The first of my top 5 lists is automotive related and comes from the UK car maker Vauxhall. In Europe, Vauxhall is known as Opel, and as Holden in Australia. Vauxhall was founded in 1857 by engineer Alexander Wilson. They started life as a pump and marine engine builder. In 1863, Vauxhall was taken over by Andrew Betts Brown to create cranes under the name Vauxhall Iron Works.
It was not until 1903 when the company started to build cars and in 1925 the company was purchased by General Motors. Since then Vauxhall has produced many vehicles for the mass market, including those under the Bedford brand. Bedford was the commercial vehicle arm of Vauxhall.
Vauxhall currently have two major manufacturing facilities in the UK, these being in Luton and Ellesmere Port, Luton for the commercial vehicles and Ellesmere Port for its passenger car arm. Some of Vauxhall's cars sold in the UK are, in fact, manufactured in Germany, Spain, and Poland by Opel and then rebranded as Vauxhall when they arrive in the UK.
5. Vauxhall Calibra
The Calibra was an underrated car of its time. On sale from 1989 to 1999, this coupe was both sporty in looks and sporty in drive. It was a favourite of the modified car scene and was easy to tinker with. The design was similar to those of Japanese cars of the time; this was a deliberate ploy to take on these cars with a European sports coupe. A good solid car for some sporty driving fun.
4. Vauxhall Viva
The Viva was a friendly, family style car sold from 1963 to 1979. The Viva was introduced as a direct competitor to similar family cars made by Ford and Morris, most notably the Morris Minor. This was a very good selling car for Vauxhall as they had not made a small family car since the end of the Second World War. The Viva proved they still had the design and engineering prowess to create a star car.
3. Vauxhall Cavalier
The Cavalier, on sale from 1975 to 1995, was an impressive large family sized car which lives on today in the form of its successor, the Vectra. The Cavalier was the businessman's and the family man's choice of car. It could do the miles in comfort and style. The Mark II was the best of the range, offering many styles and variants including sporty coupes and summer loving cabriolets.
2. Vauxhall Velox
The Velox was Vauxhall's answer to the Ford Zephyr. On sale from 1948 - 1965, this executive style yet family fashioned car was a designer's wet dream. The PA edition was the most beautiful and produced a whopping 82.5 bhp from its 2.2 litre straight six engine. Newer editions lost their style but still had a great reputation for the executive.
1. Vauxhall Monaro
The Monaro is not everyone's choice of car. However, to me this is the best car Vauxhall has ever produced. As a muscle car, something the UK lacks, the Monaro was a welcome introduction. It won the 2004 Top Gear Best Muscle Car award. The limited edition 500 variant, with its 500 bhp and 500 lb/ft torque, was quick and sounded like a beast. The burble of the exhaust along with the V8 block was immense.
Many thanks for reading and I hope you found this enjoyable. Please look out for more of my top 5 lists coming in the very near future. These will include top 5s of other vehicle manufacturers as well as top 5 songs by a band or artist, top 5 books by an author, and many, many more.