Vauxhall Firenza SL

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Launched as a 1971 model year car the HC was called Firenza regardless of body configuration. It was available as a Standard 2 door Saloon (dropped for 1972), an SL 2 and 4 door Saloon, an SL 2 door Coupe and an SL 3 door Estate – which actually looked good with its built in roof bars! The marketing slogan was “The tough little fun car from General Motors” and a big play was made of all the testing that had been done to ensure the car was right, even the inside of the brochure showed a man in a white coat with a clip board ticking off everything was right. The trouble was everything was not all right.

give their best, the trouble was saddled with the earliest and most primitive emissions equipment available the Canadian Firenza didn’t stand a chance and often ran like a dog almost as soon as they left the dealer’s forecourt. Non starts, misfiring, oil leaks, electrical faults, slow performance, especially the automatic, cold running engines and therefore poor interior heating, valves sooting up, plug fouling, 15mpg fuel economy, the list went on and on. Pontiac dealers were overwhelmed with warranty claims. Unfortunately this also coincided with industrial disruption in the UK, something which Vauxhall were not used to having always had better industrial relations than other major carmakers in Britain, parts suppliers were also suffering the same. The result was the normal supply of replacement parts to Canada was insufficient to keep up with demand and many dealers were forced to cannibalise new cars for parts to repair cars they had already sold. The other problem was quality control which included paint problems, rust, trim falling off and ill-fitting panels.

Prod No’s Canadian Firenza HC = 15,245 (when looking at total HC production these are classed as HC Viva

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