But it's safe to say we all got probably the surprise of the year when news broke a few weeks back that GM was considering selling Opel and Vauxhall to Peugeot.
"Come off it," we can hear you saying. "Vauxhall makes dreary repmobiles that it sells to fleets at a whacking great discount." Well, yes, it does. But then it also brought us the Monaro and the VX220, both cars that are ripe for the plucking now values have fallen.
But even more intriguing is this: the Astra Coupe 888. It was born of a collaboration between Vauxhall and the Triple Eight racing team, which at the time of the Coupe 888's conception ran Vauxhall's BTCC entry. It was built to commemorate Vauxhall's overall victory in the 2001 championship, and designed to be about as hardcore - and on reflection, as PHey - as any Vauxhall ever before it.
The 888, however, changed all that. The basic engine stayed much the same, admittedly, though tuning the Z20LET engine is pretty easy, so there are plenty of tuners out there who'll give you more go if that's what you want. But you did get Eibach springs and dampers and 17in OZ Racing alloy wheels, with wider tyres than the standard car.
It wasn't so much the hardware that made the difference as what was done with it, though. Triple Eight Engineering spent plenty of time fettling the Coupé 888 at Millbrook Proving Ground, quickening the steering and setting the suspension up with handling as a priority. This was, let's not forget, a bona fide race team - and they were given carte blanche to make the Coupe 888 as racy as they liked.
Only 100 were built, which makes the Coupé 888 a rare thing today, and difficult to price. The only one in the classifieds looks good, but it's on for strong money. That said, an example with just 7558 miles on the clock went under the hammer in February with a guide price of £15,000-£18,000 - though it failed to sell.
In short, the experts reckon these things are going to be worth big money soon, if they aren't already. Yet examples for sale by enthusiast private sellers with average mileages can still be had - very occasionally, because they don't come up often - for below £10,000. If you can find one, pounce on it - it's one takeover bid that's sure to pay dividends later on.
[BTCC photo: LAT Photo]