Vauxhall Cavalier Sporthatch

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Keywords: Vauxhall Cavalier Sporthatch
Description: I'm off work ill today so, as entertaining as World's Wildest Police Chases is, now seems like a good time for my first Readers Rides thread. I've owned a Mk1 Cavalier in the past (albeit it 1.6,

I'm off work ill today so, as entertaining as World's Wildest Police Chases is, now seems like a good time for my first Readers Rides thread.

I've owned a Mk1 Cavalier in the past (albeit it 1.6, four-door flavoured), which was sadly stolen by joy-riders. Although recovered, this tainted my ownership experience somewhat so it was duly sold, restored (I hope), and I moved on to pastures new. Shame, I loved this car, and the commute down the A19 was always great, rather inconspicuous, fun.

Having hankered for another Mk1 for some time I seriously struggled to resist the Sports Hatch when I saw it for sale on here. I think the resistance lasted for around two drinks and several words of encouragement from my better half before a deposit had been paid.

Buying retro machinery is an exciting time, and I'm a firm believer that a decent road trip adds to the excitement - will the car be as expected? Will it get home ok? Is that whining coming from the axle, gearbox, or dog in the back? As I'm yet to renew my AA membership for this year, I was hoping for the best. thankfully, I wasn't disappointed.

Having scoured the net for car rental discount codes, my booking was made with Europcar for collection of a mighty Polo in Middlesbrough, with drop-off the next day in Cambridge. At 60 notes it's a damn sight cheaper than train tickets for two people, and negates the worry of my puppy pooping on the train. I believe this is frowned upon by some services, although others do not even notice.

Unfortunately, in my impending roadtrip-based excitement I forgot to add an additional driver to the hire, which meant I had to give up the first proper drive of the Cavalier to my girlfriend while I piloted the mind-numbing, spirit-crushing VW. Wounded, especially as it was down twisty backlanes for an hour.

Finally behind the wheel, I'm chuffed to bits with the way it drives. The 2-litre CIH engine is as sweet as a but, torquey enough and sounds great thanks to what looks like a cherrybomb exhaust.

I bought it with plans of an engine transplant but, having been using it almost every day for the past fortnight, I think the idea now is for a simple low 'n' slow cruiser. I have my eyes peeled for something with a period twist to live in the arches, and I'm just warming up the lowering stick. Bit of fettling on some bubbly arches and job-jobbed.

Big thanks must go to Simon at Suffolk County Mantas - thoroughly nice bloke, very easy trustworthy and my God does he have some nice things at his work!



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