OOPS I was supposed to set the alarm for 4:30 am this morning so I could pack and get over to a friends swap cars and form a convoy heading to a big car show. Unfortunately I didn’t set the alarm I was so tired last night, and my normal alarm of 6:30 am went off. I did a quick call to my friend and was apologetic to him and had to back out of the arrangements (£15 down drain and one less car on the stand).
Having just got up now (oops) I think it might of been a bit risky for me to drive 100 miles fast asleep! I shall have to drive over to Telford anyway as I have things to collect but I will do that Sunday evening, for now I should tackle the shed as its been left since before billing and smells of old oil… not good for me.. the car is also full of parts I have yet to sort out..
I did manage to put together another story form those old Vauxhall Mirror magazines and its one I have had on the back burner for a while. The trim factory fire at Vauxhall in 1963:
Have you ever noticed how all the early brochures for the Viva HA feature fabric covered seats and yet 99.9% of all Vivas have vinyl seat covering? I used to think this was just my experience of only seeing a few dozen Vivas out of a production run of 300,000 plus cars. I was wrong the first cars did have fabric covers and only a few examples exist, but why are they so rare?
The story starts back in 2006 at the NEC when a gent visiting the show informed me about a fire in Luton in early 1963 effectively paid an end to the fabric covers, and the vinyl seat covers were rushed into production to maintain production, and these later vinyl seat covers remained the normal. (he was an old employee and remembered the night well).
I kept the comments made by the gent at the back of my mind until billing 2009 where I stumbled upon some copies of Vauxhall Mirror which reported upon the fire in its September 1963 issue:
So there we are a fire that caused so much damage to the trim shop that a whole new interior was rushed into designed and production for the Viva HA, effectively making the cloth trim HA unique to the first few month of production.