SOTW: Opel Monza

It’s a recurring theme with sheds. One minute the streets seem to be littered with this car or that car, and then one day you turn around and they are all gone. Step forward the Opel Monza. Like the Manta they used to be a fairly common sight on our roads but I can’t honestly say the last time I saw one. A bit like proper Christmas tree light LCD instruments – whatever happened to them? It looks like they disappeared with the Monza, which had good old-fashioned digital instruments twinkling in its dashboard.

It was with some surprise then that we stumbled across this mint-looking Monza this morning, and a 3.0 GSE at that. The Monza was originally Opel’s stab at the Mercedes CE and BMW 6 Series market, although it was more of a weak poke because, perhaps unsurprisingly, although these cars were popular it could never really compete on desirability.

They were born in the late seventies, covered in chrome and looked pretty dull. It was the Series 2 that was best remembered which was a far more handsome beast, featuring colour-coded plastic bumpers, larger front lights, no chrome and a digital clock. The Monza really got in its stride in 1983 though, with the unveiling of the GSE model. Digital dashboard? Check. Anthracite wheels? Check. Recaro seats? Check. This was to be part of the recipe for sporting Vauxhalls to come.

What had started off as something of an ugly duckling, by the mid-eighties the Monza had come of age. That 3.0-litre had 180bhp, pushing the Monza to 60mph in 9.0seconds and on to 133mph. In the end, the GSE was the Monza that Opel always wanted to build and it sold very well as a result. The one that we found on autotrader has just 98,000 miles, almost a year’s MOT, comes in the all-important white. It is one of the last of the GSEs, looks to be in great nick, and would be on your drive for £995. To some it may be a big old tacky Vauxhall, but for me it is utterly desirable…

Ad says: 1986 C Reg OPEL Monza 3.0 GSE

3 Doors, Automatic, Coupe, Petrol, 98,000 miles, White, MOT-03-2009. ABS, Adjustable seats, Adjustable steering column/wheel, Alloy wheels, Central locking, Cloth upholstery, Colour coding - Body, Electric windows, Head restraints, Power assisted steering, Radio, Spoiler, Sports seats, Sunroof, Tinted glass, Towbar, TRADE CAR CENTRE 01752 260001. Insurance Group:14, room needed so to clear at this price £995

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  • dom101 09 May 2008

    My mate crashed one of these things at a claimed 120+mph (ouch). Actually he walked away, with a slight scratch on his face. When he got home his missus would not believe that he hadn't been with another woman all afternoon until the tow truck followed with the mangled monza (silver 3L GSE) also! When I rode in it, it felt a damn site faster than 0-60 in 9 secs, despite it being an automatic!!! Nice find boyos!

  • LukeBird 09 May 2008


  • bencollins 09 May 2008

    Still horribly dated yet nice, maybe a classic on the cusp of the dated to cool to classic watershed. Wonder what are the rules for this watershed??

  • Moose. 09 May 2008

    I guess he's referring to this week's shed:

  • johnniek 09 May 2008

    God another faux-hall... Bring back the S-Class.... Or a tank to run this fridge of 80's shame over...

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