Friday, November 1, 2013

1961 Vauxhall Envoy - A Brit In The US Via Canada

Yesterday, I featured a Renault "Delphine." Today, we have a "Vouxhall" Envoy.

This is a Vauxhall Victor. Vauxhall is General Motors British subsidiary. In the fifties and sixties Vauxhalls were sold in the US through Pontiac dealers. This car however came in through Canada, which is the only place the "Envoy" name was used. In Canada it was sold through Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealers.

Introduced in 1957, the car shows a lot of American styling influences. The backwards sloping A-pillar, the little fins, the random slices of chrome all scream late 1950s GM car. Also, like most American cars, it has a bench seat and the shifter (3 speed manual) is located on the steering column.

The engine is a 1.5 liter 4. They are very durable, but not very powerful, engines. Putting out just 55 horsepower, it powered the Victor / Envoy to 60 MPH in a little over 28 seconds. (Count that out in your head and think about what it must have been like to merge into highway traffic. Yikes.) When you finally reach 60, there isn't much left. Top speed was reported to be 74 MPH.

This car is in Nevada. I suspect that it's been there for awhile as Vauxhalls rusted like mad, and this one has very little rust.

It looks to be complete. The seller says it needs a windshield and a taillight lens. He also says it needs brakes, but, really, that's a moot point. Who would restore a 52 year old car and not re-do the brakes, whether they seemed to work or not?

This is one of those cars you would buy not so much to drive, but to bring to shows. I've been to hundreds of car shows in my life, but have never seen a Vauxhall at any of them. I'd love to see this one someday.

Located in las Vegas, NV, click here to see the eBay listing.

2 comments:

Matt Cotton said...

Being a "Commonwealth country" it's no surprise that Canada got so many cars from Britain that we didn't get in the States, or they got for longer than we did. They got the Envoy and twin Vauxhall Victor until 1970, I think, and the Epic and its twin, the Vauxhall Viva until 1973, and they were probably Canada's second best selling import throughout the 1960s. They also got the Mark III Cortina through 73, the Mini till about 1980 and even the Austin 1800! Mazda, Isuzu and Hyundai were sold in Canada early on to test the waters, too. Renault made the R8, R10 and R16 in Quebec, and Nova Scotia had a Volvo plant! Such a relatively small market, but so many choices! Amazing!

rrshadow2 said...

Canada got all the cool stuff, they also got Ladas and Skodas because Canadians didn't have that odd hang up about driving a Cummunist made car that Americans had