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Big Blue

Check out the velour....

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201605184068235
JohnC

That used to be the height of luxury. It's a long time since I saw a Senator and it really hasn't aged well - it now looks like the kind of car the Russian diplomats used to travel around in years ago before they discovered the S Class.
Big Blue

I was thinking along similar lines. I used to love the velour seats in the Audi 100s my stepdad had in the '70s.
Roadsterstu

Oooh, wine red velour, at that.
Roadsterstu

JohnC wrote:
That used to be the height of luxury. It's a long time since I saw a Senator and it really hasn't aged well - it now looks like the kind of car the Russian diplomats used to travel around in years ago before they discovered the S Class.


It looks like scaled up Nova saloon!
Blarno

Senators are awesome, velour and all. Our Monza had green velour.
Michael

Did they come with that much chrome or has someone got handy with the silver tape? The decimal place in that price needs moving at least one place to the left.
simonp

Michael wrote:
Did they come with that much chrome or has someone got handy with the silver tape? The decimal place in that price needs moving at least one place to the left.


I was thinking that. Both bits!
PG

My favourite 4 door Senator was the next model - with the more rounded shape. But best of all was the Monza. From when massive coupes were fashionable.
Giant

For some reason I really like the large vauxhalls and opels of the late 70s and '80s.
Blarno

There is something undeniably cool about an early Senator or Mk2 Granada in black. Menacing, but subtle, like a quiet nightclub doorman.

I've always loved the Senator, in both generational flavours. A big, solid, German saloon car loaded with kit for less money than the regular German suspects.
simonp

Saw a Grandad yesterday. Same colour as this one.

http://car-from-uk.com/sale.php?id=95529
Big Blue

Yummy Granada. Best big Ford ever.
Roadrunner

About 25 years ago I briefly ran around in a 2.8 Ghia which I bought for about £250 to keep me mobile while my Land Rover †was in need of a new gearbox. Like all 2.8 Fords I have driven it was surprisingly gutless, but a good cruiser all the same. Mine was metallic light blue, with a black vinyl roof and a light blue velour interior.
Racing Teatray

My father had a Senator 3.0 CD back in the day...but it was on a C-plate and had a more rounded front end. It was also a pale silver-blue with blue velour and IIRC a digital dash.
Frank Bullitt

simonp wrote:
Michael wrote:
Did they come with that much chrome or has someone got handy with the silver tape? The decimal place in that price needs moving at least one place to the left.


I was thinking that. Both bits!


Me to, I do like big old Vauxhall's but that one doesn't look good and he price is a joke
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Roadrunner wrote:
About 25 years ago I briefly ran around in a 2.8 Ghia which I bought for about £250 to keep me mobile while my Land Rover †was in need of a new gearbox. Like all 2.8 Fords I have driven it was surprisingly gutless.....

A can well remember back in the 90's having a couple of Granada V6 Cossies on hire in Scotland, courtesy of Avis when I was working in/around Dundee on contracts..... they certainly went OK !  Made the drive up from Edinburgh a little less boring that usual and I'm sure I took one up to Aberdeen one evening
Bob Sacamano

Roadrunner wrote:
About 25 years ago I briefly ran around in a 2.8 Ghia which I bought for about £250 to keep me mobile while my Land Rover †was in need of a new gearbox. Like all 2.8 Fords I have driven it was surprisingly gutless, but a good cruiser all the same. Mine was metallic light blue, with a black vinyl roof and a light blue velour interior.


My dad had a 1983 Granada Ghia 2.8 Ghia X auto in silver from new. It went OK but it only had about 150bhp so it wasn't a ball of fire. This one was loaded with driving lights, fog, velour, electric seats, big alloys, the works and as an 18 year old I loved driving it. Sadly it was stolen from outside our flat in Edinburgh and stripped for parts, with only the shell remaining.
Michael

Racing Teatray wrote:
My father had a Senator 3.0 CD back in the day...but it was on a C-plate and had a more rounded front end. It was also a pale silver-blue with blue velour and IIRC a digital dash.


We briefly had one from the pool car circuit. It was a goldy/beige sort of colour on a G plate which was the last body style. It had those orange Philips protected radio stickers on it which was typical of the era.
Racing Teatray

He replaced it in 1989 with one of the first E34 5-series on an F-plate.

However Senators reappeared in my life in 1994 when I was learning to drive. By that stage my father had moved back to Italy and so whenever he come over to visit me at school in England, he'd have an rental car and they were always Senator 3.0-24v CDs - the ones with the cheese-cutter front grilles.

Doubtless highly illegally, we would slap some L-plates on back and front, and I would drive them, on the basis that although they were automatics, it was all good roadcraft practice!

I have had a soft spot for them ever since.
Tim

Lovely and I don't have a problem with the price either, I'm sure an equivalent BMW or Merc would be similarly costly and no better.
PG

Somehow they seemed cooler as they were badged as Opels to start with. Like the Manta and Monza, they just sounded better as Opels. Once Senators became big Vauxhalls, things started to go downhill image wise. Sad, but true in my view.
gonnabuildabuggy

My Dad was responsible for his companies fleet in the 80's and they bought a lot of Vauxhall's so we had numerous demonstrators over weekends.

He had a Viceroy (anyone remember those!) for a week which had exactly that interior.
Giant

I do, Viceroys and Royales were super rare spots as an 80's child car spotter!

If the Senator is a plush Carlton, and a Royale a plush Monza, what was a Viceroy? Was this the time of Opel's demise in the UK?
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Wasn't the Viceroy a 4-cylinder version of the 6-cylinder Senator?
PG

Giant wrote:
I do, Viceroys and Royales were super rare spots as an 80's child car spotter!

If the Senator is a plush Carlton, and a Royale a plush Monza, what was a Viceroy? Was this the time of Opel's demise in the UK?


I think the Viceroy predated the Carlton as the vehicle one down the chain from the Royale (which I think was available in 3 or 4 door form).  Until I just googled it, I had forgotten that the Opel Monza (3 door coupe) ever became the Vauxhall Royale.
boc70

PG wrote:
Giant wrote:
I do, Viceroys and Royales were super rare spots as an 80's child car spotter!

If the Senator is a plush Carlton, and a Royale a plush Monza, what was a Viceroy? Was this the time of Opel's demise in the UK?


I think the Viceroy predated the Carlton as the vehicle one down the chain from the Royale (which I think was available in 3 or 4 door form). †Until I just googled it, I had forgotten that the Opel Monza (3 door coupe) ever became the Vauxhall Royale.


I think is was even more complicated than that:

Vauxhall Carlton = Opel Rekord (2 litre 4-pot only initially, drop-snoot front-end)
Vauxhall Viceroy = Opel Commodore (2.5 litre six - Carlton bodyshell with a different grille)
Vauxhall Royale = Opel Senator/Monza, more-or-less (mainly less, as 2.8 instead of 3-litre, different bodyshell to the Carlton/Viceroy)

I don't think this state of affairs lasted long...
gonnabuildabuggy

Boc70 is spot on.

The Viceroy was a late addition to the range and didn't last that long as sales were miniscule.

It was definitely a Carlton rear end sheet metal wise, I've got a vague idea the front was slightly elongated to fit the straight 6 engine but I might be wrong on that.

My dad has one of the early Carlton's DDW220V which he had for 3 yrs, the longest he ever had a company car, it was replaced by a 2.0 GL Carlton when they went to a different trim levels, then by a Cavalier 1.6GLS, then 1.8CDi (real flier that car, I loved it) then a series of ever posher Granada's before he got a 525i. He's had a BMW of some kind every since.
Big Blue

I've just googled Vauxhall Viceroy. Amazing what risible shite it looks compared to a Granada of the same era. To my eyes, anyway.

In fact we should be glad of our modern cars. 50s and 60s cars had some style but in the 70s style seemed to take a break.
gonnabuildabuggy

Big Blue wrote:
I've just googled Vauxhall Viceroy. Amazing what risible shite it looks compared to a Granada of the same era. To my eyes, anyway.

In fact we should be glad of our modern cars. 50s and 60s cars had some style but in the 70s style seemed to take a break.


Viceroy was an 80's child!

The Carlton/Royale were much better drivers cars than the Granada, but looks wise history hasn't been kind to the Carlton's shovel nose and square back.

The Viceroy was an oddity even when it was new though, the Royale/Senator was and still is a good looking car to my eyes.
gonnabuildabuggy

Quick google shows how much wheels and colour can affect a car.

Looks Pants:



Looks decent:



I've got this somewhere. The Carlton looks very much the poor relative:



and finally heres' the alternatives:



Hindsight makes the Rover look perhaps the best choice but they were hopelessly unreliable, the Volvo looks better with age and nostalgia (I'd have one), but at the time was an expensive tank, the Granada looks good but was outhandled usually by it's equivalent Vauxhall.
Tim

Not a German in sight.....
JohnC

Those Sweeney spotlights on the Granada do it for me.

The Rover does look great but the 2600 wasn't the best of engines.

In my yoof, a friend had a 244 GLT which was actually reasonably quick in a straight line but all I remember is the horrific body roll and the fact that it was nearly impossible to get enough lock on for tight corners, if you were going fast because of the gearing in the steering rack - it also rolled in a manner likely to have you lying on the drivers lap! Back seat passengers slid about hilariously.

Does anyone have that kind of fun anymore?
gonnabuildabuggy

Have you tried hustling an FRV across Milton Keynes at speed?

Similarish kind of fun though perhaps less body roll and slightly quicker steering.

One reason I'm convinced the bushes are past their best.....
PG

JohnC wrote:
The Rover does look great but the 2600 wasn't the best of engines.


The Rover looks from a different planet compared to the rest. Sadly, although iot was the planet of futuristic looks,  it was also the planet unreliable. Which was a tragedy, really.

A friend of my dad had a Rover SD1 3500. I loved going as a passenger in that car.
Boxer6

JohnC wrote:
Those Sweeney spotlights on the Granada do it for me.

The Rover does look great but the 2600 wasn't the best of engines.

In my yoof, a friend had a 244 GLT which was actually reasonably quick in a straight line but all I remember is the horrific body roll and the fact that it was nearly impossible to get enough lock on for tight corners, if you were going fast because of the gearing in the steering rack - it also rolled in a manner likely to have you lying on the drivers lap! Back seat passengers slid about hilariously.

Does anyone have that kind of fun anymore?


Interesting to see Motors' typo re the 244GTL! As gutless as the Granda may have been, it was still a lot quicker than my dad's 2-litre Cortina, and hence more desirable to 17-year old me - the spotlights were an attraction too, it must be said! The guy two doors down from us got that Rover, and it was 50% rust less than 18 months after he got it - he was gutted, and I was glad my dad had opted not to get one in the end, even though that's what I had preferred from his short-list. I don't recall ever seeing a Viceroy, though I might have and just not realised!
Frank Bullitt

Big Blue wrote:
In fact we should be glad of our modern cars. 50s and 60s cars had some style but in the 70s style seemed to take a break.


Not quite;

PhilD

That's putting more trust in a CitroŽn handbrake than I'd be willing to give.
Big Blue

Of the Motor test cars the Granada wins for me. I loved SD1s but in the mid-late 70s my step-dad had 3 Audi 100s (the 3rd being the first CD 5E in the U.K.) and in 1980 a 528i: friends in the U.K.'s parents' cars were mainly Volvos, W123s, SD1s and Granadas. All seemed woeful compared to that CD 5E (BPE 575T, so 1978). Then the mater and step-dad moved Stateside in '81 and all European cars seemed woefully equipped as all cars I went in as a teenager had air-con, multi-speaker hi-fi, power windows, cruise control etc. They were shite but always had the kit, fitting the USMC mantle of "all the gear - no idea" as far as car enjoyment is concerned.
Racing Teatray

Of that Motor selection:

The Vauxhall we're discussed.

I never got the love for the Granada. A schoolfriend's parents had a light metallic green estate one in some sort of V6 Ghia max-chintz spec. It just looked American.

My love was definitely reserved for the SD1 - I also adored those and coveted a Vitesse.

As for the Volvo 240, my parents had a silver 240 Turbo estate in Italy in the 1980s. The Turbo was a distinct rarity: http://gearpatrol.com/2014/03/03/...bo-wagon-coolest-wagon-ever-made/
Bob Sacamano

Frank Bullitt wrote:
Big Blue wrote:
In fact we should be glad of our modern cars. 50s and 60s cars had some style but in the 70s style seemed to take a break.


Not quite;



That actually looks like a long brown turd. I remember them from 70s, they always seemed to ride at odd angles and rusted almost immediately.
Frank Bullitt

They have a narrower track at the rear than the front so can appear to be at an odd angle (this is true of the DS and GS(A) too) but unless it wasn't being properly maintained I can't see why it would otherwise be at an odd angle (unless you mean flat, being odd for a 1970's car) - the original CX did rust and phase 2 cars can suffer in key areas too (inner wings and around the sunroof) but no more so than other cars of the era, and unlike the Vauxhall and Granada in particular, don't look like a bucket of warm piss. Not many left in the U.K. now but plenty still left on the continent (where obviously they were more common new)
Bob Sacamano

I think the problem with them was that, while the styling was quite avantgarde, the execution wasn't so great. Panel fit was poor and there seemed to be lots of areas that trapped dirt and moisture, leading to rust. Paint and metalwork always had the impression of being thin. Even new ones never seemed to look "new", if you know what I mean.
Looking back from 2017 they are the more interesting choice but in the day the Granadas looked more solid and had a wide range of trim levels and options, were familiar, and didn't send the mechanics running to hide when you pulled onto the forecourt.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

JohnC wrote:
The Rover does look great but the 2600 wasn't the best of engines.

An SD1 without the V8 is a waste of time.
Martin

My Dad has a late (C Reg) 2600S auto company car.  It was an absolute delight after an Ambassador 2.0 HLS!
Blarno

Chlamydia would be a delight after an Ambassador!
Racing Teatray

Blarno wrote:
Chlamydia would be a delight after an Ambassador!


As the KGB agent said to the call girl...
Tim

Martin wrote:
My Dad has a late (C Reg) 2600S auto company car. †It was an absolute delight after an Ambassador 2.0 HLS!


He should think himself lucky, my dad had a 1.7L for a while  
Bob Sacamano

My dad got a new job in 1976 and, having always had Cortinas up to that point and a 2000E most recently, came home in a red Austin Princess. He extolled its aerodynamics, the amount of room inside, and a ride that equaled a Citroen's. We were not convinced and it turned out neither was he as it was swopped almost immediately for a 3.0L Granada Sport.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

^
My dad went from a company "landcrab" 1800 to the Wedgie Princesses, somehow managing to avoid the Ambassador and had an early A-reg Montego saloon (2.0HL IIRC), which was light-years ahead of the Princess in many ways.
Tim

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
^
My dad went from a company "landcrab" 1800 to the Wedgie Princesses, somehow managing to avoid the Ambassador and had an early A-reg Montego saloon (2.0HL IIRC), which was light-years ahead of the Princess in many ways.


The Princess pre-dated the Ambassador.

The latter was what the Princess should've been all along, a hatchback (the Princess had a huge boot but a tiny boot opening).
Chris M Wanted a V-10

..and IIRC CRayford (remember them?) did a hatchback conversion of the Princess.  IIRC Dad avoided the Austin/Morris/Wolseley triumvirate and went straight to a "Leyland Princess".  The Ambassador must have had a relatively short life as dad had P, S, V, X Princesses and A, D, F plate Montegos, buying the last one (an MG) at a special price when he retired
Frank Bullitt

Tim wrote:
Martin wrote:
My Dad has a late (C Reg) 2600S auto company car. †It was an absolute delight after an Ambassador 2.0 HLS!


He should think himself lucky, my dad had a 1.7L for a while †


Think yourselves lucky, my Dad went from a CitroŽn Visa 652cc Special to a Skoda Estelle 120L5.  No company cars, a tightwad nature and a compete distrust of anything second hand with two growing kids meant it was a Skoda or Lara Riva - the FSO Polonez having been removed from the options for being too expensive...
Bob Sacamano

In life I've only ever come across two Estelles - my mate's first Skoda and a girl from North Shields, and they both had wayward rear ends.
Tim

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
..and IIRC CRayford (remember them?) did a hatchback conversion of the Princess. †IIRC Dad avoided the Austin/Morris/Wolseley triumvirate and went straight to a "Leyland Princess". †The Ambassador must have had a relatively short life as dad had P, S, V, X Princesses and A, D, F plate Montegos, buying the last one (an MG) at a special price when he retired


Our Ambassador was a Y.
The Montego appeared at the very end of A reg, possibly only for a few weeks before B appeared.
Racing Teatray

Dad managed to avoid any BL rubbish. When we came back from Italy in 1986, he was given a Cavalier SRi hatchback initially as company car. I think it was a C-reg and it was black with natty cross-spoke alloys. That made way pretty quickly for a C-reg Senator 3.0 CD, which then was replaced with an F-reg E34 520i SE. By the time the 5-series was due for replacement in 1991 or thereabouts, he had moved back to Italy where he managed to swing himself a Range Rover Vogue SE.
Frank Bullitt

Bob Sacamano wrote:
In life I've only ever come across two Estelles - my mate's first Skoda and a girl from North Shields, and they both had wayward rear ends.


Not sure which would last longer in your memory, or even more fondly!

It did have a penchant for arse-out in the wet, which could be fun with worm and roller steering and the mindset of a 17 year old.
Martin

Tim wrote:
Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
..and IIRC CRayford (remember them?) did a hatchback conversion of the Princess. †IIRC Dad avoided the Austin/Morris/Wolseley triumvirate and went straight to a "Leyland Princess". †The Ambassador must have had a relatively short life as dad had P, S, V, X Princesses and A, D, F plate Montegos, buying the last one (an MG) at a special price when he retired


Our Ambassador was a Y.
The Montego appeared at the very end of A reg, possibly only for a few weeks before B appeared.


Ours was a A reg and was the first BL car after many years on company Renaults. †The Ambassador felt like a step down from his previous car, a 20TS, but he didn't keep it long thanks to a promotion and it did make the Rover (B reg) feel pretty special. † My Dad didn't like the Rover 820, so when the time came to change (1987), he went for a a Mk3 Granada 2.0i Ghia with air conditioning. †That felt like jumping forward a decade.

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