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1976 Green Cav Coupe


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I went to see a 1976 Cavalier Coupe for sale just down the road from me in Glastonbury last week & decided to buy it.

The car has been off the road & stored in a lockup since October 2011.

The brakes were seized front & rear & it wouldn't start but underneath the dust & cobwebs i could see that it was a good car & i loved the colour.


I got a mate to pick up the car with me today & once we dragged it out of the garage the wheels freed them selves, ironically it was stored in a yard next to a Vauxhall main dealer & several of the staff came out to take a look as they didn't realise a classic Vauxhall was stored under their noses !


Here are some pictures i took as found & loaded on the transporter & when i got it back this afternoon.








After a good look i found a couple of small patches need welding on a chassis leg but the swanecks have been repaired previously.

I cleaned up all the LT connections on the dizzy & coil & it fired up  :)

The exhaust back box is blowing but i have a replacement to fit.

The engine is a replacement 2.0S & is sweet, the car was subject to a comprehensive restoration in 1999 having been in the same family from new.

Front wings were replaced, rear arches were replaced & the car was respayed. all receipts are with the car.

Yes i know its an auto but so is my Manta & i like driving autos  :D

My plan is to get it MOT'd then smoke it around for a while, i might bring it to Billing.

Here are some pics after i cleaned it up a bit. Going to polish it & clean the chrome tomorrow.


Can any one tell me what the green colour is called ?









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Right the Cav's in my garage now & i've started recommissioning it.


Got some touch in paint mixed up & it's a perfect match, the colour apparently is called lime green metallic & was only used 1971 till beginning 1976 so was only on early P reg Cavs.




Started having a good poke around underneath & it is in remarkably solid condition for a 39 year old car but Cavs do rot in the same places as Manta's

As seen here on the nearside front wheel arch :( 







New back box now fitted




Have ground back the rusty areas in the front wheel arch & my brother in law is gonna weld in some plates (my welding looks like pigeon crap).


Started detailing the engine bay, here is how it looks after a wash off, will post up some more pics once i've finished.




I'm hoping to get it MOT'd & taxed for the start of May, then smoke it around for a while, definitely going to bring it to Billing as it's the 40th anniversary of the Manta B & Cavalier & this is an early one.

Then possibly sell it either this year or next year as i'm under threat of redundancy at work & may need the cash  :unsure:

I love this Cav & it's going to be a tough decision to sell it  

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Did some more work today on the Cav

James Coghlan had pointed out to me that when the car was restored in 1999 certain areas were sprayed body colour instead of satin black so i sorted that out today.


I know its being a bit of a Manta anorak but...........














Engine bay detailing almost finished.


















Just the plates to weld in & it's ready for the MOT.

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Have you checked the rear of the servo? seeing some signs of rust on there, as they do tend to get very crusty where it sits against the firewall and causing vacuum loss. Looks a nice find though.

Edited by Julian
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Cavvy now finished & plates welded on.


Gave the cooling system a good flush out & filled with fresh anti freeze.


Fitted new parcel shelf speakers & a narrow depth Sony head unit & luckily the display is green  :)


Clock appears to be knackered so i'll be on the look out for a replacement.


Got it insured with Adrian Flux today £120 including breakdown & rescue cover.


Planing to get it MOT'd next week (fingers crossed) then will aim to tax it from 1st May & take the white Manta off the road for a while.







Edited by Rapierdave
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Very taste, hard to believe, thats the same car, that deserves a drive by, past the old owners house, just to make em jealous!, top work, all those wee details, and clean up really help its appearence,

now get it lowered with some wide or banded rims! To make it retro cool!

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I really need to sort my engine bay out like that, lets my whole car down my engine bay. Wouldn't know where to start though, never detailed an engine bay?


 Don't know exactly how Dave did his but my basic method to tidy rather totally restore are -


 Take as much off the engine as you can manage, having a bare engine sat in the bay would be excellent but not everyone can take the manifolds off etc.


 I clean and paint the block engine black, forget where i bought the last can but it comes out a very slightly dark grey tinged matt black. though any heat resistant engine black would be an immprovement.


 The rocker cover and air filter (if metal) can be sprayed in Hammerite smooth satin black (this is resist heat), this comes out very close to the Opel original appearance, you can do the rad top in this as well, or use a gloss balck to copy the original.


 To clean up bare metal i have found a  stainless steel pan scourer excellent, type used for scrubbing your saucepans (just don't steal the one from the kitchen...!!) then i polish the metal with Autosol, I do the front timing cover/water pump, the Dizzy body, alternator, wiper motor rods, brake cylinder and pipes even the battery earth strap and hose clips etc will all clean/polish up, though some are easier to get at than others.


 Plastic can be cleaned with most cleaners (check they don't react with the surface) i even get through the worst gunge with a petrol soaked rag !! Then silicon based polish brings them to a shine. One trick i used to stop trigger spray polishes getting over everything is to spray them into the bristles of a paint brush and paint the polish on.


 One trick i have learnt with rubber is polish it up with boot polish !! if you do the rubber hoses and your tire sidewalls with boot polish they will look just like factory fresh rubber, not plastic like some tire polishes (the 'rubber' at the rear of the engine bay is coated so will need a silicon based polish)


 Inner wings and underside of the bonnet (often forgotten) are tackled the same way as all the exterior body work.


 I urge you to have ago, even just taking the rocker cover off (and metal airfilter) wire brushing the rust off and spraying with satin black smoothrite plus a general clean will make a huge difference when you open the bonnet.


 Of course you can be addventurous, i have seen a white car with white rocker cover and air filter, didn't look out of place but not to everyones taste.


 On my Old scruffy MK 2 Cavalier (sadly long gone, great old workhorse) i got very silly with the engine when i discovered that i could mix hammerite into wild colours, LIGHT BLUE manifold,ORANGE brackets, BROWN engine mounts, LIME GREEN gearbox with MAUVE end cover and best of all...... A PINK ENGINE WITH A PURPLE HEAD !!!!! some people just could not get the joke about the block and head colour !! (somewhere i have roll film negatives of it, must dig them out, you will be shocked !!!)

Edited by MANTAMAN
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Ian gives some very sound advice


It's the little things that count, like removing the washer bottle & giving it a good scrub up.


As always the pictures make the car look better than what it is, it is not a show winning car but it's a car that can be taken to meets & events with pride.


Funny thing is although i'm more of Manta man than a Cavalier man preferring the slotted nose, however i do think the rear of the Cavalier with the satin black panel looks better than the equivalent Manta. 

Edited by Rapierdave
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Lovely car this dave well done mate. I cannot wait to see it at billing . what an unusual colour ,one I have not seen for ages. you have done some lovely work there and shes looking cracking. and auto too ,just got to love an auto.

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