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A Grand Monday: Vauxhall Cavalier £750

Published 09 May 2016

The Mk 3 Vauxhall Cavalier was a revelation when it made its debut at the 1988 British International Motor Show.

In a class of humdrum also-rans, the new Mk 3 was a breath of fresh air. It replaced the angular, dated lines of the Mk 2 Cavalier with a new, aerodynamic shape that represented a huge step forward for Vauxhall, and within a year of going on sale, it had knocked the Ford Sierra off its perch as Britain’s company car of choice.

Like all mid-size saloons the vast majority of Cavaliers led hard lives. It was a perennial favourite with both minicab drivers and banger racers, which also hit the attrition rate hard, meaning that a Mk 3 Cavalier of any kind is a very rare thing indeed these days.

One in a basic trim level, and that isn’t riddled with wheelarches full of rust or body filler, is an even scarcer thing, which makes this one a real survivor. A 1.8L in solid white might not represent Cavalier nirvana, but for its rarity value alone, it ought to be preserved.

Cavalier (4)

This one has pedigree, too, if you can call it that. It’s a one owner car, and according to the vendor has been garaged all its life.

The body looks superb, with none of the usual Cavalier grot spots, while a quick trawl through the past 10 years of MoT history shows up nothing alarming – the only fails being for worn bushes and brake pipes, which have clearly been renewed. The current test expires in January 2017 and was issued without a single advisory, which should add further peace of mind.

The 56,000 miles are backed up by a full service history, which is a further bonus.

As an everyday classic and one that will prove easy to maintain and inexpensive to run, this Cavalier has a lot going for it, and although £750 is hardly a king’s ransom to start with, we reckon you could haggle the price down a bit further.

For that, you’ll get a car that stands out on today’s roads, is guaranteed to make people come and chat to you in petrol stations and is perfectly able to give a good account of itself in modern traffic  – indeed, even today, a Mk 3 Cav is quite a rewarding steer, especially one that isn’t baggy and run ragged.

Plus, we reckon you’ll struggle to find another…



spsrich    on 9 May 2016

These were terrific cars - far more reliable than anything you can buy from Vauxhall, or anywhere else for that matter, today.

It's too bad they are not still manufactured. Oh for the days of a rock solid, bullet proof Cavalier that cost pennies to service and would run seemingly forever.

anglebox    on 18 May 2016

These cars were so good. Massively under-rated and now almost totally forgotten. Okay, so this one's a bit pricey - but it looks like it's been well looked after. Very tempting.

Lord Brasic    on 19 May 2016

Ok so its a dull as ditch water, but for the money it has to be a bargain really. It looked after it can only go up. Its nice to see a base model, as for the colour it seems white is the new black.

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