As the mid-Fifties  approached in the United Kingdom the mood of post-war austerity had all but faded, replaced by an atmosphere of optimism.

The public had more money to spend and they were spending some of it on cars, and certainly were not on the lookout the rounded drab designs of the immediate postwar year.

The  Cresta E was  almost a complete copy of the  Velox EIP itself a clone of the  Wyvern EIX,  although  other both the later models cam fitted with a much more powerful 2262cc-engine.

The Cresta E  was the top of the range, fitted with  a host of luxurious accessories  that were only available as options in the Velox and Wyvern versions.

The only cosmetic changes between the two models included a different grille, a two-tone color scheme (a three-tone scheme would be available from late 1955), whitewall tires, leather upholstery and a heater as standard, plus a re-designed fascia with circular instruments.

Like the Velox, the Cresta gained enlarged front and rear glass from late 1955, with the more powerful 83bhp engine while an all-synchromesh gearbox became available from June 1957.

As had become  a regular feature at Vauxhall the Velox EIP’s  body design was shared with not only the Cresta PA but also  the less powerful 4-cylinder-engined Wyvern saloon.

Another profitable habit that had been developed and Vauxhall's plant at Luton was to release a new series of an existing model with the previous model's engine.

In this case Vauxhall continued with their 2275 cc engine, although increasing the power output increased to 58 bhp (43 kW)

Two years after its release the Cresta’s  grille  underwent a facelift adding a SA chrome plated pressing with slightly fewer slats coming in place of the unattractive diecast metal grille.

The following year, the word came down from Detroit that it looked like the time was right to give the Velox  EIP another few upgrades including increasing the size of the rear window, increasingly the diameter of the grille slats with dramatic effect, fitting wind-up windows.

The final update was to  the US-style red units incorporated into the brake/tail light lens only the previous year and replacing them with separate amber rear flashing indicator lights.

Additional upgrades that the developed EIP was until production wound down  on the model  in October 1957 were electrically operated windscreen wipers, and a new speedometer, once again based on the US  'magic ribbon' design. I

These were all the changes that were to be made  in the with the model being replaced by the Velox PA.

With the arrival of the  Cresta PA in October of 1957, Vauxhall phased out in one swoop, the Vauxhall  Cresta E,Velox EIP and the  Wyvern EIX.

Together these models had driven Vauxhall forward in the early to mid-Fifties, selling a total of 570,000  units.

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A guide to acquiring, restoring and maintaining UK or European Classic Cars of the Fifties and Sixties- as well as a recollection of the iconic cars of the era and the visionaries that produced them.