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