Saloons: from £987
Estates: from £1,188
Following on the introduction of the new Viva/Firenza-based Magnum models from General Motors' British factory, the Viva saloon and estate range for 1974 are all 1256 c.c.-powered, except the Viva SL which is available with the 1759 c.c, overhead camshaft motor and automatic transmission. The 1256 c.c. Vivas have heavier-duty gearboxes and axles, redesigned carburation, and raised compression ratio from 8.5 to 9.2: 1. The modifications result in extra power, improved economy, and top speed raised to about 86 m.p.h. Quieter running is claimed due to a viscous-coupled cooling fan.
Saloons: From £1,430
Estates: From £1,547
The commodious Victor saloons all have four doors, and the choice of 1800 or 2300 overhead camshaft engines. For 1974 ride has been improved by damper and rear suspension bushing modifications, all of which assist with the lowering of noise levels. New gearbox ratios and casings subscribe to quieter running, and modifications to oil seals, bearings, casing and differential gears promise prolonged rear axle life and enhanced performance. Radial tyres are now standard. There is also a pressure-limiting valve in the braking system to combat rear wheel lock-up.
The Ventora six - cylinder saloon, like other 1974 Vauxhall models, has power-assisted brake systems with front discs, and rear drums which incorporate self-adjusting shoes at the rear. The split-circuit systems are servo-assisted, and they isolate any fluid leak that may occur, leaving the unaffected part of the braking system fully operational. This smooth-running luxury saloon has a heated rear window, reclining front seats and belts, and pause-type wipers for drizzle conditions. The big engine develops 140 b.h.p. (SAE) but with its modest compression ratio, runs on four-star petrol.
VAUXHALL VENTORA ESTATE
Top-of-the-range Vauxhall is the six-cylinder Ventora Estate with shapely fastback body which isn't just for style. With rear seat folded the handsome wagon has 58 cubic feet of usable load space, yet the interior is to limousine standards. The interior trim is in new colours, the doors have new soft padding, and fascias are restyled. Front seats have been raised half-an-inch for improved comfort and visibility, and reversing lights are fitted. Front inertia-reel seat belts are standard, and new equipment includes dipping mirror and rear-door courtesy light.
VAUXHALL VX 4/90
Vauxhall's top sporting four-cylinder saloon shares the thermostatically-controlled heated-air intake system with the new Magnum range. The overhead camshaft 2.3-litre VX 4/90 engine has redesigned combustion chambers which have raised maximum power-output from 110 to 116 b.h.p. (net), torque has also been increased. Inertia-reel front seat belts are now standard, and the wheel arches are edged with bright mouldings. Bumpers have protective rubber inserts. The 1974 VX 4/90 is capable of 104 m.p.h., and the 0-70 m.p.h. acceleration has been cut to 15.4 seconds.
New for the London Show is the Vauxhall Magnum, an uprated specification model which is, in essence, a revised Viva with extra power from modified Victor engines. Featuring more luxurious trim and new instrumentation, the Magnum is available as an 1800 or as a 2300, both engines being the celebrated inclined four-cylinder units with overhead camshafts. The 1800 has new carburation, and the 2300 larger valves, and both models have new high-efficiency exhaust systems. Four-speed manual gearboxes are standard but the celebrated GM automatic is an available extra.
Price to be announced
The new Firenza for 1974 with a claimed top speed of over 120 m.p.h. and 60 m.p.h. reached in under 8 seconds should cause quite a stir when the first examples appear on the roads next year. From the windscreen rearwards, the new Firenzaa resembles the 2-door Magnum Coupé. The forward end is new and shaped to reduce drag and keep the front tight on the road. The twin-carburettor engine is based on the standard 2300 Vauxhall unit but has a new cylinder-head casting to provide improved breathing. All external metalwork on the 2-door Coupé body is finished in matt black.