I refer to Clive Richardson’s article on the DTV Chevette and Cavalier cars tested by him recently. He gives the impression that we tried to by-pass him with the possible test of the 1500 Chevette. This, as you will remember, is not so.
Having accepted Clive Richardson’s challenge to produce a good all round conversion for the 1256, our parallel 1500 Chevette development programme came to fruition. After one or two test reports in other magazines, you rang me and asked if it were possible for you to borrow this particular car for a Land’s End to John O’Groats run. That, subsequently, this excellent plan came to nought was largely due to the fact that, when the car became available, you were unable to find time for this exercise.
As Clive Richardson was the first to request the test of a modified 1256 Chevette, we were determined that he should have first refusal of testing this car. We have kept this promise and we are of course delighted that the end result was worthwhile. To develop any of the new Vauxhalls is a difficult exercise as the standard cars and engines are by now among the most efficient anywhere.
With regard to Mr. Richardson’s remarks on the expensive 2200 conversion of the Cavalier, may I suggest he looks around and finds me a car costing less than £5,000 which will give the following performance / efficiency / economy rating:
Max speed….. 112 m.p.h.
0-60 mph….. 8.7 sec.
30-50 m.p.h. in 4th gear….. 6.1 sec.
Overall petrol consumption….. 24 m.p.g.
If he can find another car which beats the 2.2 Cavalier on all four counts simultaneously I should be most grateful. I then have some more work to do.
It is a fact that the conversion industry is in for a rude awakening and is already gradually changing. This is largely due to two factors, the very high standard of the present day product of most manufacturers (largely brought about by very strict emission regulations) and the fact that fashions are changing. The true motoring enthusiast is no longer very keen on running around in something that acts as an instant challenge to the boys in blue. A “wolf in sheep’s clothing” is now increasingly sought after.
In that case other questions are asked. Firstly, what price the complete package? How does it perform relative to other makes and models in a similar price class? This is followed by comparisons of relative thirst and ease of servicing. We have all experienced the look of horror on the face of the average garage mechanic when he finds a totally alien beast sprouting pipes in all directions under the bonnet. The more standard it looks the better one’s chance of receiving satisfactory emergency and long term servicing.
Shepreth – W. B. BINDENSTEIN