Friday September 22, 2017
The narrator reassures the dealer that those slick lines were also practical, although ‘the exhaust pipe discharging through the bumper’ was, in hindsight, not a very good idea.
Looking at the publicity material for the F-Type, FB and FC Victors, one constant theme is that for a modest down payment glamour and a modest amount of hipness could all be yours.
In reality, you might be the regional sales manager for a manufacturer of tinned prunes but in the world of the 1960 Victor De Luxe with its ‘individual front seats’, ‘thick pile carpets’ and ‘gold plated door badges’ you are as suave as Dirk Bogarde.
Even the Victor Estate, with its overtones of a 1956 Chevrolet Nomad looked highly glamorous, especially when it was parked alongside a Hillman Husky.
The FB, which was launched in 1961, may have looked radically different to its predecessor but it offered even more in the way of (safely respectable glamour).
Where is the equally respectable looking couple destined for in their pink Victor saloon?
The Heaven & Hell coffee bar in Soho? The Talk of the Town to see Frankie Vaughan in concert? Or maybe they will throw caution to the winds and detail their new FB with optional ‘Ocelot’ skin seat covers for that extra touch of sheer class.
Luton also took pride in the Victor’s interior space, as demonstrated by a brochure shot featuring two young ladies and a gentleman from the Sid James/Tony Newley School of Fashion sporting a very snappy hat.
I am especially fond of the PR shots of the high-performance VX 4/90 version that debuted in 1962; Madam looks like a young Susan Hampshire while Sir has a very sensible side-parting, Peter Sellers glasses and a tweed jacket
By 1964 the Victor 101 FC with its distinctive ‘space curve’ panels was ‘a full six-seater car with exceptional vision’ and ‘the look of success’.
A 1966 vintage picture has a young chartered accountant type (with the best will in the world, the FC was never a Carnaby Street type of car) gazing in rapture at a new 101 saloon.
However, a Victor Estate could make a visit to the local garden centre seem vaguely thrilling while the De Luxe saloon was ideal for summer holidays, even if parking it on the beach may not help with corrosion issues in later years.
As for the socially ambitious - i.e. the sort of motorist who regularly wore driving gloves for a trip to the local post office - they were offered the latest version of the VX 4/90.
For just £893, including Purchase Tax, you too could join ‘the exclusive set’ in a Vauxhall that was ‘Lean. Lithe. Handsome’ plus considerably cheaper than a Rover or Triumph 2000.
The arrival of the FD in late 1967 marked a considerable change in the Victor’s image, and we will cover those later this year.
And for now, here is the absolutely charming 1962 promotional film for the Canadian market FB Envoy for who could resist the Superb model ‘for the executive-level buyer’?