FIVE TRI­ALS

We en­joy the Vic­tor F-type and put it fully to the test

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Classic Anniversaries -

1 DAILY DRIV­ING

Only one thing pre­vents you from us­ing an F-type ev­ery day – our in­fa­mously wet Bri­tish weather, which, when teamed up with the car’s lack of rust pro­tec­tion, con­signed many to an early grave. But keep on top of the body­work and there’s plenty in the Vic­tor’s favour. Vis­i­bil­ity is ex­cel­lent, the col­umn-mounted three-speeder’s a de­light to use, there’s plenty of room in the boot for your shop­ping, and the in­te­rior’s more than roomy enough for three fel­low Vaux­hall fans to join in the fun.

2 IN THE SER­VICE BAY

Un­less you’re a dab hand with an an­gle grinder and MIG welder, it’s highly un­likely that you’ll want to tackle a Vic­tor suf­fer­ing from ad­vanced cor­ro­sion is­sues. On the plus side, the me­chan­i­cals are sim­ple enough for most clas­sic own­ers to tackle in a do­mes­tic garage without the need for spe­cial­ist help. Find a good ex­am­ple that’s been reg­u­larly ser­viced and keep on top of it – rather than try­ing to res­cue a poorly model – and it should be rel­a­tively straight­for­ward to look af­ter.

3 ON THE SHOW CIR­CUIT

You’ll have to wait an­other 12 months for Bri­tain’s big­gest cel­e­bra­tion of Lu­ton’s clas­sics (the Vaux­hall Bed­ford Opel As­so­ci­a­tion’s rally – see over­leaf for this year’s event), but there are plenty of shows that you’ll be able to take an F-type to in the mean­time. It’s per­fect for most week­end shows, and will fit in per­fectly at retro-themed events such as the Good­wood Re­vival and the Atomic Fes­ti­val at Sy­well Aero­drome. The Vaux­hall Vic­tor Own­ers’ Club is fairly proac­tive at or­gan­is­ing out­ings too, so it’s worth get­ting in touch.

4 THE LONG WEEK­END

The F-type’s hap­pi­est cruis­ing speed is be­tween 50mph and 60mph – any­thing more is go­ing to feel strained – so while a well looked-af­ter Vic­tor will al­most cer­tainly ac­com­pany you fuss-free on most longer voy­ages, make sure that you take your time and en­joy the 1.5-litre engine’s low-down torque rather than bat­tling against it. There’s plenty of room for suit­cases, too, but it’s def­i­nitely a car that en­cour­ages you to en­joy the jour­ney rather than race to your des­ti­na­tion.

5 THE B-ROAD BLAST

Plenty of body roll, skinny crossply tyres and a 0-60mph time of over 28 sec­onds are never go­ing to add up to wide-eyed grins on a twisty B-road – but that’s miss­ing the point with the F-type en­tirely. Take things at a gen­tler pace, and the Vic­tor is a re­fresh­ingly re­laxed com­pan­ion, with light steer­ing that doesn’t make the car wan­der all over the road, a de­light­fully smooth gearchange and a sup­ple ride that soaks up the bumps. Press-on mo­tor­ing cer­tainly isn’t its thing, but it’s still an enor­mously re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

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