RE: Vauxhall Cavalier GSi 2000 | Spotted

RE: Vauxhall Cavalier GSi 2000 | Spotted

Tuesday 6th August

Vauxhall Cavalier GSi 2000 | Spotted

Fond memories of Cleland's lively BTCC racer could help justify the asking price for this mint GSi



Is it possible to look at a white Vauxhall Cavalier GSi and not instantly think of John Cleland flying over kerbs in his troublesome BTCC racer? The fast but often airborne 2.0-litre Vauxhall was once described by Cleland as the worst racing car he’d driven, despite the fact he’d used one to win the 1995 driver’s title and had secured numerous pole positions and race wins prior to that. The Cavalier wasn’t lacking in pace, that much was clear from its 1990 introduction, but it did have a tendency to bite. Hard.

So extensive were its troubles that Vauxhall even experimented with a rear-wheel drive version, which used a BMW M3 back axle, to see if the chassis’ love of hopping, skipping and actually leaping over bumps could be reduced. But the altered drivetrain robbed too much power from the high-revving 270hp four-cylinder for the project to move beyond testing. The front-driven Cavalier 16v was never to be tamed; Cleland’s talents (and bravery) ensured that it remained balanced on that knife-edge of rapid performance, with only occasional incidents to remind everyone of the battle he continuously fought inside the cockpit.


Somewhat ironically, the racing car’s shortcomings were what made it such a television favourite during the early to mid-nineties. Footage of white Cavaliers two-wheeling their way around British circuits without encouragement were frequently replayed on the telly and posters were placed on bedroom and dealership walls alike. There’s little doubt the coolness of those images played into the minds of roadgoing motorists, who were given the opportunity to 'buy on Monday' so they might emulate Cleland on the B road home.

For Vauxhall, introducing the GSi 2000 was essential to sprucing up a fairly dreary range. And for the average motorist, particularly those who were not interested in the products of the Blue Oval, the GSi Cavalier was an affordable family car with 150hp. Like the racer, it had a 2.0-litre 16v motor and when painted in white, it did a decent impression of the Cleland machine – well, at least when it was parked, anyway. Plus, with four doors and five seats, it didn’t sacrifice any of the regular model’s practicality in order to offer sub-nine-second 0-60mph pace.

To emphasise its speed, the GSi was given beefier bumpers and alloy wheels, but the makeover was largely a discreet one. So discreet, in fact, that the interior remained a boring mix of black and grey plastics with a plain steering wheel, cuboid gear lever knob and pedals that looked like they were shared with the base variant – largely because they were. But the 140mph speedo and rev counter that displayed up to 8,000rpm was for some evidence enough that this was a sporting Cav with genuine BTCC links.


Unsurprisingly, the road car didn’t have the rambunctious handling of the racer; it was too soft and forgiving for anything like that. Chassis balance was neutral, and the Cavalier could be hustled along a route, but it was by no means something to set your hair on fire. Instead, the GSi was more traditionally Germanic in its approach – it was a rebadged Opel Vectra Mk1, after all – that could, if you really asked it to, be coaxed into a little lift-off oversteer. That quick, predictability earned it plenty of fans.

Still, even those of us to remember the GSi through the most heavily rose-tinted spectacles might never have expected to see asking prices creep up as high as today’s Spotted. This 1992 car is a one-owner from new, 27,000-mile-old garage queen, one that’s all original and has been so lovingly cared for in its 27 years that even the pedals look brand new. Could it be the best-kept GSi in existence? Quite possibly. The £19,995 asking price suggests that the seller believes it is.


SPECIFICATIONS – VAUXHALL CAVALIER GSI

Engine: 1,998cc, four-cylinder
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 150@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 145@4,800rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 27,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £19,995

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Author
Discussion

Nors

Original Poster:

1,252 posts

99 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Oof!!! £20k for a Cavalier!!

I like it, but not for that much!!!

selym

7,145 posts

115 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Scroll, scroll, scroll, 20k! Big nope.

mikebradford

1,514 posts

89 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
As a teenager my neighbour had one of these.
It was brand new and in a burgundy red. I walked past it most days and thought it was the nicest car any of my neighbour had.

They look dated now, but at the time were fantastic.
I believe they may have done a 4x4 version. Or maybe that was the sri

DoubleD

8,653 posts

52 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Thats a rather optimistic price

Nors

Original Poster:

1,252 posts

99 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
mikebradford said:
As a teenager my neighbour had one of these.
It was brand new and in a burgundy red. I walked past it most days and thought it was the nicest car any of my neighbour had.

They look dated now, but at the time were fantastic.
I believe they may have done a 4x4 version. Or maybe that was the sri
I bet your neighbour didn't pay that much for it new!!

(yes, they did a 4x4 version of this)


Edited by Nors on Tuesday 6th August 07:56

Pintofbest

606 posts

54 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Weren't the original exhaust tips square?

Chris.65

48 posts

149 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
I had this exact model (pretty sure same year) in black, my boss had the 3.0 24v Omega !

I absolutely loved it - we had just had kids and persuaded my wife it would be a practical family car - in fact the boot was very shallow to accommodate uprated rear suspension (not sure what the difference was to standard car) and wouldn't fit a folded push-chair.

By the time we discovered that it was too late :-)

Happy memories of tearing around the back-roads of Oxfordshire pretending I was John Cleland

£20k seems steep but so many of them have been butchered for the 2.0 red top or treated to body kits there can't be many of them left like this.


Nors

Original Poster:

1,252 posts

99 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Pintofbest said:
Weren't the original exhaust tips square?
Well spotted, I believe they were.

Probably didn't last the test of time, even with 27k.

Loplop

1,659 posts

129 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Absurd price this.

When I first passed my test in 2011 I was struggling to get insurance on my Civic, I almost ended up selling the civic and buying a GSi for around £1200 because I could afford the insurance on one.

I think Turbos were only around £5k for an absolute minter at the time too.

HTP99

14,680 posts

84 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Lusted after these and the 4x4 Turbo as a youngster, so definately of my time, however £20k is madness for a bit of nostalgia, bet in reality it's an awfully dated drive too.

Edited by HTP99 on Tuesday 6th August 08:26

Arsecati

265 posts

61 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Ok, this is just getting silly now - £20k??? Come on! You can get a same year Cosworth for the same price - granted, it won't have 27k miles on it, but I still know which one I'd rather go for!

Nors

Original Poster:

1,252 posts

99 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Arsecati said:
Ok, this is just getting silly now - £20k??? Come on! You can get a same year Cosworth for the same price - granted, it won't have 27k miles on it, but I still know which one I'd rather go for!
TBH mate, I don't get the prices of the Cosworth's either, they are nuts too!

Wildcat45

7,112 posts

133 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
A car from a time when Vauxhall made genuinely desirable cars.

My neighbour had a blue 4 wheel drive one.

wab172uk

1,355 posts

171 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
£20k for a Cavalier?

Someone being optimistic !

RobEB

36 posts

39 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Wow £20K ?! ouch. Still, peanuts comapred to any of the Ford offerings from this era or previous.
I foresee a problem though, and that is parts, the Cavalier's been gone for so long, surely no-one makes any parts other than maybe discs and pads for these. Something major fails, engine/gearbox mounts or specific switchgear, you could be up a creek.

Ultrafunkula

641 posts

49 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Not sure if anyone would know, but did Vauxhall ever offer the GSI bodykit on the Cav V6? I used to see one with the kit on in the late ninties, but different wheels I think...

Torquey

1,628 posts

172 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
In my childhood memories this was one of the fastest things I ever stepped foot in.
9 seconds to 60mph... I don't want to know any more frown - I'll just continue looking at it.

Edited by Torquey on Tuesday 6th August 09:16

CoolHands

9,798 posts

139 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Absolute ste

Anyone who’s driven cars like this, ford sierras etc can tell you they’re absolute ste.

Limpet

3,413 posts

105 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
Lovely example, but are these increasingly daft asking prices for "modern classics" ever achieved, or is it just another chancer trying it on? The red top was a lovely engine, but let's face it, this car was never a game changer or even a class leader.

I know we are all different, and that emotions play a big part in purchasing a car like this, but I just cannot see how this car can be worth anything like £20,000.

A lot of mass produced 80s and 90s stuff is offered at similarly daft prices. I wonder if anyone ever pays it, or if the sellers are chancing their arm and prepared to take a lowball offer. I can't imagine any trader offering more than a couple of grand for this as a px.

Christmassss

588 posts

33 months

Tuesday 6th August
quotequote all
My step dad had one of these when i was a Teen. Lowered on some Fox wheels if i remember correctly.

Quick in a straight line, not so much in the corners. Kept it for around 6 months before returning to another Primera GT