1975 Vauxhall Victor FE 2300S LE
(Featured on 29th May 2014)
Sellers original description:
A once in a life time opportunity to acquire the lowest mileage best original condition 1975 Vauxhall Victor FE 2300S (very, very rare limited edition of just 500) available anywhere - worldwide.
Just 3,200 (three thousand Two hundred) genuine miles and two owners from new.
With the exception of an 8 track player totally standard specification with no factory or other dealer fitted extras - not even an underseal.
Used by its first owner very infrequently and only for very special occasions. Never used in the wet and always garaged when not in use.
last used by the first owner in 1996.
Acquired by its second owner from the widow of the first in 2007 and, apart from being taken for an MOT at that time, dry stored since.
Consequently now remarkably rust free.
Retaining all of its original fitted panels & glass and the overwhelming majority of its factory applied paint finish.
We are pleased to be able to offer yet another extraordinary low mileage seventies classic that retains all its originality is absolutely exceptional and presented in show winning condition.
VERY RARE CAR WITH A WOW FACTOR THAT IS OFF THE SCALE!
On the 28 February 1957 Vauxhall Motors launched the Victor ‘F’ series as a replacement for the out dated Wyvern.
The model was updated in 1961 with the cleaner styled FB followed in 1964 by the FC and in 67 by the penultimate Victor the FD.
In March 1972 the final model of victor was launched The Vauxhall victor FE.
Magazine and newspaper advertisements at the time used the marketing slogan, "NEW VICTOR - The Transcontinental's".
The car appeared substantially larger than its predecessor with higher cabin and improved packaging enabling the manufacturer to boast of 1.5 inches more leg room in the front and no less than 4 inches of extra leg room in the back, with virtually no loss of boot capacity. Useful increases in headroom and shoulder-level cabin width were also achieved through the use of differently shaped side panels and windows.
The Victor FE was the last 'real' stand alone Vauxhall model before the heavy influence of, also GM owned, Opel was fully brought to bear.
The range started with the 1800 and that engine was chosen for the for the first, of three, special or limited editions which appeared in February 1973 - the Vauxhall Transcontinental ES. 1500 were built a few with automatic transmission where the 1800 engine was substituted with the far superior 2300 engine.
The second limited edition followed later in 1973 this time a version of the Ventura.
The final limited edition of the FE, the 2300S, was launched at the London Motor Show in October 1974. Although based around the standard Victor 2300 the 2300S was actually marketed by Vauxhall as a separate model altogether and not a single Victor badge was to be found anywhere on the car.
Offered in colours unique to the 'S', Light blue metallic or Bright green, with twin coach-lines, black wheels with chrome trim rings and hub caps, chrome wheel arch mouldings, passenger and driver’s door mirrors, heated rear window, Ventora style seating with fabric seat facings, a vinyl roof. The 2300 S was the first Vauxhall to come as standard with a radio cassette.
The car was one of the best looking of the FE models up to this time represented exceptional value and the limited numbers built sold out quickly.
An extract from the 2300S press advert of the time says it all really: -
“The Vauxhall 2300S, a limited edition model, represents the best value in luxury motoring today. Compare it to the equivalent Rovers, Triumphs, Fords and Audi's of this world and you will see what we mean. None of them can come near it for the money". It goes on to say "It's a car that's going to be prized by a select band of motorists. Those who refuse to compromise their standards but have a nose for a fine investment. The Vauxhall 2300S. A truly remarkable car" - well quite, we could not have put it better ourselves!
Just 500 of these 2300S's were made and today only a handful survive.
The best know of these survivors and believed up until now to be the premier remaining example in existence is an original car that has covered thirteen thousand miles. When this car was discovered some years back it was acquired by the manufacturers themselves for their own, rarely open to the public, Vauxhall Heritage Collection. The collection, located behind Griffin House at Vauxhalls' UK HQ in Luton, is home to some of the best remaining classic Vauxhalls - it is highly unlikely that any of them will ever be disposed of.
We are sure that some years back when Vauxhall acquired that 13,000 mile car for their private collection they would have believed that they had secured the lowest mileage best original condition 2300S in existence..........
....actually, on the occasion, it would seem that they were wrong!
The first owner of NLS 192P had had private use of a company van for many years. For that reason he had never really bothered with a car.
Whereas this was fine for most outings and social events his wife was not at all happy to be seen in 'the van' at more prestigious gatherings such as weddings.
For years she had pleaded with her husband to get a decent, in fact brand new, car for these occasions. The husband, who secretly agreed anyway, finally conceded to his wife's not unreasonable request. Provided that the new car would only be used in special circumstances and no others and - more to the point perhaps - so long as he could get a good deal!
The first owner had much admired the Vauxhall Victor and had always quite fancied one. In late summer 1975 he visited his local Vauxhall Bedford main dealer Haston of Falkirk to see just what deal they could do for him.
In their showrooms almost a year since the launch was one of the very last if not the last 2300S's ever to be registered. This car would have almost certainly only still been available as a result of a cancelled order. As such Haston's would have been somewhat keen to sell it. They would have also known that the end of the Victor FE was in sight and that a rebranding to the VX range was about to happen for the final cars - another good reason to do a deal!.
The first owner of NLS 192P was delighted with his find. The wife was happy with the comforts that the limited edition 2300S had and he was very happy with the deal he would have struck.
On the first of September 1975 the proud new owner collected his first ever new car.
He had not ordered any factory or dealer extras, not even an underseal (a godsend 40 years on if concours is to be your thing) but he had as part of the deal got Haston to agree to swapping the new fangled, fancy pants cassette player, for which he had no cassettes for an 8 track player with radio for which he had twenty four 8 track tapes. These tapes are still with the car today and whereas they may not all be to everyone's taste they do range from 1966 Jim Reeves to 1975 Rod Stewart!
As we have said it was never the intention of the first owner to use the car other that for those very special occasions - it had been a condition of him buying it and one that he rigidly stuck to.
During its time with its first owner (30 odd years) NLS 192P was rarely taken out of his garage, where it spent its time under covers.
The second owner, who knew the first, and lived a few miles apart in the same town recalls how the first owner would never even intentionally take his beloved 2300S out if there was the remotest possibility of rain let alone if it actually was raining. Today the condition of the still factory fresh paint finish under the wheel arches bears this out.
During the second half of the seventies and into the eighties NLS 192P continued to spend the majority of its time in the garage rather than on the road. By the early nineties as the first owner aged use of the 2300S had all but stopped. It was last taxed for road use in 1996.
Following the death of the first owner his widow could just not bear to part with her husband's pride and joy and left the car covered over in the garage. Now ageing herself and with the prospect of having to move to a new home with no garage she approached the second owner who had know her husband and shown interest in the car for many years.
In the summer of 2006 it was agreed that the second owner should buy NLS 192P - but there were conditions. The widow of the first owner sought promises that the Vauxhall would be cared for and cherished in the same way that it had been from new by her husband, that it would continue to be used infrequently only for the same type of use, that it should always be garaged and never be taken out in the rain. The second owner pledged that all this would be so - and indeed it was.
In fact care of NLS 192P by its second owner was actually to an even higher standard than the first owners widow had demanded.
NLS 192P was re-commissioned. The brakes were overhauled and five new tyres fitted it was then submitted for an MOT on the 9th September 2006 which it passed with just an advisory note of slight judder from just one front brake. The mileage was 3,253.
The car was driven the 2.1 miles back from the MOT test centre parked up in the garage attached to the second owners house covered with dust sheets and has not been used on the road since.
Today the genuine mileage on this rare limited edition Vauxhall 2300S that was built nearly forty years ago is just 3,261. On the whole its condition remains nearly as it was almost 4 decades ago.
Finished in Light Blue metallic, the best of the two special colours that the 2300S was offered in, the paint finish retains a fantastic lustre. Set off by the standard and virtually unmarked black vinyl roof NLS 192P looks truly resplendent.
Of course the car retains all of its factory fitted panels.
When we acquired the car it retained all of its factory applied paint finish and by and large it still does. However we have had our body shop attend to a couple of light scrapes to the front and rear valances, the lower lip of the boot lid and one or other tiny blemishes.
Overall NLS 192P is remarkably rust free. Under very close scrutiny you can just detect the start of a little very minor surface only oxidisation in a couple of small areas from minor chips etc and where the factory paint was thinner in its application.
There are a couple of minute stone chips and the odd minuscule surface scratch and tiny dimple dent caused during storage.
Door, boot and bonnet shuts are excellent.
Original Hills number plates.
The underside is superb of course no welding has ever been carried out and none is, or should ever be if correctly kept, required.
As the car has never been undersealed the underside is still in factory paint finish so you can see just exactly how original, and exceptional it is. If you wanted to take the car to Concours standard the lack of underseal is, of course, a Godsend!
The correct black painted wheels that are in excellent condition.
Original bright rim embellishers. These do show a little rust however and you will no doubt want to have them re-chromed or replaced.
Even items so often requiring replacement like the window and windscreen rubbers have not deteriorated.
Original factory fitted double coach line and S motif on the boot remain.
The bright work is in excellent 40 year old condition with just some minor pitting in a couple of places. The rear bumper has taken a light bump and consequently is misshapen and the chrome plated a little cracked slightly.
Overall the original body and paint finish maintains a fantastic lustre and looks stunning.
The interior is again excellent,
The Viking blue nylon seat facings, so often faded worn and saggy, are rip, stain and wear free and the material remains taut. Looking more as though they are 4 months, rather than 4 decades, old.
The original blue carpets have not worn or lost their tufting, very slightly faded in places but superb for their age. The heel mat shows no sign of wear.
The dash board top is unmarked as is the faux wood facings. It has never been cut or modified in any way.
Of particular note are the original steering wheel, no marks or chips from rings etc and is as new. The same goes for the gear knob.
The original pedal rubbers show no wear at all.
It is a truly lovely place to be and you will not find better on a Victor of this age.
The rear seats look as though they may have never even been used.
The perforated headlining and sun visors are unmarked.
Door cards have never been cut and have no damage or wear.
Working 8 track with Radio.
NLS 192P has covered just 3,256 miles from new but is almost 40 years old, in here though it is easy to believe that you are in a car not much more than a few months old.
UNDER THE BONNET:
Exceptionally clean with original stickers.
There had been spill from the battery on to the tray which had splashed on to the inner wing. Not an issue but did spoil the overall excellent look so while the valances were being done we had our body shop correct it.
A couple of touch in's with a brush
IN THE BOOT:
The condition of a cars boot is often overlooked but to us it gives a good indicator of just how that car has been use and cared for.
The boot of NLS 192P is exemplary in every way.
The spare wheel has never been used and has a new tyre to match the rest.
The spare wheel well, floor, inner wings and wheel arches are unmarked with not even the slightest hint of rust.
Even the striker for the lid gleams and the sound deadening foam has not deteriorated with age.
The jack has not been used nor has the wheel brace which remains in its correct plastic sleeve.
We would wager that the boot has hardly ever, if ever, been used.
ON THE ROAD:
NLS 192P has been be re-commissioned for use and MOT'ed with no advisory notes on 14th Jan 2015 by our mechanic-Lee.
He has replaced the alternator and had the starter motor reconditioned.
Replaced the HT leads and stripped the rear brakes.
He has changed the Oil and Filter (with genuine GM) checked all the levels and set the timing and adjusted the running.
He now reports that the engine runs like a dream and goes like a rocket.
The car starts on the button with manual choke.
There are no untoward noises.
The gears change up and down as they should.
This will be as close as you could ever hope to get to driving a new Victor FE.
Everything feels tight and it is immediately apparent that this is an exceptionally low mileage well cared for car.
NLS 192P is an absolute joy to drive – just delightful!
Of course in an ideal world every car that we offer would have a huge history file and by and large most of the time with the cars that we offer that is the case.
However we have offered quite a few ultra low mileage, one owner cars that have been in long term storage in the past. Without exception they do not have large History files as – well - as they have never really been on the road so in truth have had nothing much done to them.
When the widow of the first owner finally came to dispose of her husband's beloved Vauxhall she had still not had the courage to sort through all of his effects and papers. The second owner, who as we say had know the car and the first owner for years, out of respect did not push her.
NLS 192P, beyond any reasonable doubt, is exactly as it appears but supporting history, for the best of genuine reasons, is lacking. However the wife of the second owner has unconditionally confirmed to us in writing, copy in the file, the history of the car and that 3,253 is the accurate and total mileage covered.
Here’s what is in the file though.
1. V5C registration document showing 1 previous keeper and the current keeper since July 2006
2. MOT January 13 2015
3. Letter from the second owners wife confirming the history and warranting that the mileage is correct and total that the car has covered since new.
4. VOSA MOT printout confirming the 2006 MOT was the last and the mileage then was 3,253. This is also confirmed on the new MOT
5. The 2006 MOT
6. Print out of 2300S press ad from 1974.
It is a safe bet that you will never again get an opportunity to own such an original, extraordinarily low mileage Victor FE - let alone the limited edition 2300S.
NLS 192P is more than just an exceptional 1975 Victor FE - it is the "Holy Grail" of such examples a 2300S. It has unmistakably been cherished, cared for and loved by its first elderly owner and its subsequent owner. It has covered just 3,200 miles from new and been used very infrequently during its forty year life.
It's a bold claim "the lowest mileage best original condition Vauxhall 2300S available anywhere - worldwide" (which includes the one that was until now believed to be the lowest mileage example in Vauxhalls own heritage centre). It is not a claim that we make light heartedly, but one that we genuinely believe to be correct.
It would take very little for NLS 192P to become a concours contender.
This very, very rare and possibly the last registered limited edition will be of great interest to collectors, investors and enthusiasts alike. Who, no doubt, will realise that they may never get such an opportunity again.
Already it is a show winner if ever we saw one.