WHAT TO LOOK FOR

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying Guide -

SPOT THE ROT

Look ev­ery­where for signs of cor­ro­sion as it killed off many a Viva in pe­riod. The rear whee­larches, front wings, shock ab­sorber tun­nels and the bot­tom of the A-pil­lars where they meet the wind­screen cor­ners are among the places to in­spect for signs of bub­bling paint­work, sur­face rust or de­te­ri­o­rat­ing metal.

SUS­PEN­SION CHECKS

The HC’s rear sus­pen­sion arm bushes are prone to wear­ing out, par­tic­u­larly if the car’s been used hard through­out its life. Check them care­fully for any signs of per­ish­ing or flex­ing. Re­place­ment bushes can be bought in­de­pen­dently of the arm it­self, which helps to keep costs down.

GET­TING COLD?

It’s not un­com­mon for Vi­vas to ap­pear to have heaters that don’t work, but it’s more likely to be due to an air­lock in the sys­tem rather than the unit mal­func­tion­ing com­pletely. Plenty of own­ers don’t keep the sys­tem prop­erly topped up – if at all – so it’s worth in­ves­ti­gat­ing if it’s not warm­ing up.

IS IT AN AUTO?

The vast ma­jor­ity of Viva HCs had a fairly durable four-speed man­ual trans­mis­sion, but oc­ca­sion­ally you’ll find one fit­ted with GM’s three-speed auto. It’s a re­li­able unit, but you’ll want to check the colour of the trans­mis­sion fluid; if it’s black or dark brown, chances are the sys­tem’s head­ing for a re­build.

CABIN FEVER

The Viva HC’s cabin is fairly hard-wear­ing, but get­ting re­place­ment trim can be tricky, with no new spares avail­able and used parts get­ting hard to find. It’s well worth sign­ing up with the Vaux­hall Viva Own­ers’ Club, which reg­u­larly car­ries de­tails of spare parts that its mem­bers are sell­ing in Re­Vival, the club mag­a­zine.

HOW’S IT RUN­NING?

The five dif­fer­ent en­gines avail­able in the HC’s nine-year run – rang­ing from a 1159cc OHV unit to a 2279cc four-pot with over­head cam – are all fairly rugged, but make sure they’ve been ser­viced reg­u­larly. On OHC mod­els it’s also worth check­ing whether it’s had a new belt in the last 20,000 miles.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.