The F series Vauxhall Victor had the distinction of being Britain’s most exported car in the early 60s. With it’s wrap around front & rear screens, bench seats & column gear change, it had a very American feel about it & looked completely different to the more conservative & dowdy offerings of other British manufacturers of the day.
At the time, Vauxhall were part of the mighty General Motors empire, so Victors were sold through Pontiac dealerships in America & in Canada, where they were renamed the Envoy. During it’s 4 year production run, over 390,000 F series Victors were built, with cars being exported as far afield as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka), India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. Despite their reputation for fast rotting bodywork, many of those are still in daily use on the Asian sub continent to this day, their roomy interiors making them popular as taxis.
Also helping the Victor to stand out from it’s competitors, the bold two colour interiors were a novel idea, making use of the latest Rayon and "Elastofab" fabrics. The “Super” model had extra chrome trim, an exhaust pipe which exited through the rear bumper, arm rests on the doors, door operated courtesy lights, a two spoke steering wheel and twin sun visors. A new “Super” would set you back around £750. In 1958 Vauxhall launched an estate or “Shooting Brake” version of the Victor for an extra £200 –another shrewd marketing ploy as up until that time, estates were almost all converted saloon cars, built by specialist coachwork companies.
The 4 cylinder, 1507cc engine, with it’s single Zenith carb, gave a heady 55bhp & 31 miles to the gallon, pushing the F series to a shade over 70mph & had a well deserved reputation for reliability. The three speed gearbox had synchromesh on all forward ratios and was operated by a column mounted lever. The front end boasted independent coil spring suspension, with leaf springs at the rear & 8 inch drum brakes all round.
All in all, the F series Victor was ahead of it’s time & still stands as a stylish, but practical British classic. Dave Cook has been driving this particular 1960 Victor Super for the last 8 months. It was previously owned by his father. He swapped it for Dave’s old Ford 100E. Dave is a member of the Uxbridge Classic Car Club.
More photos- here