Vauxhall Viva HA

Christmas 1975, the first after my 17th birthday. I wanted a guitar, not desperately, just a vague notion that it might be a good thing to have. Instead, as a total surprise, I got a car.

It had been bought for £40 and my Dad had been “fixing it up” secretly. It had also been cunningly taken to Blackpool from Bury and put outside my grandparents house on Christmas Eve without my knowledge so that it could be revealed on Christmas morning with a flick of the curtains.

The other part of my present was that it was insured for me to drive, for the princely sum of £60. In my own name, third party only. How times change.

I learnt to drive in it, and failed my first test in it. (I passed on the second attempt after  5 30 minute lessons from the British School of Motoring.) I drove it to school occasionally, and collected Phil and his mates from their school. I even managed to get to Leeds University for an interview in it.

It eventually died of a complete lack of power sometime in early 1977, I think.

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