We found a Vauxhall Viceroy lurking at the London Classic Car Show

Vauxhall Viceroy

London’s Excel centre plays host to the London Classic Car Show this weekend and there’s no end of exotica on display.

Fans of affordable or modern classics aren’t especially well catered for (you’re more likely to find a Ferrari F40 than an early Ford Fiesta), but we did find this lovely Vauxhall Viceroy hidden away in a corner of the show.

The 80s rarity is actually owned by one of the guys over at Take to the Road, and cost just £920 when he bought it in December (making it the cheapest car on display at the show, surely?). The Viceroy’s long-term custodian owned it an incredible 32 years, trading in his two-door Vauxhall Viva for the Viceroy in 1984. He paid £4,130 for it as an ex-management car and kept it until 2016 when he was forced to sell it due to health reasons.

Essentially an Opel Commodore, the Viceroy was intended to plug a gap in Vauxhall’s UK line-up between the popular Carlton and range-topping Royale. It was a flop, produced for just two years between 1980 and 1982 at Opel’s Russelsheim plant in West Germany. Just 2,295 were ever sold – making it a rare sight even when new – and only a handful remain today (just seven on UK roads according to howmanyleft.co.uk).

Although buyers weren’t keen to part with their cash for a Viceroy when new, we can’t help but be taken by the brown exterior paintwork and orange velour interior of the example on display this weekend. The wooden dash looks the part, too, and a gander at the car’s MOT history suggests it’s covered less than 100,000 miles in its 35 years.

Curiously, although an estate version of the Viceroy was never officially available in the UK, a one-off was built for the Queen in 1981.

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  1. One of the reasons Vauxhall Viceroy production for Britain lasted October 1980 and late 1982 was because of the proliferation of four speed manual transmission, heavy fuel consumption and the leaded petrol engine. The stories I write mention that the Pearsonian Vauxhall version of the Opel Commodore C also called the Viceroy was in production between January 1979 and ended in late 1982 again because of the proliferation of four speed manual transmission, heavy fuel consumption and the leaded petrol engine even for the estate cars.

  2. In the stories I the right hand drive Pearsonian spec Opel Commodore C came out in the Autumn of 1978 followed in early 1979 by the right hand drive spec Pearsonian spec Vauxhall Viceroy. None of these (Opel Commodore C saloon, Opel Commodore C Voyage, Vauxhall Viceroy saloon and Vauxhall Viceroy estate) sold in great numbers. Heavy fuel consumption, unleaded petrol engine and four speed manual transmission were all to blame.

  3. The Pearson Story franchise mentions that the Opel Commodore C came out in September 1978 and right hand drive Pearsonian spec Vauxhall Viceroy followed in January 1979. None of these in either saloon and estate versions sold in great numbers and the Commodore and the Viceroy wen out of pr in late 1982.


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