VAUXHALL VIVA/ BEDFORD HA

Debunking the most common old wives’ tales..

VAUXHALL VIVA/ BEDFORD HA

by Classic Car Weekly Team |

1 - IT’S BASICALLY AN OPEL KADETT A

The HA Viva may resemble its Opel Kadett A cousin, but although they share the same floor pan, they share little else. The two cars were individually developed under conditions of strict secrecy, and although it’s likely that there was some collaboration between the two General Motors brands, they were both entirely separate projects, unlike later Opel/Vauxhall efforts

2 -THERE WAS NO ESTATE

While there was a factory- designed and built Kadett A estate, there was no equivalent Viva HA, adding more weight to them being very different vehicles. However, the Martin Walter Bedford Beagle estate conversion, using the HA van, was officially sanctioned and sold through Vauxhall/Bedford dealerships, so was to all intents and purposes the load-lugging Viva (until 1973, when it was supplanted by the estate Viva HC).

3 - THE CHEVANNE REPLACED IT

Many sources have it that the HA van had a 20-year life until the Chevette-based Chevanne replaced it. Except the Chevanne, which was built from 1976 to 1984, didn’t really supersede it at all – it wasn’t a resounding success compared to the simple HA. The HA continued alongside it until 1983 and enjoyed rather more significant fleet sales.

4 - POSTMAN PAT HAD A BEDFORD HA

Postman Pat’s van is reputedly an HA – the Royal Mail was a huge user of the Bedfords. However, aside from general boxiness and round headlamps, the two seem to have very little in common. Influenced and inspired by, yes. Based on, less so.

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