French masterpiece. Rear swing-arms would collect dirt and consequently rot out along with the paper-thin body panels - the price you used to pay for 40mpg in the 70's. This 1978 850cc 4TL lasted a full 12 months and 20,000 miles. Radiator fell off, steering rack fell off, both door mirrors fell off, bonnet fell off, wiper arm fell off, gearstick fell off and once had 2 punctures in 30 minutes ........but geez, I loved that car.
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Interesting vehicle which came in a variety of models with lots of plastic and wacky French features like a rocking indicator button, single wiper and slanted 1100cc engine. The latter meant that nobody ever attempted to adjust the tappets and consequently all cars rattled worse than a Chrysler Alpine on choke. The angled engine made way for the under-bonnet spare wheel which was ridiculously stinking hot and dangerously overinflated should you ever have a puncture.
Probably Vauxhall's finest hour. With an absolute multitude of derivatives, the Viva HC was hugely popular despite all its problems. The 1256cc engine was the most popular but most troublesome. Mounts tended to break, push rods would break through the pressed bucket rocker arms, distributor drives sheared, the teeth on first gear regularly broke off and the clutch would stick on its splines if the car was left for more than a couple of days. The H-series ceased with the Viva's re-incarnation as the Chevette, also known as the Vauxhall "shovitt".
Combine the famous BL build quality with a suspension system full of antifreeze, rear wheels which fell off, a back window which popped out if the car was jacked up and a born-natural oil burning engine (1500cc) and you have one of the most unreliable cars of all time. The first customers complained about destroying hubcaps which stuck out 2" from the wheel while later on, the wiper blades had a tendency to get tangled up with each other, complete failure of the hydrospastic suspension was commonplace, the headlights soon sported only a wick-like glow, front wheel bearings and CV joints rarely saw 30,000 miles and the broken indicator stem became almost a Leyland trademark. As if all this wasn't bad enough, the paint used to fall off the limited edition 'Equipe'. Even it's famous square 'quartic' steering wheel has been exposed recently as another design flaw - introduced to improve leg room for the driver and subsequently deleted after modification to the seating position. Incredibly, 642,350 were sold.