BUY VECTRA ST200

One of the rarest Griffins ever made, the ST200 is one of the jewels in Vauxhall’s port­fo­lio of per­for­mance metal from the Su­per Tour­ing era…

Performance Vauxhall - - CONTENTS - WORDS Dan Furr and Dave Reid PHO­TOS Ade Bran­nan

Fancy one of the rarest per­for­mance Vaux­halls ever made? We show you what to look out for.

The Cava­lier GSi2000 rep­re­sented a huge step for­ward for Vauxhall in the late 1980s. Mak­ing use of the same C20XE ‘Red Top’ en­gine which pro­pelled the Mk2 Astra GTE 16V to great­ness, the GSi2000 fea­tured independent rear sus­pen­sion and a cool styling pack­age seen by mil­lions wit­ness­ing works driv­ers, John Cle­land and Jeff Al­lam (not to men­tion an ever chang­ing cast of sup­port­ing driv­ers), pu­n­ish the model in the BTCC. Cle­land won the cham­pi­onship with the GTE in 1989 and went on to do the same again with the Cava­lier in 1995, but by that time, the Vectra B had re­placed the mighty Mk3 in dealer show­rooms.

While the Vectra never matched the Cava­lier’s achieve­ments on the track, it was still a force to be reck­oned with. Cel­e­brat­ing the new ar­rival, Vauxhall launched the Vectra B Su­perTour­ing edi­tion with a pro­duc­tion vol­ume of just 1,000 units. 500 of the new car fea­tured a 136bhp two-litre in­line-four, while the re­main­ing 500 were pow­ered by a 175bhp 2.5-litre V6. Based on the ex­ist­ing SRi, the Su­perTour­ing sported a Vectra B GSi front bumper, six­teen-inch al­loys, an Irm­scher rear si­lencer, up­rated sus­pen­sion and a host of nifty in­te­rior parts, in­clud­ing an oval dash plaque dis­play­ing a build num­ber unique to each car.

As dis­tinc­tive as the Su­perTour­ing was, crit­ics ar­gued the new ar­rival was lit­tle more than a styling ex­er­cise. Ea­ger to build a race car for the road, Vauxhall re­sponded by com­mis­sion­ing an ex­tra fifty cars to

be sent through the work­shop of Mo­tor Sport De­vel­op­ments (MSD) in Mil­ton Keynes. Me­chan­i­cal en­hance­ments were the or­der of the day, and the new cars were given the now-leg­endary des­ig­na­tion, ST200.

Like the V6-pow­ered Su­perTour­ing, the ST200 be­gan life as a stan­dard SRi and shared the same Irm­scher-sourced ex­te­rior up­dates. The ST2oo dif­fered from the Su­perTour­ing, how­ever, when it came to sev­en­teen-inch Speed­lines, Koni dam­pers, an AP lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tial, four-pis­ton calipers, a re­vised fi­nal drive ra­tio, X30XE camshafts and be­spoke Re­caro up­hol­stery.

With a list price of close to thirty grand, Vauxhall strug­gled to find buy­ers for its vi­va­cious Vectra. Con­se­quently, only thirty-eight ST200s (in­clud­ing a lone es­tate) were as­sem­bled. Not even high pro­file me­dia cov­er­age helped to shift the car from dealer show­rooms, which is why some ST200s were drafted into the Vauxhall press fleet.

Find­ing an ST200 to­day is tricky, with most sur­vivors in the hands of col­lec­tors. Less for­tu­nate ex­am­ples have suf­fered from the ills of cor­ro­sion, ne­glect and ac­ci­dent dam­age. When an ST200 does come up for sale, be pre­pared to dig deep for what is one of the rarest racein­spired Vaux­halls ever pro­duced.

As is the case with any decades­old Grif­fin, there are many ar­eas to be con­cerned with, but with so many Vectra B GSi, Su­perTour­ing and ST200 repli­cas out there, it’s vi­tal you make sure you’re pay­ing for the real deal. Read on to dis­cover what it is you should be look­ing for.

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