When those of us residing in the U.S. think Cavalier, we picture the ho-hum compact car introduced by Chevrolet. But, the nameplate has a much different story in the UK. In fact, many credit the Vauxhall Cavalier with saving the brand itself.
The BBC has taken the time to celebrate the history surrounding the Vauxhall Cavalier and the car’s 40th anniversary. They were on hand to partake in the Vauxhall Cavalier, and sister vehicle Chevette, 40th anniversary, as one local owner enthuses about the car he purchased years ago.
“[The] cars saved Vauxhall, they turned the company’s fortunes around,” Kevin Bicknell said. “They were the cars that when people looked around and saw them they said ‘yes, I want one of those’.”
The Cavalier become one of the UK’s best selling family cars, and remained there until 1995 when Vauxhall replaced the model with the Vectra. Fans say the car was successful due to its stunning looks, unlike anything other at the time, a superb racing record and its affordable maintenance costs when things did go wrong.
“It was a good solid family car,” said Bicknell. “The Cavalier and Chevettes were among the best selling cars in the country at the time. Sometimes people joke about Vauxhall as a brand. But it is still going strong.”
And as for the Cavalier name? It seems locals wouldn’t mind a return to the nameplate after a 20 year hiatus.
“Well,” said Mr Bicknell, “they brought the Viva name back. And they replaced the Vectra with the Insignia. Perhaps one day the Insignia could be replaced with the Cavalier.”