1979 Vauxhall Cavalier MkI GL *Sold £2,500*

MODELMkI Cavalier GL
COLOURJamaica Yellow
INTERIORBeige Fabric

1979 Vauxhall Cavalier MkI GL *Sold £2,500*

1 in stock

  • Recently recommissioned 
  • Stunning condition 
  • Stored for 24 years 
  • Genuine 48,000 miles 
  • Just two former keepers 
  • Click here to see the Sold price

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  • Recently recommissioned 
  • Stunning condition 
  • Stored for 24 years 
  • Genuine 48,000 miles 
  • Just two former keepers 

Once in a while a manufacturer produces a ground breaking car. For Vauxhall that moment was the Mk1 Cavalier. 

In the early ‘70s Vauxhall were in a spot of bother. Not least of their worries was that Ford were trouncing them with the modern Cortina models. Some in the company had an answer. On the drawing board was the absurdly named Vauxhall U Car. The project was behind schedule, wobbling badly and senior management were in a mess. 

In Spring 1974 General Motors parachuted in a new American MD, Bob Price. He was a man in a hurry and he added rocket fuel to the whole outfit. He told everyone he wanted a Cortina beating Vauxhall at the Earls Court Motor Show, that Summer, or else. 

When the covers came off the all new Vauxhall Cavalier at the 1975 London Motor Show it took everyone by surprise. The incredibly stylish saloon attracted rave reviews. Vauxhall even got the prices for the Cavalier, ranging from £1975 for the 1600L, spot-on. 


This Mk1 Cavalier looks gorgeous in Jamaica Yellow. The supplying Vauxhall Main Dealer sticker remains in the rear screen along with other nice original touches. The panel gaps and door shut lines are all correct. The wheel arches are all ‘good condition’. There are two keys with the Cavalier all the locks are matching and operate with one key. How often do you find that? 

In an open and honest appraisal of the Cavalier our vendor says ‘The bodywork is very solid, it is an honest car with no hidden bodges. It is however not a concours restored car, it’s a 42 year old survivor classic.’ In our view, much the better for it than a 42 year old car that has been over-restored to within a millimetre of its life.  

He goes on to describe the Mk1, ‘It has some imperfections, small cosmetic surface rust, little dents and paint touch ups, it could easily be improved upon on a rolling basis by the new owner if wanted’. 

We are told all doors open and close well with no drop in the hinges. The chrome trim has responded well to a polish but there is some age related deterioration and some small marks remaining. This, in our view, is our vendor being brutally honest and in some ways, overly so. 

Both headlights, which so often mist-up, corrode or just fall apart are in mint condition. We’d hesitate to confirm they are original but could well be.   

When asked about the underneath of the Vauxhall, our vendor responded, ‘The car is in superb original condition, these cars can sometimes rust terribly but this one is perfect and solid, all the usual common problem areas are solid and original. It has never had any welding repairs at all, nor will it need any. There were a few small areas underneath which has been cleaned up and painted in satin black stone chip to protect it.’  The good candid images support all of that. 


The interior areas of the Cavalier is a sheer delight to be honest. Very rarely do we see Cavaliers like this. The inside of this car is in superb clean original condition.  

The gold velour seats are unmarked and almost unworn as they had always had seat covers fitted. The carpet is in good original condition. The door trims are in very good original unmolested condition. The dash, so often an area of weakness and very hard to deal with if damaged is free from any cracks or splits. The steering wheel is as it was when it left the Luton factory. The original Phillips radio cassette is still present. It does add to the wonderful overall period feel.  

Moving to the rear of the Cavalier. In the boot there is the original boot mat! Added to that is a fuel tank trim! Everything in that area of the Cavalier is all solid and free from corrosion.   

Engine and Transmission 

We are very reliably advised the car runs ‘beautifully’. The engine fires and starts first time, every time. It is easily capable of being used daily and keeps in time with modern traffic without any complaint. 

When the Cavalier came out its 24 year hibernation various work was carried out. It includes; new rear wheel cylinders. The front brake calipers were stripped and overhauled. That is the stopping part sorted. It’s always good to start there.  

The car was then fully serviced, with the engine receiving new dizzie cap, plugs, points, condenser and rotor arm. That is the spark bit sorted.  

The fuel tank was removed, inspected, cleaned, treated and replaced. All new rubber fuel lines were replaced with clips, very important, and crucially, the pipes and clips are E10 compliant. To finish off the fuel bit, a new carburettor was sought and fitted. 

All the sparky bits and fuelly bits were then timed up to work in perfect harmony via the use of an old fashioned gas analyser. Hence the vendor says above that the engine runs ‘beautifully and starts first time every time’. 

The work didn’t end there. The cooling system was drained and checked. New fan belt, thermostat and modern coolant were installed. 

A new exhaust was also fitted. 

All four original Rostyle type wheels are fitted and in great condition complete with period chrome out wheel rim trims. Four new tyres with valves were fitted and balanced. 

Phew! Everything that could and does go wrong has been sorted. 

Oops nearly forget. Just so you don’t have to take our vendors word for it. Although it doesn’t need it, our vendor took the Cavalier to have an MOT prior to auction. It passed. You knew it would! 

Our view 

Before we do that, this is what the leading motoring writers said at the time. What Car? magazine had this to say after the Cavalier trounced the Ford Cortina and the dear old Morris Marina in a group test  

‘Vauxhall’s Cavalier has helped put the previously ailing Luton firm on the road to recovery – and it’s easy to see why. The Cavalier is a good handling, sporty saloon aimed directly at the Cortina. As far as driver appeal is concerned, the Cavalier must be one of the best – perhaps the best – conventional saloon. Its steering is accurate and responsive at all times, and it is not too heavy at parking speeds. Its cornering ability on smooth roads is excellent …ride may be a little firm for some tastes, but the ride/handling compromise is near perfect.’ 

Given this Cavalier has had just two owners, was dry stored for 24 years and has had some very well considered re-commissioning, we don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t jump back in this time warp Cavalier and it be as good now as when What Car? described it back then. 

Is there any ‘downside’ to this wonderful Mk1? Well, for the purists who like their cars pin perfect in every respect, including paint work, yes, there could be if you were that picky. The paintwork shows some age related marks, which our vendor has been totally clear about and he highlights in a terrifically transparent way in the pics. 

In our view, this all original, un-molested, un-bodged Cavalier is just bursting with character from every pore. From the original faded Bristol Street Motors window sticker to the Jamaica Yellow paintwork, this Cavalier is every inch a winner in our view. 

It is yet another classic car with a very sensible vendor setting a very reasonable reserve in the anticipation of passing this on to another happy enthusiast to appreciate and enjoy. We’d be surprised if the bidding on this marvellous Mk1 doesn’t finish up somewhere between £4,500-£6,000. 

Vauxhalls from this era are at last now being recognised for their value. We doubt it will be long before prices for these head where Fords from the same period are heading, skywards. Grab this rare survivor, now, drive it, enjoy it and watch the prices rocket. 

Vehicle Location: Brighouse, West Yorkshire – it’s the responsibility of the winning bidder to make collection / transportation arrangements directly with the vendor

Have a question about this vehicle? Please contact the Evoke team at auction@evoke-classics.com and we will speak to the vendor on your behalf.

We base our business on trust and know that the vendor’s description for this vehicle has been done to the best of their knowledge. However, before you bid, please ensure you have made all the necessary checks to satisfy yourself.

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Bidder Bid amount Bid time
r************d £1,700.00 2022-01-04 18:57:27
m*********s £1,600.00 2022-01-04 07:42:41
r************d £1,600.00 2022-01-04 18:43:07
r*y £1,400.00 2022-01-03 21:47:47
m*********s £1,300.00 2022-01-02 08:21:33
s*********t £1,300.00 2022-01-02 13:18:29
r************d £1,100.00 2022-01-01 17:04:23
r***********y £1,000.00 2021-12-20 12:47:31
m**********************k £900.00 2021-12-21 22:59:37
m**********************k £700.00 2021-12-21 22:59:28
s******************************m £500.00 2021-12-20 12:37:06
Start auction £100.00 20/12/2021 12:00 PM


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