Brochure Classic: The 1971 Firenza, By General Motors

Today I am sharing a blast from the past–the 1971 Firenza brochure from my personal collection. For those of you Canadians who might possibly remember seeing a rare survivor, now you can see how these cars were presented as new–and without rust spots!

From prior CC articles, I gather that these cars had, ahem, troubles. It’s too bad, because it is a rather nice, cheerful-looking little car.

The Firenza was a Canada variant on the British Vauxhall Viva HC. But the Firenza was hardly sparkling to its original owners, as apparently no shortage of trouble could be had with them.

The two-door wagon was rather interesting. Looks kind of like a cut-rate Volvo 1800ES. But with none of the Ovlov’s stolid dependability, unfortunately. It seems the early emissions hardware was less than robust. That, other classic British hiccups and a propensity to dissolve nearly as fast as a sugar cube mean few are left today.

It was a disaster for both owners and dealers, and also spelled the end of Vauxhalls of any stripe in Canada. After 1972, the Vega-with-an-arrowhead Astre replaced it in showrooms. From the frying pan, and all that.

This brochure came with a bunch of other Canadian brochures I won on the electronic bay years ago. There was also a ’68 Canadian Pontiac brochure, as well as 1977 and 1978 Pontiac, and 1978 Buick. But this one was the most interesting, as I had never heard of these before.

Too bad the owners had to be the proving ground for the issues with the Firenza. If it had been a solid little car, might we still have Vauxhalls in Canada–and perhaps the U.S., today? Who knows!

Related: Cohort Sighting: 1971 Firenza