Vauxhall Cavalier SRi and 130 (1981 – 1988) Review

Vauxhall Cavalier SRi and 130 (1981 – 1988) At A Glance


+Fast, sharp dynamics, eager engines

-Creaky interior, a bit cramped, low driving position and heavy steering don't suit all.

The Cavalier was the UK's favourite repmobile of the 1980s. And for very good reason - it was good to drive, had great handling, and ate-up motorways with ease. Vauxhall soon ensured that the car's appeal was made even greater by dropping in more powerful engines, and giving it more sporting interiors and paint colours.

When the 115bhp 1.8-litre engine was installed, the Cavalier ended up being the darling of the sales rep, as well as the ultimate overtaking lane tool. In 1987, that was upgunned to 2.0-litres to create the Cavalier SRi 130. Needless to say, it was even quicker, and more desirable - and the reps loved it even more. Run-out Calibre special edition was popular when new - almost extinct now.

Rare now, in demand, and excellent value for money.

Ask Honest John

Are there any advantages to declaring my classic car SORN for the winter in terms of road tax and insurance?

"I've had my 1986 Vauxhall Cavalier Convertible Mk2 for a couple of years now and have enjoyed driving it in good spells of weather. Is there any advantage in declaring the car SORN for the cold months (November - April) in terms of road tax and classic car insurance? The latter is fairly cheap anyway so perhaps it's not a good idea to have a stop start insurance history. I've also noticed the engine oil appears clean and still golden in colour, having only done about 600 miles. Should I still change the oil annually anyway? Lastly, I read on the internet, but haven't yet found any specific details that there's a petrol additive available to preserve the condition of any fuel left in the tank whilst your car is in winter storage. Is this something you can advise as being worth doing and, if so, would you have any details of such a product? "
By declaring the car SORN, you will only have to pay six months' road tax so you'll save money - although the money saved on the insurance will be negligible. In terms of maintenance, these cars were designed to cover decent miles between oil changes - I don't think you'll need to change the oil every year if you're only covering a few hundred miles. Aim for every two or three years if your annual mileage continues to stay in the hundreds. Research is being conducted into the effect of modern fuels on older cars. Our very unscientific explanation is that because modern fuels contain a higher ethanol content than they used to, fuel left in a tank for a few months will 'split', allowing the ethanol to attack certain components (such as metal or plastic). You can solve this problem by starting the car up every month and giving it a run (however that would mean taxing it - unless you have access to private land). Many additives are available to reduce the impact of ethanol in fuel, Millers have a decent range.
Answered by Keith Moody
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