Classic Car Mag Marketplace – Vauxhall Carlton 2.0L

Filed under: Classic News |
Vauxhall Carlton 2.0Here at Classic car we enjoy watching the classic market and think it’s time to detail some of the vehicles you can purchase right now. We also want open our sales room to readers; offering you the option of advertising your classic by producing a small write up and pictures. Its free to all and contact can be made through our web site or facebook page where we can advise on the transfer of pictures and copy. Trade & private sales welcome.

Today we bring you the Vauxhall Carlton 2.0L a private sale from Archie Brown 02392460404/
Location: Hayling Island, Hampshire.
Year: 1985
Mileage: 51,000
MOT: September 2016
Price: £1950.00

Vauxhall Carlton 2.0LFinding the rarest classics often involves a large financial commitment unless you invest in a mass produced machine designed to populate Britain’s motorways during the 1980’s. Even then sourcing a low mileage example in great condition is a challenge but there are a few that have been secured away for many years preserving their originality; making them somewhat unique and reassuringly familiar on today’s show scene. The perfect steed for those on a restricted by budget or new enthusiasts entering the classic car world for the first time, this Vauxhall fits the bill. A replacement for the Luton produced Victor/VX models, the Carlton was introduced in 1978 and ran alongside the similar sized Viceroy. Its re-badged twin from Opel didn’t ease Vauxhall’s sales decline as the Rekord enjoyed a host of engine and trim options that the GM management chose not to offer with the Carlton; both struggled in the showroom wars. Lessons learnt, GM revised the Carlton in 1982 and the original version received a facelift, improved trim and features plus an impressive drag coefficient of 0.36. Coupled with new power plants and gearboxes the more streamlined Mark 2 produced improved performance and fuel economy, all gained after many hours of testing in Pininfarina’s wind tunnel near Turin. All models received power assistance and a slick new 5 speed gearbox and whilst the 2.0 litre engine fitted to this car wasn’t new by design, it was proven and reliable.

Rare Beast
Vauxhall CarltonThis particular 2.0 L model could be considered a Mark 2 or a ‘facelift’ of the first Carlton depending on which Vauxhall authority is your source but it was replaced in 1986 when the Opel version introduced the name Omega. No doubt many thousands of these early Carlton’s would have left Vauxhalls dealerships but when was the last time you saw one? Checking the ‘How Many Are Left’ website, just a handful still pay road fund with very few sorn and off road; so what caused their demise in such large numbers? Mainly these cars were junior executive work horses that covered heavy mileages and thus enjoyed short lives; the other culprit would be corrosion. Eighties Vauxhall’s along with many other marques were prone to rust and finding a ‘tin worm free’ example in 2016 would not be easy. Information via the Manhood Classic Car Enthusiasts sent me on the trail of Archie Brown’s 2.0L, for sale due to ill health its current owner is looking to replace this car with an automatic. At the time of writing, this Carlton’s history is not complete, which is a shame as the extra paperwork would certainly increase the value. We do know the car was garaged in 2005 after just one or two previous owners and remained unused until last year. Discovered by local enthusiast Graham, a friend of the current owner, an inspection of the underside revealed a rot free body but the MOT test carried out at the time threw up two points. A headlight issue and an emissions failure, cured with a new bulb and a much needed tune up after laying dormant for a decade. Four new tyres and a precautionary replacement of the rear wheel cylinders meant the Carlton could attend a few local events. The interior is a ‘time warp’ back to the times of the first episode of ‘Eastenders’, the year that brought us the Sinclair C5 and ‘New Age Travellers’. The Phillips radio cassette works perfectly and compliments the spotless dash, unworn carpets and seating make for a lovely environment. Driver input is required to roll down the windows and adjust the side mirrors with electric options reserved for higher models than the L. Central locking is missing but electric boot opening is via a button just under the dashboard whilst driver’s seat height is controlled with an extending rod alongside the runners.

Road Test
Vauxhall Carlton 2.0L interiorAlways sceptical of the phrase ‘it drives like new’ I took the keys to confirm Archie’s claim, one that totally does the car justice. Smooth and quiet, the engine settled down once off automatic choke and the light clutch allowed a slick selection of all 5 gears. The Carlton feels tight on the road riding rough surfaces with ease and it was a pleasure behind the wheel; this Vauxhall shows no signs of its 30 years and everything works. Archie advised cruising at 70mph still returned 30+mpg and whether static or on the move engine noise is quieter than my 3-year-old modern. Although I only enjoyed a few miles the experience driving the 2.0L can only be described as impressive and certainly the best feature of a great car.

Vauxhall Carlton 2.0L engineLet’s be honest you don’t get much for £2k in today’s classic marketplace and the Vauxhall Carlton is not necessarily top of your list but should you yearn for something rare, almost unique nowadays, think again. Easy to drive and parts still in abundance the Carlton scores highly and one that comes without rust means that well looked after, years of ownership can be appreciated. The o/s front wing would benefit from a little attention as a small area of lacquer has peeled whilst under the front bumper a couple of stone chips need a touch-in. Once returned to a near showroom appearance this machine should be a crowd pleaser and as for its value, ‘that must surely increase although it will never make its owner rich, much classic fun will be enjoyed.