Take off those rose-tinted spectacles. Yes, you’re looking at an ST200, but that means two things. Firstly, the chances are the car has led a hard life, surviving the years where these cars weren’t worth a lot of money and were treated as ‘just another Vectra’. Secondly, we’re talking about a Vectra B, a model which went out of production sixteen years ago. It’s a Vauxhall known to enjoy rotting for fun, so have a good poke around. A rust-eaten Vectra B is going to be a prohibitively expensive project to take on unless money is no object.
With this in mind, treat the inspection of an ST200 the same way you would any other Vectra B. Look for corrosion, signs of bodged repairs (especially along door bottoms where scabs of rust regularly appear). Look at the door latches, around the windscreen, on the boot lid (around the spoiler), the chassis legs, the boot floor and the crossmember. Be wary if poorly matched paint and uneven door gaps which might indicate accident damage. Either that, or the ST200 you’re looking at was pieced together on a Friday afternoon at the factory after a long liquid lunch!
Like all the best sporty Vauxhalls, the ST200 colour palette was limited to just a few shades. The colour people tend to associate the model with is white (twenty-eight examples) followed by black (five examples), red and silver (two of each) and a light blue hue reserved for the estate. All ST200s fall under the Phase 1 GSi banner, meaning they feature twopiece headlights and indicators, a colour-coded grille, an early GSi front bumper (complete with those iconic ‘gills’), a matching boot lid and rear light clusters.
Steinmetz side skirts and yellow ‘Flying Chips’ badges were also original equipment. Many GSis and SuperTouring Vectras have been converted to Phase 2 specification over the years, amounting to single- piece front lights, a chrome grille and later rear lights. Some also feature non-original exterior decoration, such as Irmscher grilles and tinted light lenses. The purists among you will be pleased to hear these changes are easily reversible!
On the whole, ST200 owners are enthusiasts who treat their cars in the manner deserving of a rare performance Griffin. The chances are, if you’ve been lucky enough to find a Vectra B ST200 for sale, it has been well cared for and any unsympathetic updates removed.