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Tuesday, 1 December 2009

A tail of two Vixens

It turns out there is in fact a Vixen RV! They were made in Pontiac Michigan in the 1980s and had BMW engines. Bob from Cincinnati sent me a photo of this one and it explains why my mention of Vixen ownership on GMCnet sparked some interest amongst the motorhome fraternity. Who'da thunk it?


No, its not a small GMC but my TVR Vixen 2500, born  in 1971 and currently semi-retired due to the fact that it is in England and I am not. It struck me though that there is a certain symmetry between this little car and the GMC. Both were conceived in the early seventies as exercises in pure design - ie "what do we want this machine to do and what do we need to make it do that?" Both have a lightweight, distinctive bodyshell on a sturdy chassis (the TVR is fibreglass on tubular steel, the GMC is aluminium and some kind of composite on a steel frame). Both have a low center of gravity, a funky suspension system (twin shocks on each rear wheel of the TVR, twin rear wheels with airbags for the GMC ) and an oversized engine. The early Vixens had smaller, high revving engines for the UK market, but my 2500 was built for the US (though never got there). It has a straight 6, 2.5 litre (150 cubic inches) twin carb, Triumph engine. That's not huge, but good enough for a car about the size and weight of a big shoe. I'm sure the bolt-on, bolt-off simplicity of the mechanicals and the frequent mystery electrical problems I had when restoring my TVR are also attributes that many GMC owners would recognise...