RE: Vauxhall Astra GTE (Mk1): PH Heroes

RE: Vauxhall Astra GTE (Mk1): PH Heroes

Author
Discussion

Black S2K

898 posts

197 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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MX6 said:
Very cool, I love the sporty variants of car of the mid/late eighties and early ninties (I think maybe the era was a sweet spot in car design and technology, a balance between modern automobile refinements and relative mechanical/electrical simplicity...).

Anyhow, there does seem a bit of rose tinted revisionism going on in the write-up, I don't remember these GTE's being particularly well received by the motoring press of the day. Though I do find it interesting sometimes with motoring journalism how certain models are feted and touted, and thus become fashionable, while others are dismissed over fairly minor differences.
You could well be right.

Although I remember that for a cheap, cooking car, the Mk1 Astra (even with the Opel sewing-machine or Family 1 engines) was a very pleasant car to drive/use by the standards of its day. Despite the typically-awful German pedal layout, the clonky gearchange and heavyish, low-geared steering, it just seemed to come together in a way that some cars do and some don't. By comparison, the Mk2 seemed to be a colossal waste of a development budget, somehow.

E65Ross

23,597 posts

160 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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grumpy52 said:
E65Ross said:
Alucidnation said:
8.5 to sixty from 115bhp isn't too shabby either, although weight was a lot less back then
I was kind of thinking the same....although from a different angle. This is said to weigh 998kgs, yet a modern hatch with a MUCH nicer interior (look at that in there! rofl ), loads of creature comforts, bigger and heavier wheels/tyres (which offer far, far greater grip and stability), engines with way more power, bigger brakes, better suspension, 7 speed double clutch gearboxes, shed loads of safety features; with overall MUCH better performance and economy figures, and a small hatch still only a couple of hundred kgs heavier.
Totally disagree with your comparison of weights .
The equivalent modern vehicles aren't small hatchbacks but medium sized , ie Ford focus or Honda civic .
The ones equipped as you spec tip the scales at almost 1600kg for the Focus St and 1400kg for a high spec civic .
Other factors also come into play such as rolling resistance, wide heavy wheels and tyres need more grunt to push them along .
The secrets of quick cars is almost always power to weight .
Let's not forget that rust is lighter wink

s m

18,226 posts

151 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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MX6 said:
Anyhow, there does seem a bit of rose tinted revisionism going on in the write-up, I don't remember these GTE's being particularly well received by the motoring press of the day. Though I do find it interesting sometimes with motoring journalism how certain models are feted and touted, and thus become fashionable, while others are dismissed over fairly minor differences.
As always on PH ( and especially with anything Ford/Vauxhall or that isn’t the right badge ) the favourable tests are forgotten and overlooked

They picked the Astra over the Golf and Alfasud in that one below




Take your point though that it depends on which journalists review the car as personal taste comes into it

I wonder if in 20 years the new Alpine will be being derided for its poor handling, lack of manual box and how it always lagged behind the Boxster hehe

1974foggy

200 posts

92 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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NotNormal said:
Loved my Mk1's and preferred the handling to the latter cars.

Cars of their time so looks and build very similar to their competitors and this will come as a shock to the "kids of today" but Vauxhall did build some good cars back in the day and for me certainly better than Ford for example.

Those of a certain age will remember lusting over magazine car adverts that actually had some charm and a bit of edge. I remember also going round the dealers as a kid to collect the brochures and the GTE one was special in that it had its own dedicated pamphlet which was away from the rest of the range.

Would love to get a Mk1 GTE in the garage today smile







Thanks for sharing these, it looks so appealing in the ads! I had a 1300s as a first car, but did end up with a mk2 GTE which was so good! I changed to a Golf 16v but much preferred the GTE fro looks, fun and interior/packaging (Dont judge me!).

J4CKO

28,565 posts

148 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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My only memory of these was being handed the keys as an 18 year old at the garage I worked at, my task, was to take it to the car Auction in Manchester (ADT Belle Vue iirc) so off I trotted down Styal road, wasnt going fast, but the "Bee Line" bus coming the other way was on a mission and was taking a lot of the road, my choice was hit it or the kerb, I chose the latter which it hit with a hell of a bang, the bus just caught the wingmirror.

I stopped but off he went, I pushed the mirror back, it was slightly scuffed but otherwise ok but the wheel was damaged and it didnt drive the same, dropped it at the auction and said no more about it biggrin never heard a thing.

s m

18,226 posts

151 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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1974foggy said:
Thanks for sharing these, it looks so appealing in the ads! I had a 1300s as a first car, but did end up with a mk2 GTE which was so good! I changed to a Golf 16v but much preferred the GTE fro looks, fun and interior/packaging (Dont judge me!).
Autocar, CAR and Motor all picked the Astra GTE 16v over the Golf Gti 16v in group tests so obviously you weren't alone!

Edited by s m on Wednesday 21st November 12:28

Richair

1,021 posts

145 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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PH said:
the automatic choke only just doing its job of keeping the engine alive...
FFS

XK140

179 posts

61 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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IMHO the Manta GT/E,which would have sat alongside the Astra in the Vauxhall showrooms at the time, was the nicer car.

OldGermanHeaps

2,315 posts

126 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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Mine fresh after some handbrake turns in a field.

J4CKO

28,565 posts

148 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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XK140 said:
IMHO the Manta GT/E,which would have sat alongside the Astra in the Vauxhall showrooms at the time, was the nicer car.
I had one and thought it looked great but it was a bit of a wheezy, lolopping old thing as standard, the Astra had a smidge more power and the engine was a bit perkier all round, the Mantas was saddled with an old Iron Block lump with fuel injection on it, the Astra had a much more modern, revvy unit.

The interior was nicer on the Astra, the Manta was a Cavalier from the seventies with some Recaro seats. I never thought the mantas handled or braked that well, understeer was the name of the game and it was a bit underbraked.

Nicer is subjective but the Astra was a few years ahead of the Manta, which I still have a fondness for, they look ace but I would need one modified to entertain it, standard, I found mine a bit disappointing, should have waited for a Capri Injection.

PistonBroker

1,820 posts

174 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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My old man had a white B-reg Nova SR when I was a kid, so of course I have a soft spot for fast Vauxhalls, even whilst knowing that others were perhaps beating them dynamically.

Mk2 GTE 16v was *THE* car though of course.

Spuff_Monkey

4 posts

44 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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Richair said:
FFS
Beat me to it.

Midgster

381 posts

182 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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Richair said:
PH said:
the automatic choke only just doing its job of keeping the engine alive...
FFS
I think "the automatic choke" is actually translated to "the Bosch LE2 Jetronic Fuel Injection"

MX6

4,099 posts

161 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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Midgster said:
Richair said:
PH said:
the automatic choke only just doing its job of keeping the engine alive...
FFS
I think "the automatic choke" is actually translated to "the Bosch LE2 Jetronic Fuel Injection"
Or possibly the IACV, if it has one...

ruprechtmonkeyboy

575 posts

35 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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I had one of these in white for my very first car back in 1997. I paid £850 for the car and if I remember correctly about the same again for insurance.

s m

18,226 posts

151 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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Anyone remember the very limited edition ( 5 cars ) Ogle MD based on the GTE - check the Nova SR type arches way before the Integrale!






Bloke up the road from me bought the red one made and was restoring it

cookie1600

1,324 posts

109 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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J4CKO said:
I had one and thought it looked great but it was a bit of a wheezy, lolopping old thing as standard, the Astra had a smidge more power and the engine was a bit perkier all round, the Mantas was saddled with an old Iron Block lump with fuel injection on it, the Astra had a much more modern, revvy unit.
I plumped for the Manta GTE in black too, I probably should have had the Astra in hindsight but I was towing a race car quite a bit back then.

The Manta was not slouch but you knew you were flogging it to wring out every extra mph you could. The build was good (for the time and price) and the doors had a healthy clunk. I was just on the cusp of the Mk1 to Mk2 Astra GTE era, so that may also have had some bearing on it.

cookie1600

1,324 posts

109 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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s m said:
Anyone remember the very limited edition ( 5 cars ) Ogle MD based on the GTE - check the Nova SR type arches way before the Integrale!

Good grief, now you'd have to pay Automobili Amos a fortune for something that looks similar!


macscrooge

13 posts

91 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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Never drove one but I recall it was a bit of a weapon in its day. At an indicated 110mph a Sierra felt like it was stationary when a GTE whipped past.

OldGermanHeaps

2,315 posts

126 months

Wednesday 21st November 2018
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MX6 said:
Or possibly the IACV, if it has one...
It did kind of but it was a wax thermotime element controlled bypass valve instead of the solenid valve on the motronic version. It needed careful adjustment to tickover right from cold. There was a couple of adjustments in the airflow meter as well that most garages could never get right