Curbside Classic: 1965(ish) Envoy Special • Don’t Mention the Vauxhall!


This is a circa-1965 Envoy Special. That is: a 1963-’67 Vauxhall Victor FC as sold by Canadian Chev-Olds dealerships (speaking of British cars sold in Canada). The FC was the first Vauxhall to bear curved side glass, which was still a pretty new thing at that time. Dig that sideview mirror up on the A-pillar!

But this, strictly speaking, isn’t a Vauxhall; that name doesn’t appear anywhere on the car. It’s an Envoy, the spelling of which must’ve caused, in certain parts of the country, no small amount of grincement des dents, which is how the French say “tooth-gnashing”. As far as I can discover, this model was not sold in Quebec as the Envoyé(e).

They really meant it; it’s an Envoy. Says so right there, front and centre.

Aside from the nameplates, most of the trim was the same as the home-market Vauxhall car. The taillights were unique to the Canadian car both in design and in colour (all red; no amber turn signal)…

…which is a little weird, because the UK lights were certified to the SAE standards—the closest North American thing then to lighting regulations. These markings on a corner of the UK lamp mean “This lamp is designed to conform to the SAE standards current in 1964 for stop, tail, and turn signal lights; reflex reflectors, and reversing lights”. Maybe one or another province (or, more likely, GM of Canada) required all rear lights to be red. The all-amber front turn signal lenses are Canada-specific, too.

And speaking of lights (how does that keep happening?), this car when I saw it still had its original Lucas headlamps. Pre-halogen sealed beams like this can last for remarkably many years, gradually growing dimmer and dimmer and dimmer.

Best I could do for an interior shot. What we can see looks pretty fair, eh!