Citroen VISA advert

The small-hatch market of 1981 was a hotly contested one, with the new Austin Metro fighting for sales against the top-selling Ford Fiesta, the British-built Vauxhall Chevette, plus popular imported models like the Renault 5, Fiat 127 and Volkswagen Polo.

But let’s also not forget the Citroen Visa, the only hatchback in its class available solely in five-door guise – at a time when most of its rivals were three-door only.

The Visa was also the only car on sale that was available with a choice of two- and four-cylinder engines, offering capacities of 652cc and 1124cc/1219cc respectively.

Most British buyers opted for the four-pot versions, despite the two-cylinder Visa Special offering spectacular value in the summer of the ’81 – its list price of £3178 making it just £56 dearer than the drastically-smaller and far less versatile Mini HL of the time.