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Ascona 4 Door - Damaged But Very Solid - £1000

Retro Power

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Copied the text from my ebay aad, so apologies if it reads a bit weirdly!

Time to sell :-(

After much deliberation I have finally decided to sell on my Opel Ascona project to someone who has the time to do it! If you are already an Opel/Vauxhall enthusiast you may know of my company, Retropower - we carry out restoration work and custom builds on all manner of old and interesting cars, but are particularly known for some of our Opel/Vauxhall builds. This is my own car, and was my daily driver until the accident that lead to the damage you can see.

The story

So, the story of the car first. I was tipped-off a few years back by a friend that there was an Ascona on a farm not far from us where a 'man-in-a-shed' restorer had a small workshop. I popped over when passing one day, expecting the usual rust-bucket, but was pleasantly surprised to find a very solid and original car! The car had been given to the restoration man by the family of the elderly owner who had passed away, but he hadn't had the chance to do anything with it. The elderly chap had owned the car from new, and it still had the original log book with 0 previous owners on it. I bought the car, replaced the front wings (which were rotten) and did some quick repairs to the inner wings, and then drenched the car in waxoyl! This was to be a daily driver and I had no intention of making it a show car on the outside. I fitted a C20SEH from a MKIII Cavalier SRI, tubular manifold, stainless exhaust, vented discs, Bilsteins, Spax springs, Recaros etc and then proceeded to use it as my daily transport. Sadly not long afterwards, I was enthusiastically overtaking someone when they decided to do a U-turn without warning, resulting in a bit of a 'coming-together' and the damage you can see in the photos. Somewhat disheartened I put the car in a container at our workshop and it has remained there since. I have now collected almost all the parts to repair it, but just don't have the time as we are too busy with other peoples project cars, and we need the space, so this has to go.

The rust (or lack of!)

The next thing I am keen to point out (especially if you not very experienced with Opels of this era) it that we've seen, stripped and repaired many of them, and almost without exception they have a lot of rot lurking in the underside - chassis rails, floors, sills, rear rails, boot floor - even the ones that look shiny often give their owners a nasty shock when the carpets are pulled up - this car is the opposite! It may look rough cosmetically, but it is as good a starting point for a project as I have ever seen. The rust on this car is pretty much isolated to the o/s rear arch and the very rear of the sills. The underside was covered with black underseal from new, and when you steam-clean this away (as I have started to do) there is perfect painted underbody coating beneath. The chassis rails are perfect with no bulging or signs of corrosion. The only repairs ever carried out were done by myself when I first got the car. Up to that point it was 100% original, including the paint.

The damage and the panels included to sort it!

As you can see, the nsf corner has taken a hit. This has pushed back the front panel, kinked the inner wing (but thankfully popped the spot-welds off the rail, thus leaving the rail almost damage free), kinked the outer wing and bent the door. The nsf wheel took a big hit, which broke the rim and bent the lower wishbone. After the initial impact I was pushed off to the right of the road which also annoyingly smashed the osf wheel as well! The nearside chassis rail has a very small kink at the front, forward of the antiroll bar mount (which is the furthest forward component to be mounted to the rail). The chassis rail I am confident will easily straighten at the front, and the damage is very minor. The inner wing will probably straighten out ok, but I am including a replacement if it should prove awkward. I am including a complete front end cut from another car which is very solid with the exception of the headlamp surrounds and valance ends. I am also including a brand new pair of headlamp surround repair panels, and a brand new valance (rocking horse poo!) so that is all the parts to make a perfect front end again. I am also including a fairly good (but in need of stripping and repair) nearside wing, and a brand new offside wing. To replace the damaged door, I have a perfect one from another car which will also be included. For the rusty arch I will include a brand new arch repair panel - Klokkerholm were the last company to make these, and we recently imported all their remaining stock - this is the last arch we have left, so basically the only new 4-door Ascona arch available anywhere! I will also include a full, genuine GM quarter panel for the other side (it doesn't need it, but it's possible the n/s arch may need repair once the chrome trim is removed, and I had this set aside just in case. I will also provide replacements for the bent front suspension components. The only thing you will need to source is a bonnet.

What is included?

The £1000 asking price is minus the engine, gearbox and fuel system I am asking £1000 as I think that the parts and panels would add up to around that figure if I broke it for spares. You will get the rolling shell, all the spare panels mentioned above, the wheels and tyres that are on it (front two smashed, rears are good - very rare Fondmetals with almost new tyres) Bilstein dampers all round, vented disc conversion at the front, Spax springs, Recaro's (MK1 Astra GTE), all glass etc. There are no door cards, but I may be able to gather a set together. For an additional £800 I will leave all the running gear in, which includes the Manta 1800 type sump, pickup pipe, gearbox and engine mounts which are desirable as they can be used to fit a C20XE (the SEH and XE share the same block design). You will also get the engine, loom ECU, injection fuel tank (rare!) fuel pump/lines/filter etc. Basically everything to either use as it is, or swap in a C20XE which would be a case of changing the exhaust manifold and that's it - everything else is there ready.

Why does it look such a mess!?

Yes, it's scruffy. I cut off the side moulding clips, and chucked some old paint over to stop them rusting. I also had a play with some vinyl wrap here and there with poor results! Basically it was my 'tinkering' car but compared to most of the tarted-up rot-boxes out there it wouldn't take a lot to repair the front and repaint the car and you would then have an absolute gem. I just wish I had the time to do it myself!

So that is it - any more questions just give me a shout. I think I've covered most areas. A rare opportunity to buy a very solid Ascona B.

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It would probably cost about a grand to assemble those panels now, and you get a free car chucked in!

Pop in a CIH if you just want to make it move, get it painted and you'll see you money back every day of the week. My Ascona was exactly the same, tatty arches, tatty wings but the rest of it was outstanding so I know what you are getting at.

This shouldn't be around for long.

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