A look back at the Vauxhall Cavalier Mk1 1975-1981 0
Depending on who you ask, the Cavalier is often credited as the car that saved Vauxhall’s bacon. Derived from the Opel Ascona two and four door saloon, it became the perfect car to rival the dominant Ford Cortina, which was conquering all that lay before it on the UK’s roads in the mid seventies.
Similar to the Chevette, the Cavalier benefited from good engineering. It handled well and particularly came into its own when travelling on the motorway. Larger than the Chevette, it could cruise comfortably in the outside lane – something that would mark out Cavaliers two decades to come.
It was available with an engine spanning 1.3 to 2.0-litres, and the entry models shared their power unit with the Chevette. Not exactly a hotrod, but they certainly were more than capable. Luton built cars were more susceptible to rust than their Belgian counterparts, but the Chevette and Cavalier were an enormous improvement on the models they succeeded in this respect.