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The Vauxhall Chevette
The Chevette was designed to fit into the Vauxhall range below the Viva, and was initially presented as a hatchback, a style that soared in popularity during the 1970s. The Chevette was the first British-built hatchback of this size, with Ford not responding with a similar product until the following year. From 1975 until 1978, the Chevette was, in fact, the UK s best selling hatchback as UK branded rivals failed to respond to the challenge of the Peugeot 104 until the arrival of Ford s Fiesta at the end of 1976. Chrysler UK did not launch its Chrysler Sunbeam for two years, while it was five years before British Leyland came up with the Austin Metro.
The Vauxhall Chevette s shovel-nose resembled that of its stateside cousin
In 1976 the range was extended through the introduction of saloon and estate versions, each based on the equivalent Opel Kadett.
A minimalist facelift in 1979 saw protruding headlight covers applied to the front of the car and plastic trims to highlight the extractor vents on the rear pillars of the saloon Chevette.
Vauxhall Chevette, a rare HSR rally model in road-going trim
Vauxhall Chevette 4-door saloon (pre-facelift)
It was launched in the UK using Vauxhall s slogan and musical jingle : It s whatever you want it to be! A sporty coupe, a family saloon, a handy estate .  It was made at the purpose built factory in Ellesmere Port, Merseyside, under a government initiative to bring employment to the area.
More conventional 2- and 4-door saloons, and 3-door estate variants (essentially the Opel Kadett with Vauxhall front sheetmetal and engines) were also offered from June 1976.
The Viva remained on sale until the end of 1979, when the Opel Kadett D-based Vauxhall Astra was launched, while the Chevette remained on sale until 1984, itself being replaced by the slightly smaller Vauxhall Nova that was launched in 1983, with Chevette production being reduced in November 1981, when Astra production was moved to the Ellesmere Port factory.
This longevity led to the Chevette being exported to Germany after 1979, following the discontinuation of the Kadett C; here the Chevette was an unusual small car in that it still featured rear wheel drive. A further 12,332 of the cars were sold as Opels in Germany where with effect from October 1980 the car was badged as the Opel Chevette. By this time, it was the only Vauxhall badged car to be sold in in markets such as Mauritius and New Zealand: successor models assembled in the UK for sale in mainland Europe, such as the Astra, have been badged as Opels.
A van version, based on the estate and called the Bedford Chevanne was also built, and badged as part of GM s Bedford commercial vehicles marque.
Although the Chevette was largely a rebadged Opel Kadett C with revised front-end (detailed below), it did use the 1256 cc overhead valve (OHV) engine of the Viva instead of the Kadett s units, which were produced by Opel. The Kadett s double wishbone front suspension, rear-wheel drive and rear suspension with Panhard rod, torque tube and coil sprung live axle were carried over unaltered. Inside, the two cars differed only in terms of their dashboard and switchgear: the Chevette stuck to the British Japanese right-hand drive tradition of having the indicator switch on the right-hand side of the steering column, while the Kadett had the mainland European left-hand drive custom of the flasher stalk being on the left. The Chevette also had a much more angular instrument binnacle, although the instrumentation within was similar (though in imperial rather than metric measurements).
The Chevette s front end featured a more aerodynamic-looking nose treatment than the Kadett, based loosely on the design of the droopsnoot Firenza. In contrast the Kadett had a more conventional flat-fronted design. In 1980, the Chevette underwent a facelift with flush fitting headlights, giving it a family look alongside the larger Vauxhall Cavalier. It also received new wheel designs, revised C-pillar vent covers and revamped interior trim with re-designed front seats to increase rear knee room marginally. However, it was effectively the beginning of a phase-out in favour of the newer Astra, Vauxhall s version of the front wheel drive Kadett, which was launched in January 1980.
Production finally finished in January 1984, approximately one year after the launch of the Spanish-built Nova.
The Chevette was a successful model for Vauxhall, with around 415,000 units produced in just under nine years.
Porsche 930 Turbo
The Porsche 930 Turbo, simply badged Turbo (although early U.S. units were badged as Turbo Carrera) debuted at the Paris Auto Show in October 1974 before being put on sale in the spring of 1975; export to the United States began in 1976.
The 930 proved very fast but also very demanding. The 911 was prone to oversteer because of its rear engine layout and short wheelbase; combining those traits with the power of the turbocharged motor, which exhibited significant turbo-lag, made the problem more prevalent. Even though the rear engine layout provided superior traction, sudden bursts of power to the rear wheels in mid-corner could break the tires loose, causing the car to literally spin out of control. This effect was amplified if an unexperienced driver would instinctively lift the throttle in reaction. The vehicle needed to be kept at high revs during spirited driving to minimise the turbo lag. Skilled drivers quickly learned how to drive the 930 properly, and with that knowledge came the ability to drive the car above and beyond the levels of most other sports cars. Nevertheless, some fatal accidents resulted in product liability law suits brought against Porsche in the US.
Porsche made its first and most significant upgrades to the 930 for 1978, enlarging the engine to 3.3 litres and adding an air-to-air intercooler. By cooling the pressurized air charge, the intercooler helped increase power output to 300 hp; the rear whale tail spoiler was re-profiled and raised slightly to make room for the intercooler. Porsche also upgraded the brakes to units similar to those used on the 917 racecar.
Porsche cut-back spending on the model, and changing emissions regulations in Japan and the U.S. forced Porsche to withdraw the 930 from those markets in 1980 as they believed the 928 would eventually replace the 911.
The 930 remained available in Europe, and for 1983 a 330 hp performance option became available on a build-to-order basis from Porsche. With the add-on came a 4-pipe exhaust system and an additional oil-cooler requiring a remodelled front spoiler and units bearing the add-on often featured additional ventilation holes in the rear fenders and modified rockers.
Porsche offered a Slantnose 930 under the special order programme beginning in 1981. It was an otherwise normal 930 with a 935-style slantnose instead of the normal 911 front end.
928 sales had risen slightly by the 1985 model year, but there was still some question as to if it were truly capable of superseding the 911 as the company s premier model, and for 1986 Porsche re-introduced the 930 to the Japanese and U.S. markets, now featuring an emission-controlled engine producing 282 hp. At the same time Porsche introduced the Targa and Cabriolet variants, both of which proved popular.
Porsche discontinued the 930 after model year 1989 when its underlying G-Series platform was being replaced by the 964. 89 models were the only versions of the 930 to feature a 5-speed transmission. A turbo version of the 964 officially succeeded the 930 in 1991 with a modified version of the same 3.3 litre flat-6 engine and a 5-speed transmission.