For 1964 Vauxhall are introducing revised versions of the well-established Victor and sporting VX 4/90 models. The engine swept volume has been increased from 1,508 c.c. to 1,594 c.c. by increasing bore diameter by 0.029 in., giving a power increase of 22 1/2%, or 69 (gross) b.h.p. instead of the former 56.36 b.h.p. To achieve this the c.r. has gone up, to 8.5 to 1, valve seat angles have been changed, carburetter settings revised and the port shapes smoothed out. It is claimed that the torque has been improved, the new 81.6-mm. bore engine pulling strongly from 1,500 r.p.m. to its maximum of 4,800 r.p.m. This is assisted by a lower axle ratio—4.125 instead of 3.9 to 1. Clutch diameter has been increased by 1/2 in., front brake size is up 1 in. in diameter and 1/4 in. in width, while the external styling has been made neater still and there are detail changes internally.
Disc front brakes and a 4-speed, floor gear-lever gearbox are optional extras.
The same size engine is used in the VX 4/90 Vauxhall, giving 85 1/2 b.h.p. at 5,200 r.p.m., the alloy-head, 2-carburetter power unit having a c.r. of 9 to 1 and pulling a top-gear ratio of 3.9 to 1. This model has the 4-speed gearbox as standard and now sports a walnut-veneer facia. New colours are available and prices are unchanged, except for a reduction of £12 in the case of the Victor De Luxe saloon and a drop of £16 for the Victor De Luxe Estate Car. The bigger Velox and Cresta models will have lower axle ratios, new trim styles next year, and will cost £18 less in Hydramatic transmission form.
Before lunch at Oakwell Park restaurant near Luton, where the smaller new Vauxhalls were revealed, I was able to enjoy a short drive in the 1964 VX 4/90. These brief acquaintances do not enable any very definite opinions to be formed, but the increased urge is plainly evident, the speedometer going to 75 m.p.h. in 3rd gear and an indicated 90 m.p.h., or 4,900 r.p.m., being held unconcernedly along M 1. The suspension seemed softer although I was assured that it is the same as before, but the judder through the body/chassis structure seemed less pronounced, although on rough by-roads the dated rear axle and suspension arrangements make themselves known. But for an £840 saloon this latest Vauxhall VX 4/90 certainly motors, so that I look forward to longer acquaintance of it. The new Vauxhalls are the responsibility of Vauxhall Motors new Chief Engineer, John H. Alden.—W. B.