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Corgi: 1/43 Vauxhall Viva GT (HB) ‘Elkhart Yellow’ – Diecast Model
Vauxhall created the Viva GT in 1968 by inserting the FD Victor VX4/90's twin carburettor slanted 2-litre engine into their compact HB bodyshell. The Victor also provided its disc brakes and final drive, but the gearbox was fitted with unique closer ratios to enhance the car's sporting character. The result was a rapid, compact GT that looked the part with its matt-black bonnet and Rostyle wheels. It deserved to sell well, but never quite achieved its initial promise before the replacement HC Viva was launched in 1970, thus only 4606 were built. The example modelled, one of two GTs remaining in this colour, is owned by father and son team Ian and Mike Roberts from the Wirral.
Lifelong Vauxhall enthusiast, Ian, has worked on the Rectification line at the firm's Ellesmere Port factory since 1990. He was given the GT as a present by his late mother, Mrs Alma Roberts, in 1991 because he'd owned a number of Vivas but always wanted a genuine GT. Son Mike was born 2 years later and the pressures of a young family meant the car was sidelined for some years. However, Mike has inherited his father's enthusiasm for Vivas, and the pair have now stripped the car and begun the restoration together. It had been restored in 1980, when it was only 10 years old, but rust has since taken hold again so both Mike and Ian are determined to save this rare Vauxhall.
Corgi's famous model vehicles captured the imagination of millions of baby boomers and, what were once simply toys for boys, are highly sought-after in the expanding collectables market.
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