Snapshot From 1960: Vauxhall Cresta PA – The British Oldsmobile

Today’s flip of the 1960 Auto-Parade has a decidedly Oldsmobile-esque look, at least to my eyes. The Cresta was the top offering of GM’s UK ops, and the 1957 – 1962 PA version has become a very collectible and cult classic. It represents the the closest England got to the exuberant finned fifties of America, and is an icon of the rock and roll era. The basic facts are pretty straightforward, but once one starts a further trip down Cresta Lane, some distinct variations appear:

The front end may have undergone some minor face-lifting during its six year run, and its engine got a major boost along the way, from the original 2262 cc OHV six with 72 hp, to a bigger 2651 cc version with a whopping 104 hp (the 100 hp barrier at the time was a huge one in Europe). But the rear ends show off even more variety:

There’s this style, which appears would be the older version with smaller taillights. (Update: this is actually the later version)

This version with those ovoid taillight pods had to be a later tail-lift. (Wrong: this is actually the earlier taillight design)

And then there’s this one with a segmented rear window, right off a 1957 Oldsmobile. Having opened up this Cresta can of worms, now I’m confused. Maybe someone out there can set us straight. (And this turns out to be the first year only version. Thanks David, Bryce and others!)