We Had One of Those ...! BARRIE MILLS Looks Back at Classic Cars of Days Gone by ... Vauxhall Cavalier

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), May 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

We Had One of Those ...! BARRIE MILLS Looks Back at Classic Cars of Days Gone by ... Vauxhall Cavalier


Byline: BARRIE MILLS

SOMETIMES, a car manufacturer launches a vehicle and may not realise its vast potential.

Such was the case with the original Vauxhall Cavalier, launched in 1976.

Its roots lay with the Opel Ascona, a product of parent company General Motors' German arm.

The Cavalier was originally intended to have its own bodywork, but it ended up with the front of an Opel Manta B model and the rear end of an Ascona.

But GM design guru Wayne Cherry designed a more fitting nose and the Cavalier took on a character of its own. If anything, the company played down this design because customers were denied an estate until the emergence of the successful Mk II model years later.

Van and pick-up designs were also on the drawing board, but that was where they stayed. A convertible appeared with the MkII model range In 1982.

In Vauxhall's line-up, the Cavalier initially complemented, and then replaced, the ageing Victor model, which was taking a pounding from the Ford Cortina.

Such middle-sized saloons became the bread and butter of the growing company car sector and the Cavalier was well-placed to capitalise.

This pivotal model for the Griffin badge saw a significant move away from the flagging quality and reliability of the last of the Victors, and a marriage with quality German engineering. …

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