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Astra Saloon (not a Belmont!) Adventures

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...and more to boot!

I spotted this delightful Astra GLS on the eBay tat thread on Sunday morning, and by 7pm - I had it sat outside on my driveway. I'd probably have left it at 'that's nice' and moved on, apart from the fact it's a saloon, and a decent trim level.

 

The small and medium sized saloons from the 80s and 90s have always been a bit of a novelty side-act. It's a shame the market for them has died off. However, the brochure for the Astra saloon tells you all you need to know really about the target audience; "...for any motorist - executive or otherwise - 'coming down a size'..."

 

So what about this one then? It came from Lookers of Colwyn Bay on 19th May 1993 but despite that it has always lived on the Wirral. Two years later it's at James Edwards in Heswall where Miss Gordon buys it. She averages about 1,500 miles a year over the next twenty years. After James Edwards goes over to Peugeot, she takes the Astra to Lookers in Birkenhead for its annual service. Miss Gordon spends a fair bit of money on the Astra over the years. It's had Vauxhall main dealer servicing and MoTs every year of its life! Consequently the folder for bills and receipts is a hefty one!

 

It's condition is pretty good. There's typical dents and scratches for an old car, but it's not been your typical pensioner car and driven hard into the scenery at every opportunity - the bumpers are nice and scuff free. It's picked up perhaps more damage after Miss Gordon died and her house was being cleared. There's some deep gouges to the paintwork in a number of places amde by some clumsy oafs. There looks to be some frilly bits behind the rear wheels behind the side of the bumper - where the muck hits (no mud flaps fitted!) and one scab right in the middle of the n/s/r arch. Compared to other Mk3 Astra rear arches, I would have to rate them as 'exceptional'!

 

I've absolutely no idea what small niche it serves in the fleet - it can't be justified really, except for price and condition it couldn't be passed up. Maybe I can sneak it in to a couple of car shows this summer, or just admire those 'classic' saloon lines whilst it sits on the driveway.

 

 

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That is flippin' lovely!!!  Well bought, so rare in that condition now...

The 'small saloon' thing is much more common in mainland Europe I'd say.  I also think the saloons were marketed as being slightly posher* than the hatches?

Satin Red loveliness :)

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Approved!  I like the balance of the profile view of these.  Lovely mouse fur seats in GLS spec as well.

 

I've absolutely no idea what small niche it serves in the fleet - it can't be justified really, except for price and condition it couldn't be passed up

 

The mark of a WINNER.

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Am I imagining it ,or did Vauxhall campaign these in the BTCC ? It would have been about the same time as Cleland was throwing Cavaliers around , so possibly a lower class or something.

A quick Google only throws up this Historic one, that I've actually see at Silverstone Festival in a strange race with Dolomites, Cossies, Avensises ,indeed everything ever raced in BTCC, totally pointless as a race.

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You are one bloody lucky person, that's a fab car and was a bargain. Is that Chester Services on the M56 in the pictures, presumably v.close to where you got the car from?

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That is flippin' lovely!!!  Well bought, so rare in that condition now...

The 'small saloon' thing is much more common in mainland Europe I'd say.  I also think the saloons were marketed as being slightly posher* than the hatches?

Satin Red loveliness :)

 

Re; the 'posher' thing. I think initially, yes they were hence they even got a different name in some cases to highlight the upmarket aspirations (Orion, Belmont). Latterly though - late 90s, early 00s - I got the impression they were just done out of habit or necessity without any real thought. The Focus saloon was just an abortion and the Fabia saloon you had to look closely to even register is wasn't a hatch.

 

My abiding memory of the Mk3 Astra saloon is that nearly every one you ever saw here was an Opel and with Irish plates.

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You are one bloody lucky person, that's a fab car and was a bargain. Is that Chester Services on the M56 in the pictures, presumably v.close to where you got the car from?

 

Yes it is Chester Svcs. It had found itself only round the corner in Elton.

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Guest Lord Sward

That Astra saloon was more aerodynamic that the hatch.  PHACT!

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Am I imagining it ,or did Vauxhall campaign these in the BTCC ? It would have been about the same time as Cleland was throwing Cavaliers around , so possibly a lower class or something.

A quick Google only throws up this Historic one, that I've actually see at Silverstone Festival in a strange race with Dolomites, Cossies, Avensises ,indeed everything ever raced in BTCC, totally pointless as a race.

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Be an ex-South African MSD one. I did a load brain scratching, rifling through old magazines. Then after I found this bloody link that tells you all you need to know!!!! I think the Astra entered a few races in the BTCC as a privateer.

 

http://www.touringcarspares.com/Race_Cars/Mike_Briggs_1993_Championship_winning_MSD_Opel_Astra/

 

http://tentenths.com/forum/showthread.php?t=114330

 

http://www.supertouringregister.com/series/223/

 

4.jpg

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That is all sorts of gorgeous...think that steering wheel was only used in the first couple of years of production?.

4 spoke Airbag came in (On the 1993 California special edition no less).

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^^ I was just going to mention that A to B - Tales of Modern Motoring programme.

 

Some guy raving about how great his Astra Saloon 1.8 CD was and so much better than the Cavalier he could have had.

 

Thought this looked a bargain when I saw it in the eBay thread, well bought!

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I learned to drive in of these the same age and spec but 1.7 TD instead, it had covered over 250k by 1997 and still looked like new. I've got fond memories of them now.

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