Petite Pontiac – 1961 Vauxhall Victor Super Series 2

It’s fun to look around at online listings in different cities, simply to see what turns up. Aside from the usual hotrods, used commuter cars, and pickups, you do get the occasional surprise that makes it worthwhile. Back in the late 1950s, when a minor recession was driving demand for smaller cars, GM had no compacts of their own. So, they brought in their American-inspired Opels and Vauhalls, both of which had been heavily influenced by GM’s North American styling studio. The Vauxhall Victor was introduced in 1957 to replace the pre-war Wyvern, and took styling cues from contemporary Pontiacs and Chevrolets. With a 55hp inline four pushing about 2400 lb. of car around, performance was leisurely, but the car returned an average 26mpg in contemporary testing. Due to performance and a relatively high price, and in spite of respectable reviews, the cars were never a great success in North America. So finding a survivor is a rare occasion, especially one that hasn’t been baked to a crisp after 40 years of outdoor storage. Check out this 1961 Vauxhall Victor Super for sale for $4000 in McAllen, TX (near Austin).

1961 Vauxhall Victor right front

Due to low demand for these cars, much for the same reasons as their original failure in North America, the market value of Vauxhalls doesn’t usually justify their restoration. It’s not clear if this car is in restored or well-preserved original condition, but it looks in great condition. The fluting on the side is an interesting detail, and the airplane on the hood is iconic 1950s design. Unfortunately, it seems to have suffered a bashing to the windshield, and the resulting damage has been covered up with duct tape. With the aforementioned baked-to-a-crisp cars coming up for sale every so often, and of course the British home market, it should be possible to get a replacement.

1961 Vauxhall Victor left rear

Basic black looks great on these cars – the two-tone paint jobs common for cars of this period just looks silly on a car this size. Trim all looks straight and present, and the fact these pictures seem to be taken in different locations supports the seller’s statement that the car runs well. While the stated 48,000 mile number could be true, without any documentation you’ll want to rely on the condition of the car over anything else.

1961 Vauxhall Victor interior

The Super trim level allowed for extra chrome trim, arm rests, and a horn ring, along with a rear ashtray, passenger sun visor, and interior light activated by the door. Original seating would have been leather, and while this is likely to have been replaced by vinyl in the last 53 years, it does all look to be in very good shape, and tastefully done. The only change to make here is removing that hideous and dirty-looking steering wheel wrap. No picture of the engine is provided, but it’s as simple as an axe, and should be easy to repair. If this is close to you, it’s definitely worth a look – a fun, quirky runabout that should be easy to maintain.


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2 Responses to “Petite Pontiac – 1961 Vauxhall Victor Super Series 2”

  1. beebs Says:

    I grew up in Victoria, Texas, and we had one of these (a ’59) for a few years in the early-mid ’60s. I remember being completely enthralled by it, because of its “three on the tree” shifter and the fact that it had a “CHOKE” button that you pulled out. (I was only four or five, and had only ever ridden in our ’61 Galaxie 500, so this was my first “standard” to ever see).

    The one we had had a tan interior, don’t remember if it was real leather or not. And interestingly enough, my folks sold it when some kid threw a huge rock through the windshield while my brother and sister were driving it to the movies.

    So to see one so close to what we had (down to the broken windshield) was a treat!

    And a friendly fyi from a Native Texan: McAllen ain’t nowhere NEAR Austin! It’s a long ways away, down at the border!

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