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  • Laurie's First Track Day Car

    So here we are .... as some may know having experienced a track day with the 16v GTE I was hooked and aching for a car to use rather than spoiling my OE GTE.

    I looked at a few of the eBay items for a couple of weeks, some being base models and some GTE's but all outside the budget I had planed £600 - £700 ... I made an offer to a few or the sellers but none were ready to budge down to my offers. I then spotter the advert on the forum for the C reg 1.8 and again though it was above my budget I made an approach to the seller and my offer was still a little low for them. Meanwhile one of the eBay sellers contacted me again having dropped their price to £750 and offering it (a 1.6 Auto 37k (one lady owner)) to me I decided against.

    Meanwhile I had a PM dialogue (or 5) with DarrenH and bombarded him with questions on various models and advice on some of my options and my thanks to Darren for his guidance.

    Then last week the seller of the C reg contacted me and said they had considered what the least price they would sell the car for and it fell just into my budget {only just} As if I needed one this gave me an excuse to run the GTE down to Brighton to view the car and seal the deal.

    A quick inspection with a mirror slid under the car of the points raised on the MOT failure ticket confirmed some welding of the obvious (usual) places was indeed needed and probably more once the sill covers come off. So hands were shaken and Tea was supped (a very nice couple the owners and my thanks for their hospitality) and then back off home I went with plans to collect the car some time over the next 14 days.

    On arrival home I was told by the MOT Test station that my tow vehicle (Ducato van) had failed on corrosion within n distance from tow bar and some more close to rear spring front mount point. Well corrosion was an understatement ... it was like tissue paper and right across the back section and down both (what would be) inner/mid sill box sections. My MOT garage guy was going on holiday for a week and anyway was unlikely to tackle a repair as big as this one so it was up to me.

    Crawling around for 2 days on and off and about a third of the problem area is repaired but I'm eating into my sheet steel stock so ordered up a couple more sheets for delivery next week.

    So now left thinking where I could borrow a trailer from and would I get the tow van done and tested in good time?

    Not owning a decent trailer yet I decided to bite the bullet and rent a Transit car transporter for the weekend and get the car home (one less thing to worry about).

    So picked it up Friday evening and this morning (Sat 22nd September) I did a quick test of loading (with Denise's SRI) and off I went with the dog for a drivers mate .....


    Traffic was bad on the M25 in the Surrey area with reported 61 minute delay Thanks to the wonderful TomTom it gave me an alternative route that kept me on schedule.

    So loaded up the boot with boxes of bits, signed the documents and away we went, soon after leaving my drivers mate gave me a look that indicated that it was her turn for a bit of R&R so parked up in a layby and went for a nice walk in the Brighton country side ......







    Then back to the truck ....



    Another 3 hours including a quick stop for a veggi burger and chips to share and we were back home safe and sound .....



    So what's in store now ?????

    Answer: nothing much till other things are completed but I may just roll the MGB off the ramp and have a quick once over to start a list ..... Just spotted my spare N/S full sill and a rear panel along with an O/S rear quarter repair panel left over from the stuff bought double for the 16v so that's a start.

    So I guess this is where I say ........ To be continued ........
    My vehicles:
    1985 Astra GTE 1.8 8v, 2002 Omega Est, 1978 MGB GT, 1973 Honda CB500 K2, 1993 Honda Sevenfifty, 2005 Suzuki Grand Vitata .......

  • #2
    Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

    Cool as m8, i thought it was nice when i saw it up for sale, congrats and great start to a thread, great pics, break for a dog walk and pics to show it , i love it will watch this space for whats next.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

      Hi Laurie,
      looks a nice starting point although dare I say a rare car now
      What are the plans? Will you be staying with the 1.8 motor or going with something bigger?

      Chris
      1800 GTE turbo project
      http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...-time-for-cars!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

        Originally posted by 1800turbogte View Post
        Hi Laurie,
        looks a nice starting point although dare I say a rare car now
        What are the plans? Will you be staying with the 1.8 motor or going with something bigger?

        Chris
        do you have a spare TT kit lying around

        great intro L, look forward to how this progresses. might be worth storing or sympathetically removing the good bits of interior for legacy reasons, looking back i shouldve done the same with my laser interior (too late for that now)

        did tomtom send you down the A25, thats a real nice road through some beautiful villages

        also do you mind me asking how much the flatbad was to rent? (thinking ahead for shifting red gte around)

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

          [QUOTE=DarrenH;348939]do you have a spare TT kit lying around

          Yes I do, but if all goes to plan I do hope to use it
          1800 GTE turbo project
          http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...-time-for-cars!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

            Originally posted by gte 16v View Post
            Cool as m8, i thought it was nice when i saw it up for sale, congrats and great start to a thread, great pics, break for a dog walk and pics to show it , i love it will watch this space for whats next.
            Thanks Paul.

            Originally posted by 1800turbogte View Post
            Hi Laurie,
            looks a nice starting point although dare I say a rare car now
            What are the plans? Will you be staying with the 1.8 motor or going with something bigger?

            Chris
            Yes Chris, I suppose it is ... So on this model (looking at the door cards) the electric windows are optional as probably was the slide/tilt roof? not sure about the tear-drop wheels were they an option or did they only arrive with the 2.0 or the 16v? .. The brochure that is with the small bunch history shows the cross hatch wheels!

            Yes I think for now I'm going to aim for a budget track car with keeping as much appearing as OE as possible and keeping the 1.8 (may see what I can do to squeeze a little more power out of it) and then see what and how it develops, problem will be "can I keep from going down the OE route too much in respect of its value as maybe a rare model"????

            Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
            great intro L, look forward to how this progresses.
            Thanks Darren

            Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
            might be worth storing or sympathetically removing the good bits of interior for legacy reasons, looking back i shouldve done the same with my laser interior (too late for that now)
            Yes I guess so but depends on what I remove (if anything) initially there will no doubt come a point where I have to decide to go full track car or not .. no idea yet

            Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
            did tomtom send you down the A25, thats a real nice road through some beautiful villages

            also do you mind me asking how much the flatbad was to rent? (thinking ahead for shifting red gte around)
            Yes that's exactly where it took me and you are right real purrrrrrrty through there and a small road works causing a 10 minute tailback gave me chance to sight-see too

            transporter hire is not cheap! £96 per day with an allocated 150 miles then any miles over that charged at 10p/mile.

            Another local company had one for £220 per day but that was a slide and lift bed and well OTT .........

            Trailer hire is obviously much cheaper but you have to have something to pull it.

            Laurie.
            My vehicles:
            1985 Astra GTE 1.8 8v, 2002 Omega Est, 1978 MGB GT, 1973 Honda CB500 K2, 1993 Honda Sevenfifty, 2005 Suzuki Grand Vitata .......

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

              Looks very tidy, and a good price! Must admit I was tempted by that one, but need the money for mine still.
              Returned GTE to default settings : On axle stands

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                What's the spec? My first 1.8 GTE had sunroof and electric Windows the second had sod all but for a trackday car would've been ideal

                My first one was the first car I ever modified, 4 branch manifold, Janspeed exhaust, K&N filter...I thought it was rapid at the time lol. Didn't go bad though for what it was but that was probably down to the fact it was the RA edition (rust allover)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                  A previous owner's thread...

                  http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...Astra-GTE-1-8i

                  You'll have to take my word on it that it was C41 RMV as the pics have gone, but it was. He was the third owner as I recall. I nearly bought the car when it was advertised in the back of Total Vauxhall by its original owner (2003-ish I think) but sadly couldn't afford to insure it. Ten years ago it was immaculate inside and out, so I don't know how much it has deteriorated, but if it's still the car it was then, I personally would say it was too good (and rare now) to track mod it. Each to their own I guess.
                  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


                  • #10
                    Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                    Originally posted by Pigeonrat View Post
                    A previous owner's thread...

                    http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...Astra-GTE-1-8i

                    You'll have to take my word on it that it was C41 RMV as the pics have gone, but it was. He was the third owner as I recall. I nearly bought the car when it was advertised in the back of Total Vauxhall by its original owner (2003-ish I think) but sadly couldn't afford to insure it. Ten years ago it was immaculate inside and out, so I don't know how much it has deteriorated, but if it's still the car it was then, I personally would say it was too good (and rare now) to track mod it. Each to their own I guess.
                    Doh! well would you believe it .... I was reading the text version or those posts when I was looking for some history on the 1.8 8v's but I had no idea it was this car that was being discussed.

                    So lets get it out in the open ...... Who's going to hate me forever and be sticking voodoo daggers into me for using this as my track day car ...... taking into account what I said above re: keeping as close to OE as possible (by that I mean improving handling and performance, I really think if I was to go down the fitting of a cage route I'd be better off starting with a tin-top)?

                    As for the condition (at the moment) I can only go on the gut feel I had for the car when viewing it as I've not had carpets up or anything but I did peep through the warning triangle hole in the hatch N/S panel and could see the arch repair (looking very minimal in depth but well done) and there is a clearly defined non standard crease/edge visible on the outside where the replacements had been filled. The engine sounds sweet and the steering is "bloody heavy" .....

                    I really don't have a use for another total (cotton wool) restoration and the 16v GTE is just too precious to me as its spent much too much of it's life with me :'(

                    Anyway, Thanks for pointing out the postings and its been interesting reading those. I could tell from the eBay listing that is included in the history file that Bonzo had a good understanding of the car and its history.

                    In October 2009 he sold it for £1,180.00 after 21 bids, at the time of sale it had 73,124 miles and at the test station where it failed MOT test recently it was recorded at 73,852.

                    The box of bits that came with it would indeed indicate that it had adjustable top mounts and a few induction parts changes (or maybe they were just-in-case spares picked up by previous owners).

                    So anyway maybe I should start a voting link to get an idea of who loves me for buying it and who will hate me for using it .... lol .......... (though unless someone wants to buy it (and I can find an alternative) I think it will make little difference).

                    Laurie.
                    My vehicles:
                    1985 Astra GTE 1.8 8v, 2002 Omega Est, 1978 MGB GT, 1973 Honda CB500 K2, 1993 Honda Sevenfifty, 2005 Suzuki Grand Vitata .......

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                      the only voodoo daggers i had were from astradan for turning an 1988 gte16v into a track car

                      cost options on the 1.8 GTE were...

                      power steering
                      tilt slide sunroof with interior blind
                      electric front windows
                      central door locking and tailgate
                      electric aerial
                      metallic paint
                      tear drop alloy wheels (although they werent standard GTE wheels at the time they wouldve existed already from cavalier sri) body coloured on polar white GTE
                      hight adjustable drivers seat
                      inertia rear seatelts and centre lap belt
                      phillips AC741 head unit

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                        1.8 is a great engine, i used to use one for track days and it was superb!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                          I wont hate you Laurie, if all your going to do is try and get a few more bhp, make it handle better and you'll definately need to beef up the brakes. Unless they have been changed already.
                          My 1.8 has 16v running gear a must if you want to stop!
                          Im sure when you get to use the car you will fall in love with it. They are basic (well mine is) but fun

                          Chris
                          1800 GTE turbo project
                          http://www.astra-mk2.com/forum/showt...-time-for-cars!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                            That's up to you as it's your car

                            "Daggers" is a bit strong, but as I said, if it's still essentially the car I viewed ten years ago then I think it would be a bit of a shame. As I recall it had electric windows and in 2003 the original owner was adamant it had central locking but it had packed up, Bonzo was of the opinion it didn't have central but I can't remember if he got round to investigating whether it was broken or just didn't have it. The only option I know for certain it no longer has fitted is the 1985 Vauxhall alarm, because I bought it off Bonzo when it started playing up...it's fitted to my SR but not wired up yet.

                            As I say, it's your car so it's up to you. Early cars aren't common and personally I'd find a more common later 8V and track that instead. But if not, as Chris said, better brakes are a must as it's probably still got Delco calipers (I can't remember). From a financial view that car will never be as valuable as a 16V, but there'll always be plenty of 16Vs
                            Last edited by Pigeonrat; 23-09-2012, 07:42 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


                            • #15
                              Re: Laurie's First Track Day Car

                              Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
                              the only voodoo daggers i had were from astradan for turning an 1988 gte16v into a track car
                              And your still alive to tell about it .... that'll do for me

                              Originally posted by DarrenH View Post
                              cost options on the 1.8 GTE were...

                              power steering
                              tilt slide sunroof with interior blind
                              electric front windows
                              central door locking and tailgate
                              electric aerial
                              metallic paint
                              tear drop alloy wheels (although they werent standard GTE wheels at the time they wouldve existed already from cavalier sri) body coloured on polar white GTE
                              hight adjustable drivers seat
                              inertia rear seatelts and centre lap belt
                              phillips AC741 head unit
                              Ah okay .. so tear drop wheels are ok then (and the benefit is that I can get a set of 888's mounted and use them on my 16v for the Bedford track day {though wets may be needed it this weather continues} as there is no way this car will be ready for a run by then).
                              Funny that as I found the electric aerial toggle switch under the dash last night when checking the lights out and it worked !

                              Originally posted by Vxlgsi View Post
                              1.8 is a great engine, i used to use one for track days and it was superb!
                              That's great to know, so was yours standard if not what mods did you have?

                              Originally posted by 1800turbogte View Post
                              I wont hate you Laurie, if all your going to do is try and get a few more bhp, make it handle better and you'll definately need to beef up the brakes. Unless they have been changed already.
                              My 1.8 has 16v running gear a must if you want to stop!
                              Im sure when you get to use the car you will fall in love with it. They are basic (well mine is) but fun

                              Chris
                              I know what your saying about stopping but is that not then going against the objective of keeping this car intact? Maybe there are some period modifications that I can utilize ... after all its not about being the fastest but getting the most out of "the car"


                              Originally posted by Pigeonrat View Post
                              That's up to you as it's your car

                              "Daggers" is a bit strong, but as I said, if it's still essentially the car I viewed ten years ago then I think it would be a bit of a shame. As I recall it had electric windows and in 2003 the original owner was adamant it had central locking but it had packed up, Bonzo was of the opinion it didn't have central but I can't remember if he got round to investigating whether it was broken or just didn't have it. The only option I know for certain it no longer has fitted is the 1985 Vauxhall alarm, because I bought it off Bonzo when it started playing up...it's fitted to my SR but not wired up yet.

                              As I say, it's your car so it's up to you. Early cars aren't common and personally I'd find a more common later 8V and track that instead. But if not, as Chris said, better brakes are a must as it's probably still got Delco calipers (I can't remember). From a financial view that car will never be as valuable as a 16V, but there'll always be plenty of 16Vs
                              Yup I know what your saying ...... I'd probably have similar thoughts about "The Who" using a classic Fender guitar and smashing it up on stage in a performance but then its doing no good hanging on someone's bedroom wall (unless it was mine) lol ..... So you have known the car that long, so did you know the original owner from new or the second? lets hope I can do it justice, after all its not going to be used for banger racing and from the posting of Bonzo it sounds like it had been heavily modified in the past. I guess it could have had a much worse fate that what I have in store for it.

                              I had thought about a 2.0 8v but as I understand it the 1.8 is a better engine. The eBay history item mentions new callipers 4K ago not sure what they are yet. Oh and the Alarm contact plate is still in the dash if I'm not mistaken (same as we had in our old MK2 SRi)

                              Laurie.
                              My vehicles:
                              1985 Astra GTE 1.8 8v, 2002 Omega Est, 1978 MGB GT, 1973 Honda CB500 K2, 1993 Honda Sevenfifty, 2005 Suzuki Grand Vitata .......

                              Comment

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