1976-81 VAUXHALL CAVALIER MKI 66 LEFT
Stylish, great to drive, and a motorway happy 1970s statement
We’ve probably forgetten just how much the Cavalier MkI set the benchmark and probably saved Vauxhall. It may have been nothing more than a slightly tweaked Opel Ascona and originally built in Belgium, but it looked good, drove and handled beautifully and could spend hours on motorways without fluster. In addition, there was a great range of specs and engines from 1.3 to 2.0 litres. All are extremely rare – more so than the equivalent Ford Cortina, certainly – mainly thanks to the fact that so many succumbed to rust and were unceremoniously scrapped.
Check for corrosion in the sills and floorpans, and make sure that the chassis legs’ front mounting supports are sound.
Brake calipers are prone to seizing, springs sag – and even break – with age and universal joints wear quickly.