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Worst car of the 1960's

Eric Gibson

master brummie
This one had steering that you could turn the steering wheel more than a quarter turn before it touched anything, a new steering box was required which wasn't available unless I waited six months and paid more than the value of the car for it.
I found a passable used one but had to travel over a hundred miles to collect it.

It also needed a complete brake overhaul and tyres.

The car had only done 28 thousand miles.
 

Edifi

master brummie
In1974 bought an Hillman Avenger Estate .Served me well except every year it went in for an MOT the nearside bottom ball joint wanted replacing.Rootes had stopped putting grease nipples in the casting that caused the ball to wear.The 3rd balljoint I bought I drilled and tapped it and put one in.Never had no more trouble.
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
We did a lot of those Edi, Watsons where I worked at the time were Rootes dealers so we modified quite a few with the grease nipples.

They changed the Minx steering box a few times in that period, one worm and peg box was so heavy to turn they had a lot of complaints, they replaced it with a recirculating ball box, that too had a problem, they messed up the tolerance on the top bush under the steering wheel and when the car was left out in the summer sun it got so tight it locked up the steering.
 

Brookfields Lad

master brummie
Compared to modern cars most 'classics' were poor but that was the way it was then. Breakdowns and rust were regarded as normal. I was in the motor trade for years and the worst cars for me were the Alfa Sud, Reliant three wheelers, Fiats, Volkswagen Beetles. The best, I'm sorry to say,even in the 1970s, were Toyotas !!! the quality was superb.
I agree.
Toyota's were good cars from what I can remember.
Beetles were so bad, Smithfield garage used to keep a stock of Beetles wings ready sprayed.
 

Brookfields Lad

master brummie
a NSU Prinz. with dynastart.: unamused:
Oh yes. I remember those. Blooming awful system. The Bond Minicar had a similar system called the Siba Dynastart. Strangely, modern Hybrid vehicles have version similar to the Dynastart for starting the engine and then charging the battery (s).
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Speaking of the NSU Prinz, round about 1967 or 68 a girl-friend had a red NSU Prinz, I think the 4. It was actually quite a good car....considering. We were invited to a wedding in Brighton, and as my knackered split-screen Moggie Minor wasn't up to it, we went in her Prinz. No problems on the way down, but on the return trip for some reason it lost 3rd gear. My girl-friend decided she couldn't cope, so I took over somewhere the other side of London. To get from 1st to 3rd required revving the guts out of the engine, but nevertheless it made it home. I was quite impressed, to be honest, but being 6' 4" tall it wasn't really designed for people like me........

G
 

vicfarlowe

veteran brummie
I was also in the motor trade and by far the biggest rot boxes in the early sixties were the late fifties Vauxhalls. As far as foreign cars went the early Datsuns were almost as bad. I can remember going around the Triumph factory in Coventry and seeing all the rusting body shells waiting outside ready for assembling after they were acid dipped, no wonder they rotted away.
On the subject of rotting body shells at the factory I saw the same thing at Rootes in Coventry where Hillman Hunter bodyshells were outside covered in snow.
 

vicfarlowe

veteran brummie
I agree.
Toyota's were good cars from what I can remember.
Beetles were so bad, Smithfield garage used to keep a stock of Beetles wings ready sprayed.
I was in the stores at Smithfield and remember the high number of engines that were sold every week, especially the T2 van engines. I think some VW air cooled engines just had a metal gauze for the oil filter. There was a high demand for clutches as well.
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I thought that NSU cars were quite good quality wise, but they caught a cold on some of the new technology they tried to incorporate. When they used the rotary engine, they shot themselves in the foot big time.
 

mw0njm.

Brummie dude
I thought that NSU cars were quite good quality wise, but they caught a cold on some of the new technology they tried to incorporate. When they used the rotary engine, they shot themselves in the foot big time.
The one i had was a early model. no heater only warm air from the engine.more leaks than here in wales. The engine was a bit like the blue inva cars engine.
 

Ray Griffiths

master brummie
The worst car I have had was the new Vauxhall Viva HC I bought new and because I'd had the HB that was a lovely car you could do all your own repairs and services.
The new Viva HC I bought from the Vauxhall dealers in Walsall the window wipers and the fan heated window device failed to work as I drove out of the dealers.
I had it 10 month most of the time it spent in the garage for repair.
The main problems was engine lack of pulling power, I hand 3 new engines in that, a replacement clutch and a new gear box after the garage forgot to replace the oil after 1 of the new engines had been fitted, and I ran with a dry gearbox. The boot leaked and the front windscreen didn't seal and also leaked.
Vauxhall sent an engineer up from Luton to investigate he could understand why I said it was Friday built Car, at that time new car that was fault was thought to be bult on the last shift on Friday.
I've had about 30 new cars in my life time even Dagenham dustbins but never have I had a car as bad as the Viva HC needless to say I've never had a Vauxhall again. I've got the new Nissan Juke at present what a lovely car it is.
 

Eric Gibson

master brummie
I've been in the motor trade since I left school in1950 but I've never bought a new car for myself, always used the cheapest of the part exchanges taken in.

Even now I'm driving a 2006 diesel Citroen Estate. :)
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Re: Viva HC. I had two. The first was K-reg bought second-hand and it was a really good little car, if somewhat under-powered. I never had a serious problem with it and sold it to my father (who wrote it off....). I replaced it with another, newer, HC, I think N or P reg but can't really remember, and this one was a dog. In fact, it was terrible, hardly a week passed without something packing up. I only kept it for about a year, then I gave it to my Dad....who wrote that one off as well.

G
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
There was a whole industry making repair panels for cars in the 70/80s. You could get inner cills, outer cills, suspension top plates and wheel arches the lot.

Some car had their favourite place to rot. The Mini A panel, the Ford Escort front strut tops, the rear wishbone hanger on the Cortina MkIII etc.
 

Dave89

master brummie
Re: Viva HC. I had two. The first was K-reg bought second-hand and it was a really good little car, if somewhat under-powered. I never had a serious problem with it and sold it to my father (who wrote it off....). I replaced it with another, newer, HC, I think N or P reg but can't really remember, and this one was a dog. In fact, it was terrible, hardly a week passed without something packing up. I only kept it for about a year, then I gave it to my Dad....who wrote that one off as well.

G

Hi,

I had 2 Viva HCs, and the first one FNP56J was a great car, although it did get through 3 gearboxes, and it
suffered body rot at the end of its life. But it cost very little and I did my own repairs, so as I did over 100,000
miles in it I was not complaining.
The second was a 1256cc engined P reg, ( as against the 1159cc of the first one) and I tolerated that one
for all of about 6 months before getting rid. Brakes, Clutch, Radiator plus it wouldnt pull the skin of a rice pudding!

Kind regards
Dave
 

Big Gee

master brummie
Only just the 1960's, but my old man's company gave him a Vauxhall Victor Mk 1 out of the pool while his usual company-car (and I've forgotten what it was) was having something serious done to it. The Victor looked quite flash (for the period) but it was a dog. It regularly over-heated, and the gearbox was suspect. But the best came when Dad decided to wash it before he returned it, and his hand went straight through the top of one of the front wings! It was rotten as a pear, as we used to say. I don't know how old it was or how many miles it had done, but it was terrible. But probably not much different to the majority of company pool cars back then.

G
 
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