As I write this introduction, I’m glancing out of my office window at a garden full of flowers in bloom. The trees outside my window are covered in green leaves. The sun is shining. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say this was the middle of summer, yet I’m going to have to utter the C-word.
No, not that C-word! I’m referring to Christmas. That’s right, this is the December/ January 2019 issue of the magazine, meaning you won’t be hearing from us again until the new year, when many of the Vauxhall anniversaries we’ve been celebrating will have come to an end. I’m talking thirty-five years of Nova, twenty years of Vectra GSi, thirty years of Mk3 Cavalier and forty years of Chevette HS. We’ve been reporting on these milestones throughout 2018, a year of celebration culminating in the arrival of the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, the UK’s biggest celebration of retro rides, and the forum many of you use to showcase your vintage Vauxhalls. The event took place just as we were going to print, but that didn’t stop us from taking hundreds of photographs across a weekend which lived up to its billing as one of the highlights of the show scene calendar. Have a butcher's on page 24.
Shows and Billing of another kind have dominated Vauxhallrelated social media chatter in recent weeks, with the VBOA National Rally seemingly changing its plans for 2019 three times in as many weeks. We spoke with VBOA Chairman, Shaun Broadbent, to get the official line on what’s been happening. Read our findings by flicking to page 46.
The coming year offers more Griffin birthdays to shout about, not least of all thirty years of Calibra. As you’ll see from the following pages, we’ve started the celebrations by featuring Ally Mcvittie’s Calibra SE9, the winner of the 2018 VBOA Chairman’s Cup competition, plus we’ve featured the runner-up, Paul Barrett and his modified Manta. We’re told there was just two votes separating this duo of tip-top modern classics!
Elsewhere in this issue, we’ve compiled our pick of the best bang for your buck in 2019. We’ve catered for budgets stretching from £500 to £5,000 in the hope of helping those of you aiming to nab a slice of Griffin-badged speed metal to bag a bargain.
Just like the evergreen Astra, the flowers I’m looking at show no sign of wilting, yet a hyperactive robin is hopping his way around my newly acquired Vectra VXR wagon. It’s not exactly a typical Christmas scene, but it’s as close as we’re going to get at the time of writing. See you next year!