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Performance Vauxhall - - CAVALIER TURBO 4X4 -

hile it’s true to say that the last Cava­lier Turbo rolled off the pro­duc­tion line well over twenty years ago, love for the model has never been stronger. The bad news for those keen to get their hands on a slice of tur­bocharged, six-speed, four-wheel drive fun is that few ex­am­ples of the C20LET-pow­ered Mk3 sur­vive to the present day, and an ever-in­creas­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the car has seen the cost of buy­ing one sky­rocket in re­cent years. That is, of course, work­ing on the as­sump­tion that you’ll be able to con­vince a Cava­lier Turbo owner to part with his or her pride and joy in the first place!

“I must ad­mit, I was tempted to sell my own Turbo when value and de­mand for the model shot up a while back, but a voice in­side my head kept telling me that I was mak­ing a mis­take,” ad­mits 34-year-old Mk3 man, Adam Hodg­son. “In ac­tual fact, I had a buyer ready and wait­ing with a de­cent sum of cash in his hand, but I ended up knock­ing him back fol­low­ing my de­ci­sion to keep the car for the long term,” he says.

Adam is no stranger to Cava­liers; the lad from Sun­der­land has owned plenty of Mk3s, and he can even lay claim to be­ing the proud pilot of a rare GSi2000 4x4 at some point in the dis­tant past, but it was a chance en­counter with a Spec­tral Blue Turbo at the an­nual VBOA Na­tional Rally at Billing Aquadrome in 2005 that con­vinced him that he had to buy him­self an ex­am­ple of what is widely recog­nised as the ul­ti­mate Mk3 Cava­lier. “I’d set a not-in­signif­i­cant amount of cash aside in or­der to fur­nish my house with a new kitchen, but recog­nis­ing the sta­tus of the Cava­lier Turbo as an en­dan­gered species, I fig­ured that I could put the money to bet­ter use by buy­ing the Smoke Grey 4x4 that I’d seen ad­ver­tised for sale fol­low­ing my trip to Billing!” he tells us. True to his word, Adam’s was the next name to ap­pear on the cool Cav’s log­book, and he was over the moon to be in pos­ses­sion of a Turbo that he be­lieved to be in a stan­dard state of tune save for a set of 80mm low­er­ing springs. An in­vi­ta­tion to a rolling road day at Wallis Per­for­mance in Aberdeen, how­ever, re­sulted in sur­prise when a ses­sion on the tun­ing firm’s rollers saw the new ar­rival pro­duce over 242bhp. That’s al­most 40bhp more than fac­tory power!

Other than its low­ered ride height, there was noth­ing to sug­gest that the car had been toyed with in any way. Even the re­stric­tive stan­dard C20LET in­ter­cooler was present and cor­rect, and an ab­sence of any­thing re­sem­bling a boost gauge in the car’s cock­pit gave Adam no rea­son to sus­pect tin­ker­ing had taken place. Keen to find out what the source of his Cava­lier’s ex­tra power was, he cracked open its Motronic ECU. The an­swer lay within: a gen­uine EDS Phase 1 chipset. Re­al­is­ing that he’d bought a tip­top Turbo, Adam pulled to­gether

Vec­tra GSi phase two rims have the abil­ity to en­hance the ap­pear­ance of any Vaux­hall

OWNeR

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