∙Restored to an exceptionally high standard ∙Very rare example, trophy winner and featured in Sunday Telegraph ∙Low mileage
Post war England. It was a depressing scene, half-bombed buildings, rubble everywhere, food rationing, fuel rationing, black and white telly. No wonder there was such excitement about the post-war motor shows of 1948 in London and Paris. Vauxhall wanted to play their part in meeting the newly found demand for everything automotive.
Out of tough times come great things, and the inspiration that fuelled many of those great things came from America - music, film, cars. They gave us Chuck Berry and in return we gave them the Beatles. Vauxhall’s ownership by General Motors in the US meant the Wyvern not only had North American engineering, but the all-important styling too. America was where it was at when it came to styling, and the showy Wyvern with its curved windscreen and all that chrome up front, did not disappoint.
The Wyvern was originally released in 1948 as a successor to the Vauxhall 12. The L series Vauxhall Wyvern along with the Velox were Vauxhall's first post-war new models, many of which went abroad for export to help with the UK economy. Then in 1952 a new Wyvern was launched featuring a 60mph 1508cc four-cylinder engine. It was a well sized family car and it sold well in the UK until it made way for the smaller and more radically styled Vauxhall Victor F-Series in 1957.
The owner acquired the car ten years ago. This 1954 Wyvern is one of the later models and, although MOT exempt, the owner has regularly had it checked to ensure its road worthiness. Being a keen mechanic, he has maintained the car himself as and when needed for oil changes, sparks etc. The previous owner fitted it with a full electronic security system and the brakes have been reconditioned and work well for such an old car.
The engine's top end has been completely rebuilt, the head skimmed, seals replaced etc. Bottom end was fine so left alone. Despite being very low mileage for its age, the MOT history suggests the mileage is authentic.
It’s regularly taken to local car shows in Northern Ireland and, as a result, rarely has to travel more than a hundred miles a year. Sadly, due to some health concerns the time has come for the owner to let the car go to a new home.
There are two big files of documentation dating back to 1954 when the car was first purchased including the original tax book. Full paperwork for the Robert Hughes restoration is sadly missing but a quick phone call to Robert Hughes would confirm the work.
The car underwent a £10,000 restoration some 10 years ago by Robert Hughes of London, and as such looks incredible. So good, it’s arguably a candidate for a museum the owner advises. The spare wheel, jack and tool kit are present.
The headlining is in particularly good condition and there was a modern stereo fitted before the current owner purchased it. This is cleverly hidden away so as not to spoil the authentic fifties feel.
As is evident from the pictures, it has been resprayed a metallic green making this one really stand out everywhere it goes. The chrome and complete body is said to be in good condition.
The owner says there are no mechanical issues outstanding as it has been kept in good running order throughout his ownership. The undercarriage was also waxoyld six years ago and it has been garaged since ownership. The car has one key.
This car has serious charm and it’s rare to see one in such remarkable condition. There are said to be just 73 left in the UK at the moment and this is a superb opportunity to snap one up that has been restored to a beautiful standard. Some 12 years ago it was featured in the Sunday Telegraph and just look at the array of awards it’s received for being such a looker.
If that’s not enough, the owner has an array of documentation relating to its history and previous works, so if this is your style, it’s hard to find a reason not to go to snap this one up. In this condition they don’t come up often.
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