EVEN in the halls of mass automotive manufacturers there are some cars that are absolute rarities.
One such is the Vauxhall Viceroy, a child of the early 1980s of which it is claimed only three remain licensed on UK roads. And there were only 228 left in 1995.
The Viceroy was a large six-cylinder saloon with the sharp-suited bodystyle that was so reminiscent of its era.
The problem with the Viceroy was that it sat rather uneasily between two models in a somewhat narrow gap.
Below it was the popular Vauxhall Carlton executive saloon and above it the company flagship, the regal Royale.
The problem was that there was not much room in between and the Viceroy had a struggle on its hands to carve a niche.
Predictably it was a slow seller, but for all that it was a cracking car.
Essentially it was the British equivalent of the Opel Commodore, from the German arm of the massive American General Motors company which also owned Vauxhall. And the fact that the Commodore was also available in the UK certainly did not help.
The Viceroy's only engine option was a naturally aspirated straight six petrol engine via a four-speed manual transmission. A three-speed GM auto transmission was also available at extra cost.
Especially in manual form it was a beauty to drive and had superb street cred.
When driving this car it always felt that there was far more Royale in it than Carlton.
It fact, it had styling similar to the Royale at the front and was easily identified by the VX4/90-style cross-bar on the radiator grille.
Although some other markets enjoyed an estate version of this platform, there was never one in the UK except a one-off estate car was built in 1981 for the Queen to carry her Corgi dogs.
The Commodore and Viceroy were parked in the history books by the mid-1980s.