VAUXHALL VICTOR -


THE ABORTED 1969MY


OPEL REKORD C BASED


DESIGN PROPOSAL

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After the success of the Vauxhall Viva HA, which used a number of common major components with the Opel Kadett A, General Motors stepped back from the practice when it came to the replacement HB which was designed by Vauxhall independently of Opel and was a more advanced design than the dowdy looking Kadett B. The same applied to the Victor FD which was almost entirely new from the ground up and was extremely advanced for the time unlike the mundane style of the Opel Rekord C. However, General Motors could still see the cost advantages to a greater sharing of parts between Vauxhall & Opel models - it was a common practice in the US where the same underpinnings and engines could be shared by up to six different brands each with their own distinct style and identity.

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THE VAUXHALL VICTOR PROPOSAL No1 SIDE BY SIDE WITH THE OPEL REKORD C ON WHICH IT WAS BASED. 04.12.67 D-76412 © GM ARCHIVE

THE VAUXHALL VICTOR PROPOSAL SIDE ON, THE VICTOR IS ON THE LEFT. 04.12.67 D-76413 © GM ARCHIVE

Against this background it is all the more surprising that GM considered the project in this section. In August 1966 Opel launched the Rekord C to replace the short lived and pretty crummy Rekord B, Vauxhall would launch the Victor FD in October 1967 and both models would have a theoretical model life of at least 3 to 4 years. General Motors started working on a project late in 1967 to evaluate the possibility of replacing the FD Victor for the 1969 model year with a Vauxhall version of the Opel Rekord C. The changes were purely cosmetic and were limited to an FD style front end (in two different variations), a rear end style which owed more to the 101 Victor than the FD and the appropriate Vauxhall badges. The interior used a modified FD dashboard and unique seating, mechanically the plans involved each brand using their own engines & transmissions.

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THE VAUXHALL VICTOR PROPOSAL No1 VIEWED FROM THE LEFT SIDE, NOTE THE DIFFERENT VICTOR BADGING. 04.12.67 D-76414 © GM ARCHIVE

THE VAUXHALL VICTOR PROPOSAL No1 04.12.67 D-76416 © GM ARCHIVE

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THE VAUXHALL VICTOR PROPOSAL No2 WITH A VARIATION ON THE FRONT GRILLE TREATMENT. 12.67 D-76417 © GM ARCHIVE

THE VAUXHALL VICTOR PROPOSAL REAR END TREATMENT OWED MORE TO THE 101 VICTOR THAN THE FD. 04.12.67 D-76418 © GM ARCHIVE

The two road-going prototypes were evaluated by GM & Vauxhall executives, Vauxhalls David Jones was especially unhappy with the cars because to replace the FD with it was a retrograde step in terms of styling, the FD had only just been launched and was a trend setting design in its class. Bill Swallow, Vauxhalls MD, was also concerned that if the FD was replaced so soon the tooling costs would not have been recouped by 1969 and in any event by this time the Rekord would be nearing the end of its own model life. The project as a Vauxhall was officially cancelled in early 1968, however, the work was not entirely wasted. In 1969 GM South Africa launched its own Ranger brand, the car was heavily based around the Rekord C but used the front grille treatment from the Vauxhall project.     

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THE VAUXHALL VICTOR REAR END COMPARISON WITH THE REKORD C. 04.12.67 D-76419 © GM ARCHIVE   

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GM RANGER BROCHURE 05.69

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GM RANGER ADVERT 05.70

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GM RANGER ADVERT 03.71