parts, mainly trim, can be difficult to find, however, parts cars do pop up occasionally and they are usually cheap.
See a better baby Tri-Five? email@example.com
Matt, a self-proclaimed bottom-feeder of the classic car market, spends
half of his time buying cars, half of his time retrieving them, and the
remaining third on keeping them on the road.
You gotta admire their spirit at GM at that time. So, the Vauxhall didn't play so well at the Pontiac dealerships and they're all griping. No problem, let's switch to OPEL and send them to the Buick dealers! My uncle, a Buick/Pontiac dealer in a very small PA town, was not amused. But he did take his uncle out of a '52 Buick Super and switch him into a brand spankin' new Opel.
[image src=" cdn.pinthiscars.com/images/opel-rekord-1960-wallpaper-4.jpg" width="400px"/]
At least his parts inventory didn't have to change much :o)
The story of Opel is full of twists and turns. Bought by GM in 1929, then seized by the German government in 1942 to produce military trucks, engines, and aircraft parts. Plants bombed by allies and the remains carted away by Russians after the war. I read that the only reason Opel survived at all was that the locally based employees in Russelsheim cared enough to rebuild the plant there and get it going again. GM assumed ownership once more, and the rest is history.
I've always found the product identity between OPEL/Vauxhall and Vauxhall/Holden to be interesting; especially the way that Holden got to enjoy the best of both worlds by going with the more compact cars with the American style engines. (Not to forget that the Opel got the mid-60's ChevyII/Nova Diplomat complete with V8 for awhile).
Holden was largely a melange of local and US bits up to the '73 oil crisis, at which point the mix changed and you had a bunch more European stuff injected into the mix.
The Toranas were kind of the turning point, Aussie motors in Euro chassis.
From the '90s onward the Aussie Commodores were German Diplomats/Omegas widened an inch or two and outfitted with Holden and later US GM V8s.
Don't forget the other turning point right before they turned yet another direction, the VL. 😉 Augmented Euro body with a Nissan RB30. I've had two of those things and only one made the return trip to the US.