Vauxhall's Viva was launched in September 1963 as a neat, compact two-door saloon sharing much of its running gear with the Opel Kadett. Three years later, its HB replacement appeared, with wider, sleeker transatlantic-influenced `coke-bottle' styling. Under the skin was coil-sprung independent front suspension followed by a properly located live rear axle, providing a much more sophisticated ride than the contemporary Ford Escort and Cortina. It wasn't long before the Viva attracted the attention of famous tuner Bill Blyndenstein, who built his first racing Viva in 1966 and took a class win with it at Snetterton the following year. He then engaged the services of ace young driver Gerry Marshall and together with Dealer Team Vauxhall they put Vauxhall back on the map, going on to dominate British saloon car racing for a decade. Vauxhall was keen to capitalise, and first of the 'trick' Vauxhalls to emerge, in February 1968 was the homologation special Viva GT directly derived from Blydenstein's racing experience, using the 1975cc overhead cam engine, a far cry from the HB's original 1159cc pushrod unit. GTs had front disc brakes and a larger 12-gallon fuel tank, and all were finished in Glacier White with a satin black bonnet.
One of the original 1,100 or so UK market cars, this particular example is said to have been upgraded during the early 1970s with a twin 45 Dellorto-fed Magnum 2.3-litre engine (reputedly good for 140bhp) and a rare ZF five-speed manual gearbox. While, other period go-faster goodies include a Coburn Improvements-supplied high-ratio steering rack and competition specification oil pressure pump. Despite its undoubted potential, the Vauxhall has reportedly avoided any race / rally usage and been painstakingly restored (photos/invoices on file). Boasting an excellent bodyshell and original interior with all its correct GT belts, steering wheel, dash and interior/exterior badges, the two-door saloon rides on Revolution wheels. Describing `POP 488G' as being in "good" condition with regard to its engine, gearbox, electrical equipment, interior trim, bodywork and paintwork, the vendor adds: "This is a rare chance to enjoy the first of the quick Vauxhalls. Exhibited not long ago at the Classic Car Show as best Viva HB GT, it can only go up in value and now offers a cheap entry to numerous classic tours and rallies".