SOTW: Vauxhall Cavalier Sports Hatch


Say the words 'Vauxhall' and 'Sports Hatch' in the same sentence these days and you'll probably think of the thoroughly forgettable three-door version of the Astra (You know, the one that tries really hard to pretend it's a coupe when it really isn't).

Say the same two words to a moustachioed, over-lapelled gentleman of the 1970s, however, and he would probably nod, smile and point you in the direction of his rakish looking, velour-upholstered fastback coupe. Which would be, in all probability, some shade of brown. (Not sure why this chap would be mute but, hey, it's my fevered imaginings...)


What you will see is a Vauxhall Cavalier Sports Hatch. And if this looks to you exactly like an Opel Manta, that's because it is just that, save for a spot of badging. But while the Opel Manta B soldiered on until 1988, Vauxhall was done with the Sports Hatch by 1981, when the Cavalier went all modern and front-wheel drive.

Mechanically identical to the Cavalier saloon (and thus also both the Opel Ascona and Manta), the Sports Hatch was fitted with either a 75bhp 1.6 (in GL form) or a 100bhp, 113lb ft 2.0-litre unit (for the bells-and-whistles GLS model). And that was good for 110mph.


This particular car is the fancy-pants GLS, but with a three-speed auto gearbox we're not sure it would set said fancy pants on fire in terms of performance. The interior would definitely impress, though, with its symphony-of-gold crushed velour upholstery.

Better still it's got tax and ticket, some history and is clearly a runner, having "just been to hull without a issue" (not something I've ever managed, but that has nothing to do with the reliability of the cars I've taken there).

Not sure about the 'Rostyle' wheels, mind - they look like nasty plastic Halfords jobs to us. 'Rostyle-style' wheels, the vendor could have got away with...

Ps - Kudos to PHer MotorsortTom for spotting this gem.


Advert is reproduced below

Vauxhall Cavalier sports hatch V reg For Sale (1979), £995

Nice rare cavalier sports hatch, metallic bronze, 89,000 miles, 2 owners, some history, new mot, taxed, automatic gearbox, rostyle wheels, 2000 gls model, very solid car, drives very well, jvc stereo and 6 disc multi changer, great car in daily use, great mpg, just been to hull without a issue, uniroyal rain tyres all round matching, valour seats, multi dash gauges, metal sunroof, front air dam, very good chrome all round, sun tint windscreen, new battery, new exhaust, recent service including cam belt, great everyday cool classic, grabs attention where ever it goes. Car 10 minutes from dartford crossing m25/jtn 2 m2



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Comments (172) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Ali_T 20 Aug 2011

    "just been to hull without a issue"

    There's something fantastically naive about that that makes me want to buy it!

  • djbobbins 20 Aug 2011

    (a) am I first??

    (b) I wouldn't buy it myself, but if I had a garage to put it in as an investment it looks tidy and worth a bag of sand... curiously attractive!

  • Gizmo! 20 Aug 2011

    Mmm, browntastic. Love it.

  • OzzyR1 20 Aug 2011


    That's pretty nasty.

    I used to really want a Manta when I passed my test ended up with a Metro GTI as the insurance was about half for some reason.

    Looking back I had a lucky escape.

  • Leptons 20 Aug 2011

    Nice! Fond memories of Cavaliers because they were the cars my dad had up until I was about 7/8. First a Y reg in chocolate Brown, then an F reg in invalid carriage Blue (That got stolen from Leeds on a trip to Brewery Warf)

    Oh and cracking set of Wheel Trims!

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