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Vauxhall Wyvern
Manufacturer Vauxhall
Production 1948-1957
Predecessor Vauxhall Twelve (I)
Successor Vauxhall Victor
Related Vauxhall Velox,
Vauxhall Cresta

The Wyvern (L-Type) is a medium sized family saloon introduced by Vauxhall in 1948 as a successor to the Vauxhall 12. The name comes from the mythical beast the Wyvern and may be due to a mis-identity of the heraldic Griffin on the Vauxhall badge.

Wyvern LIX (1948 - 1951)

Vauxhall Wyvern LIX
Vauxhall Wyvern LIX 4-Door Saloon 1948 - 1951
Manufacturer Vauxhall
Production 1948-1951
55,409 made[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Engine(s) 1442 cc Straight-4
33 bhp (25 kW)
Wheelbase 97.75 in (2483 mm)[2]
Length 164.5 in (4178 mm) [2]
Width 62 in (1575 mm)[2]
Height 65 in (1,700 mm) [2]
Fuel capacity 45.45 L (12.0 US gal/10.0 imp gal)

The conventional four door saloon featured a four cylinder motor of 1442 cc delivering an advertised 33 bhp (25 kW) was capable of a maximum speed of approximately 60 mph (97 km/h). The column mounted gear change was linked to a three speed manual gear box, and incorporated synchromesh on the top two ratios. 9.125 in (232 mm) drum brakes, hydraulically operated, were fitted.[2]

The Wyvern's body was of integral (chassisless) construction, as pioneered by Vauxhall with their prewar Vauxhall 10 design. Independent torsion bar suspension was fitted at the front with a traditional semi-elliptic set-up for the rear axle.[3]

The bonnet / hood could not be opened from outside without first being released from inside the car by means of a knob operated cable release. Other features included the chromium plated 'finger-pull' at the top edge of each window permitting each window to be opened to precisely the required level.

Contemporary sales material highlighted optional extras which included a heater from which warm air was evenly distributed between the front and back areas of the passenger cabin and which could be set to de-ice the windscreen in winter or to provide cool air ventilation in summer. Also available at extra charge was an AM radio integrated into the facia.

The Wyvern shared its body with the six cylinder Vauxhall Velox. Prominently chromed flutes along each top side of the hood / bonnet recalled famous Vauxhalls of the pre-war era.

A car tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1950 had a top speed of 62.6 mph (100.7 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-50 mph (80 km/h) in 28.3 seconds. A fuel consumption of 30.9 miles per imperial gallon (9.14 L/100 km/25.7 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £479 including taxes. [2]

Wyvern EIX (1951 - 1952)

Vauxhall Wyvern EIX
The four cylinder Vauxhall Wyvern shared its body with the six cylinder Vauxhall Velox pictured here. For both models, this 'ponton style' three box shape replaced the original design in 1951.
Manufacturer Vauxhall
Production 1951-1957
107,588 made[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
2-door convertible (Australia)
2-door coupe utility (Australia)
Engine(s) 1442 cc Straight-4
35 bhp (26 kW)
(1951 - 1952)
1507 cc Straight-4 40 bhp (30 kW) or 48 bhp (36 kW)
(1952 - 1957)
Wheelbase 103 in (2616 mm)[4]
Width 67 in (1702 mm)
(1951 - 1952)[4]
66.5 in (1689 mm)
(1952 - 1957)
Height 63 in (1,600 mm) [4]
Fuel capacity 11 gallons [4]

In 1951 a completely new Wyvern was launched, featuring a modern 'three box' shape and integral construction of American styling. A modest increase in power to 35 bhp (26 kW) permitted a claimed top speed above 62 mph (100 km/h) despite the car's increased size. As before, a more powerful Vauxhall Velox was available with the new body.

5313 were made.[1]

Wyvern EIX (1952 - 1957)

A year after the launch of the rebodied Wyvern the car received a new 1507 cc engine available with two different power outputs of 40 or 48 bhp (36 kW). Maximum speed rose to 72 mph (116 km/h). More performance was available from the six cylinder Vauxhall Velox and (from 1954) Cresta versions. The Wyvern sold well on the UK market until its replacement with the more radically styled Vauxhall Victor FA in 1957.

A car with the 40 bhp (30 kW) engine tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1952 had a top speed of 71.6 mph (115.2 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 37.2 seconds. A fuel consumption of 30.4 miles per imperial gallon (9.29 L/100 km/25.3 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £771 including taxes. [4]

105,275 were made.[1]

The E Series Wyvern was also produced by General Motors-Holden’s in Australia from 1952 to 1958. In addition to building the 4 door sedan, GMH developed the Wyvern Vagabond 2 door convertible and the Wyvern Coupe Utility. 1954 was the last year for the Utility and the Vagabond was not included in the facelifted E Series range released in April 1955. [5]


A number of cars survive and are seen at UK Classic vehicle shows.

please list any examples seen below

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Sedgwick, Michael; Gillies (1993). A-Z of cars 1945-1970. UK: Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-39-7. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "The Vauxhall Wyvern", The Motor. October 4 1950. 
  3. "Second Hand car guide supplement", Practical Motorist vol 6 Nbr 68: between pages 768 & 769. date April 1960. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "The Vauxhall Wyvern (short stroke)", The Motor. September 10 1952. 
  5. Norm Darwin, 100 Years of GM in Australia, 2002, pages 134 & 135

Culshaw, David & Horrobin, Peter: The Complete Catalogue of British Cars 1895-1975, Veloce Publishing plc., Dorchester (1997), ISBN 1874105936

External links

Deutsch: Vauxhall Wyvern

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