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My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

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  • My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

    Obviously this might not be everyone's cup of tea, but while I've got the camera plugged in, I thought I'd show my latest piece of '80's exotica... a 1984 Porsche 944 Lux.



    I'd planned to buy something else for the summer anyway just in case I fancied driving something rear-drive and other than a Mk2, but I wanted an Opel Monza or a Mk1 Cavalier Sportshatch. Good Monzas for fair money are hard to find now though. I nearly bought a nice 1980 Cav Sportshatch, a tidy 2000 GLS in white, but it fell through at the last minute. I happened to see this 944 for sale locally about a month ago. It was in the right place at the right time, so I bought it - a few weeks before Clarkson bought his (worse) one. It's the very first car I've ever bought which isn't a Vauxhall...



    It was registered in August 1984 and has ONE previous lady owner from new! It's covered a genuine 83,000 miles and anyone who keeps their new car for a quarter of a century must've looked after it, and so it is with this one - serviced on the dot every year regardless of mileage, with a full Porsche stamped service history until 2006. These cars were galvanised so there's only one small bit of rust on a rear corner (a stonechip, I reckon), the rest of the bodywork and chassis are completely rot-free. It's totally original throughout apart from the wheels, even down to the radio, plates and taxdisc holder. The wheels are wrong - from a late 944 like Clarkson had last month - so I'm trying to find an original black and silver set. The originals look a bit like bigger versions of the SR's wheels, actually.



    If there's one thing Vauxhall should've done in the 80s, it's pop-up headlights. They're just so COOL!



    It's rear-wheel drive of course, but interestingly the gearbox is at the back, using a transaxle. The idea is to give the car an even weight distribution front and rear, by having the engine and 'box at opposite ends.



    It's quite nice in here, even if the pinstripe upholstery is modelled on a merchant banker's suit circa 1983. The interior is mint, just needs a good clean. It's pretty well specced for an '84 car too - electric windows, electric heated mirrors, electric removeable roof panel, electric boot release, headlight washers, decent (in 1984) Panasonic radio cassette and leather wheel. You could have had air-con and cruise control too, but the original owner didn't shell out. No central locking interestingly, wasn't even an option...



    But what's that on the centre console? Surely not?



    Yes, yes, alright, it's a bloody automatic. And stop laughing at my legs as well, dammit. A Porsche with an auto sounds like sacrilidge I know, but honestly, it's better than you might think. It's quick enough at changing and you can drop a cog any time by using the selector, the kickdown works well too. Think of it as less of a sports car and more of a comfortable GT for wafting to the south of France and you feel a bit better about it



    I do love the quirky '70s dash though, with the yellow markings and upside-down rev counter. The ergonomics are crap (how can the headlight switch be obscured by both the wheel and the wiper stalk??) but you can forgive it that. The two seperate main-beam indicators look odd, but one is for the pop-ups and one is for the seperate driving lights...



    The engine's worth a mention because it's quite unusual. It's a 2.5 litre 8 valve overhead cam with 163 bhp, but despite the size it's only a four-cylinder. It's basically half the 5-litre V8 engine found in the bigger 928, sharing the same cylinder head, valves and others. To give it the smoothness you'd expect from a car which would've cost fifty grand in today's money, it has engine mounts filled with antifreeze at pressure (I'm not making this up!) and a horribly complicated twin balancer shaft system. A pair of weighted shafts are mounted each side of the block, running at double the crankshaft speed and in the other direction, to smooth out the running. This is all operated by a frighteningly complex twin cambelts setup, one of which is double-sided . But you know what? It's the smoothest four-pot I've ever driven, and at speed it really does feel like a straight-six. Weird, but it works. And thankfully the belts were replaced recently, which saves me that expensive job

    So there you go. I took it to the Isle of Wight last week and it was great - not as fast as my GTE 16V, but still a lovely car to drive. The plan was to sell it for a quick buck come September, but...I kind-of like it. So maybe I'll keep it a little longer
    My current fleet!
    1989 Astra GTE 16V
    1985 Astra 1600SR
    1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
    1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
    1984 Porsche 944 Lux
    1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

  • #2
    Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

    Nice car mate. Nothing wrong with an auto in a GT they are for cruising. May we ask how much did you pay? She looks very tidy
    1800 GTE turbo project
    http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...-time-for-cars!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

      Originally posted by 1800turbogte View Post
      Nice car mate. Nothing wrong with an auto in a GT they are for cruising. May we ask how much did you pay? She looks very tidy
      You may indeed Chris...£1500, though she cashed in the tax. When that episode of Top Gear went out everyone was texting me saying "Guess what Clarkson's just bought!" His was similar money but was pretty beat-up with 200,000 miles on the clock, so I think I've done quite well, especially as mine has had a recent service and new discs and pads. Parts are expensive though, the word "Porsche" pushes the price through the roof. How does £300 for a new wiper motor grab you LOL!
      Last edited by Pigeonrat; 20-02-2014, 02:15 PM. Reason: mistake
      My current fleet!
      1989 Astra GTE 16V
      1985 Astra 1600SR
      1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
      1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
      1984 Porsche 944 Lux
      1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

        Very nice indeed. My old boss had 1 years ago i loved driving it about when i was 18 lol.
        Bargain too. I like all all the un-loved models (i want a 914)
        Although i would not change the wheels can i have first dibbs on them if you sell please.
        They would look the nuts on a certain vw camper on the front of my house
        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

          Originally posted by steve84 View Post
          Very nice indeed. My old boss had 1 years ago i loved driving it about when i was 18 lol.
          Bargain too. I like all all the un-loved models (i want a 914)
          Although i would not change the wheels can i have first dibbs on them if you sell please.
          They would look the nuts on a certain vw camper on the front of my house
          Steve
          Yep, I know what you mean. I'd love an early 928 5-litre with a manual box, that's got a lot more appeal than most 911s to me. Even the poor old 924 and 914 are unfairly kicked about by people, yes there's a fair bit of VW in them but who cares? Let them all buy Boxsters and shut up

          I will definitely be changing the wheels when I find a good set of the original cookie cutter ones, so you can have first option...
          My current fleet!
          1989 Astra GTE 16V
          1985 Astra 1600SR
          1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
          1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
          1984 Porsche 944 Lux
          1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

            Good write up and a nice little car, well done

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

              thats completely pimping ! i'm a bit jealous tbh lol

              let the vw van engine mockery commence !

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
                thats completely pimping ! i'm a bit jealous tbh lol

                let the vw van engine mockery commence !
                Oi Darren! That's a 924, not a 944! LMFAO the number of people saying "Ah, the one with the van engine!" and I start getting all defensive saying "No, this is a 944, this has a proper Porsche engine!" and everyone just thinks I'm making it up! And then I sound like a Porsche ****, as seen in wine bars all over the country

                The automatic gearbox is the one from the Scirocco I think, but sssshhhhhh...
                My current fleet!
                1989 Astra GTE 16V
                1985 Astra 1600SR
                1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
                1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
                1984 Porsche 944 Lux
                1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                  Top Buy..... admitinly not your usual "runabout" vehicle, but a cracker all the same... I wouldnt say know....

                  Ang

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                    i know where there are some wheels for it too mate!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                      Originally posted by spuds_own View Post
                      i know where there are some wheels for it too mate!
                      Really? These ones, yeah?

                      My current fleet!
                      1989 Astra GTE 16V
                      1985 Astra 1600SR
                      1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
                      1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
                      1984 Porsche 944 Lux
                      1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                        Right then...

                        So I've had the 944 for nearly five years. Where that time has gone I have absolutely no idea...and it's been very much a love-hate relationship! There's enough of the former to warrant keeping it, but my word, it can be a frustrating car to own sometimes. On the plus side, it's a nice-looking thing, and I do enjoy parking it up outside a restaurant and thinking "That's mine", especially having sourced and refurbished the proper black "cookie cutter" wheels for it. The interior is (mostly) a nice place to be, the engine does its' best given it's hobbled with a lousy gearbox, and the handling is absolutely superb now it's on decent tyres - point to point across country, it can be a very fast car indeed because it's so neutral in terms of handling.

                        On the minus side...well, where to begin? It leaks like a sieve through the tailgate (and nothing seems to stop it), the brakes are adequate rather than good, the build quality is so-so at best, and the electrics are absolutely appalling in terms of quality. I'm not sure what Porsche were thinking when they specified such a cheap loom and crap connectors. The components themselves are reliable enough, but the wiring constantly needs help, and I dare say there's not a circuit on the car that hasn't needed attention at some point. The wiring on a Mk2 (or even a Nova or 106) is many times better. And of course, there's the gearbox. Leaving aside the fact that it suits the car like tartan slippers would suit Kelly Brook, it's terrible. I've tried to enjoy it, but it's utter crap. Three speeds (and all of them the wrong ratios, frankly), sluggish kickdown, and a determination to get into top no matter how quick you're trying to accelerate. I've adjusted the cables a million times, changed filters, fluids. As James May said, there's a space reserved in hell for the man who fitted that gearbox to that car.

                        The final point to make is that it's a crap GT car, which is what I bought it for. It's too noisy, not especially comfortable and the hateful gearbox makes overtaking surprisingly slow. So it's demoted to...well, sports car with a crap 'box, I guess...and the GT slot has been filled with this;



                        I've always fancied a Monza. Truth be told, I've always fancied a Manta too, but the Monza came first. I've had it on the back burner to buy for a number of years but the right car never came up. I wanted a GSE, it had to be Anthracite (best colour by a mile), it had to be original and not messed with, it had to have an electric roof, and it had to have air conditioning. Above all, after the 944, it HAD to be a manual. Needless to say, such a specific car was hard to find, until this one came up before Christmas. It doesn't have air conditioning, but it ticks every other box I wanted...



                        This one is an early (1984) GSE, with 101,000 miles. That's a bit more than I'd like, but to be fair, at thirty years old that's not to be sniffed at. Bodywork is pretty straight and clean, although the sideskirts are doing a good impression of a stained concrete car park so they will need attention. Of course, the biggest thing with these cars is rust, they are worse for it than a Mk2. This one is no exception, but it has been repaired - albeit to MOT standard, not restoration standard - and is pretty solid. They're particularly prone around the tops of the strut towers and adjacent part of the inner wing, as well as under the battery tray and so forth.



                        The car's been painted at some point around ten years ago, but it's a reasonably good job and a good set of the original decals have been reinstated. There's a few dirt marks in the paint, and the front bumper needs a blowover as it's suffering a bit of road rash. On the whole it's not a bad job however.





                        About the only major cockup is the painter forgot to lacquer inside the tailgate buttresses, so the paint inside the tailgate frame is completely flat. Although very visible from outside it's actually not too noticeable really, and can be fixed easily enough. The standard-issue GM drooping tailpipe is right for the car but I'm no fan, so as with the SR years ago the hunt will be on for a nicer backbox which suits it and doesn't wake the neighbourhood.





                        Wheels are in good condition, tyres less so. Mostly Dunlops and one Uniroyal, but it's been sat at some point and the sidewalls are cracking. A new set of Goodyears will be coming shortly. I'm debating getting the wheels refurbed anyway, and if I do, I'm tempted to have the wheel rims polished instead of painted silver. You can just see in the sunlight the MOT repairs to the notorious swan-necks, much like on a Manta.



                        Nice idea on the headlamps, Opel's famous "pencil beam" driving lights. There are normal H4 bulbs as per usual, but tucked into the inner corners are a pair of H1 bulbs which run alongside the H4s on main beam. A total of 240 watts of light on the road, and they're very good as a result. Unfortunately the lights on a Mk2 Astra are nowhere near as large and there would be no space to do something similar.



                        Fabulous genuine Recaros inside, in "Scala" cloth, very 80s and very cool in my opinion! The seats are in good nick but depending how fussy I get, I may have the foam replaced and the cloth restretched as it's just starting to get slightly baggy on the front seats. The all-important manual gearstick, controls a Getrag 265 gearbox, with a very nice and not-at-all-Vauxhall-like shift!



                        Rear seats hardly seem to have been used, although there's a set of nasty aftermarket belts. They'll have to go if I can find some genuine ones. The seats do fold, and combined with the massive boot it could be a very big car for lugging stuff if you so felt!



                        Love the extending thigh cushions on the front Recaros



                        That light unit looks very familiar, less so the old-school sunroof switch. The headlining is supposed to be white but has been painted at some point. It's a pity about the white sunvisors, but the black lining actually does suit the car and will be staying.
                        My current fleet!
                        1989 Astra GTE 16V
                        1985 Astra 1600SR
                        1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
                        1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
                        1984 Porsche 944 Lux
                        1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)



                          The equally familiar digidash, in its' first incarnation. Much the same as the GTE one launched a year later, but on a larger scale with some detail differences, and set into a larger "graph paper" effect binnacle. Rev counter has orange and red sectors near the top, like an early 1.8 GTE.



                          And a better view. Excellent oil pressure, but the temperature gauge can be a bit indecisive while warming up, so I'll look at that. The voltmeter is far more stable than a Mk2 Astra one, in fact the whole electrical system seems to be a bit better quality, as you'd probably expect.



                          You get extra warning lights too, including a clutch wear indicator, far right. I wondered if this were a sophisticated sensor in the clutch lining, but actually it's a switch on the clutch pedal, like a brake light switch in reverse which clicks on when the clutch pedal is too high. This one's fine but you can test it by lifting the pedal.



                          Good old GM cliff-face dashboard, like a big Mk2 Cavalier. Trip computer on the top right, all working and ready to deliver the bad news you'd expect on fuel consumption! The switch blank is for heated seats, which I may consider fitting.



                          Seems like an ideal place for my restored DC954. "Computer controlled", no less. Tedious fact for you - it's the exact same model that James Bond had fitted to his Aston V8 in "The Living Daylights", although try as I might, I can't receive eastern-bloc police radio chatter on mine!



                          And last but by no means least, the big straight six which gives these cars their appeal. It's a 30E engine, so three litres, 12 valves, 180bhp and a mountain of torque (rather more than a 20XE of course). It has Bosch LE2 Jetronic injection with no less than three ECUs - one main, one ignition advance control, and one idle speed control, using an ICV much like a 16V GTE, quite impressive in 1984. It also has a viscous fan. This is buggered, although at least it's jammed on rather than off, but it does overlay the nice 6 cylinder noise with an unpleasant fan sound, so will need to be fixed. No need to sweep the garage floor mind, just rev it up and watch the dust and dirt fly out of the door!



                          It really is a big old lump, but very smooth and supremely quiet at idle. It's Opel's odd "Cam in head" design, with the camshaft to the side of the cylinder head. The idea I would think was to keep the bonnet line low while still giving most of the advantages of an OHC engine. Although a GTE 16V would probably out-accelerate it due to the kerbweight, the ability of tis engine to shove you into the Recaros at any speed and any gear is lovely. You can see the worst bit of the car just above the strut top here, a rubbish MOT welding affair. Still, stabbing a screwdriver at it shows it to be solid, so it's not a major worry right now.

                          Plans? Tidy it up and enjoy it as Opel intended. I may refurb the wheels with a polished rim, and I may fit a later rocker cover from a Carlton GSI3000 as it looks a lot nicer with the black-crackle effect. But otherwise, there you go



                          Monza...there's a pic in the brochure showing the proud owner passing a sign for "Mulsanne". Very tempting!
                          Last edited by Pigeonrat; 20-02-2014, 02:39 PM.
                          My current fleet!
                          1989 Astra GTE 16V
                          1985 Astra 1600SR
                          1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
                          1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
                          1984 Porsche 944 Lux
                          1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                            Great write up, it wasn't until i read the monza bit then i realised the date differences lol, nice car bud, good luck with it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My latest aquisition (and shockingly, it's not a Vauxhall!)

                              Ta very much, yes, dates are a bit mixed up but seemed better than opening a new thread. Thought I'd shift the pics of my daily Mk3 ("The Shed") in as well, which started out with me as my "banger rally" car. It remains to this day my daily driver, clocking up around 10,000 miles a year. Pah, who needs a modern car...

                              But is the Mk3 daily worth a thread? Probably not, poor old thing. However, I WILL give it its' 15 minutes of fame, resplendent in (faded) Cosmos Blue;



                              Truth be told, I'm quite fond of it really. I bought it for 95 quid (ah, those were the days!) in 2007 for the Home 2 Rome charity banger rally, drove it across Europe, couldn't bear to scrap it at the finish line in Italy so brought it home via the Alps, the Stelvio pass and the Nurburgring. We arrived back in Britain and it was still going, bless it, so I decided to give it a dignified retirement as a daily for a few months. Five years and 40,000 miles on, it still serves me well every day, and has only cost around 350 quid in bits to keep running over that time. Motoring doesn't get much cheaper. It's one of the very first (October 1991) and ironically given the news at the moment, it was a company car for Jessops back in the day...

                              Spot the rusty screws wedging the grille under the headlights LOL, true shed style...



                              A few extras in here - Calibra oil pressure gauge and voltmeter (yes, both work, too), electric heated mirrors, CDR500 from an Omega, Pioneer custom-fit speakers, leather wheel from a GSi (broken by Harvey on here), Mk2 delay courtesy/map lights and electric aerial;



                              CDR500 even talks to the ultra-early spec display without the outside temperature, once it was reset to 8-digit mode.



                              I miss the days when car manufacturers could just say "Yes! We shall make EVERYTHING blue, even inside! Har!" and nobody laughed



                              Only just run in LOL. I am determined to reach 200,000 before the rust finally kills the poor thing;



                              This is the beast under the bonnet, the C14SE ("hotter 82PS version" according to Vauxhall), rather neglected before my ownership but still running very well. I did change the clutch on it, since it is one of the last to have the easy clutch change before it was stopped in 1992 it seemed rude not to. Note the octane plug turned to 98 - I run it on Vpower and it certainly feels a bit better, particularly on a cruise keeping up with motorway traffic. I can and do jump in it and do a 200+ mile journey without worrying.



                              Behold the magnificence of 13" steelies (and brand-new Continentals at less than fifty quid each!)



                              Lastly, the rather appropriate keyring. For years it's been known to family and friends as "The Shed", so when I found this, I had to have it. The only car I've had which has got itself a nickname...



                              Long may it continue. It hardly seems like nearly 6 years ago I took this photo one baking morning in Rome!



                              Home 2 Rome was a blast. Most teams scrapped the cars in Rome and flew home, but ours did so well, we couldn't bear to kill it so we brought it home! Me and my mate Russ considered doing the Oslo run a couple of years ago too - in the Shed, naturally, so it became a veteran - but never got round to it. One day. In fact, sod it, who cares if the thread gets cluttered, here's the pics;

                              Russell at Calais;








                              Me, only slightly lost in the south of France!



                              Thundering 1979 Rover SD1 3500 kept howling past in proper V8 fashion before stopping for water - and fuel! Scrapped in Italy sadly.



                              The Gorges du Verdon, as used by Top Gear in the RS4/skydiver race;









                              Services near Milan;



                              A1 Autostrada through the Appennino mountains. The only motorway I've driven while grinning the whole way, proper bends and tunnels, constantly flicking between 4th and 5th gear. Speed tended to hover around the 100MPH mark, any slower and the Italians got most upset...



                              Venice. Don't think 70-odd clapped out British cars in war paint were appreciated!





                              View from an Adriatic hotel balcony. Don't think they were impressed either.



                              The Swiss know how to keep a motorway interesting, scenery-wise at least...





                              ...even if the brutal enforcement of the speed limit means you doze off driving slowly, as I seem to be demonstrating!



                              Even managed to get ourselves in the local paper when we got home, with this shot on page 5!



                              I would recommend it to anyone. As I recall it was organised by a company called Street Safari. A really really good laugh, just take someone you'll get on with - some teams had a falling out after 2000 miles...well, 4000 in our case, because we brought it home of course!
                              Last edited by Pigeonrat; 03-01-2019, 11:35 PM.
                              My current fleet!
                              1989 Astra GTE 16V
                              1985 Astra 1600SR
                              1991 Astra Mk3 1.4LSi "The Shed"
                              1984 Opel Monza 3.0 GSE
                              1984 Porsche 944 Lux
                              1986 Toyota MR2 Mk1a

                              Comment

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