The Competition

Anything about BXs
tim leech

The Competition

Post by tim leech » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:06 pm

As alot of you know I sell cars for a living for VW, most cars we take in part ex or "chop" are fairly normal euroboxes most of which are golfs etc.

However today I delivered a new Golf 1.6S (boggo spec) to a very nice but very deaf 83 year old man who lives near my mum, I took in "chop" a 1992 J Ford Sierra 2.0i GLS Saphire with wait for it 23100 miles on it from new, not 231000 but twenty three thousand one hundred, and a FULL Ford Service mystery which verified it. He used i to go to the shops and twice a year to his sisters. He was 70 when he bought it hence the tiny mileage.

As you can imagine ive "smoked" around in it today for a hoot, its very pink as it was once radiant red but he admits to never having polished it once but its astouding that everything works and the interiors like new and theres not ONE spot of rust and this is a Sierra!

The reason for this probably boring post is that in its time it was direct competitor to our beloved BX and I have to say even though this is as new mileage wise as you could get to a new one nowadays its seems so old fashioned in comparison.

The brakes are spongy the clutch is quite heavy and has too much SPRING and its easy to kangaroo and the steering pondorous, it does go well being the DOHC EFI engine but gets very vocal over 4000 revs (as its prob never been there before) and the back ends rather wayward in the wet and as for the ride well theres no comparison!

Bearind in mind that the were both launched in 1982 and finished in 1993 I though it relevent, and to reaffirm how different and in so many ways streets ahead of such cars like the one mentioned the BX is. I imagine this car was the equivilent to a Gti 8v and as Ive only just parted with one of those I know which one I would have out of the two!

Oh and for anyone whos interested the Sierra was bought with a full 12 months mot and a bit of tax for £250! :D

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cavmad
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Post by cavmad » Wed Sep 06, 2006 10:46 pm

Good post Tim, and I suppose there must have been a few rivals to the BX.
The Sierra wasn`t too bad a car when new, but like pretty much all cars when they got to a certain age problems arise.
I believe the twin cam engine had timing chains as opposed to cam belts, I`m sure Reanimation could confirm this.
As a rival to the BX it`s sort of hard to compare because I believe the BX to be a completely different animal to all other cars in the same class. It`s hard to believe people would consider a Sierra if they like Citroens and vice-versa and probably badge loyalty accounted for most of Citroen`s sales.
The Sierra certainly displayed some very unusual places to rust when it kicked in, around the doors under the window rubbers, for example, and also `strange` areas of door panels.
I wouldn`t neccessarily slag them off though, I`ve had a couple (including a late GLSi Sapphire) which were quite nice, though not in the same league as the BX or Mk3 Cavalier which were (are) much nicer to drive in my experience.
I wonder if any of our members thought long and hard about the rivals and bought a BX instead of one of the usual suspect rep-mobiles?
Incidentally Tim, what`s happening with the Sierra? Is your dealership following the usual `age related` policy and taking it straight to the auction?
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Post by jeremy » Wed Sep 06, 2006 11:48 pm

The Sierra was the product of Ford's usual lack of investment and foresight - as it was immediately outclassed by the Mk 1 Cavalier - which was of course a modern type car (FWD, transverse engines - end on gearbox etc like the BX) with modern engines etc. If you ever see an early one you will see atht the Cavalier has no engine size badge - as it was only 1600 but was the equal of the 2 litre Sierra.

Ford tried to get better performance by the aerodynamic shape but all the buying public could see was a wierd and rather dull looking shape coupled to some rather old engines - and the thing wasn't much of a success quite deservedly.

Cant say I've ever wanted one - but to be fair if I was prepared to waste the money that would buy me a new car I'd buy a more interesting second hand one like a Jaguar - so I didn't buy a BX either. I did actually look at a bargain basement one but they get expensive new when you want an engine - so I bought my Series 111 XJ6 instead in 1987.

The Sierra seemed to get very scruffy very quickly - and even the attempts to create enthusiasm by making the Cosworth only drew attention to Ford's inability to make door locks and the the things were as easy to steal as when all Mk 1 Cortinas had the same door locks. Models like the Saphire seemed only to create a yawn from the public - in much the same way as the Onion did.

Strangely the Cortinas were great sellers - especially the Mk1 and the Mk111 and they haven't really had a hit since.

Mind you - have Citroen got a hit on their hands at the moment? BX, Xantia and ZX and the Picasso have done well but are any of the current ones doing as well?

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Post by cavmad » Thu Sep 07, 2006 7:21 am

Jeremy, iirc, the Mk1 Cavalier also had a 1.3 and 2.0 engine at some stage too.
For some unknown reason the Opel Ascona, which was a European Cav Mk1, seemed to be a better built car, perhaps they were made in a different country?
I also recall the Mk2 Cortina was a huge seller, in fact I`m pretty sure it was the only car to knock the ADO16 off the top seller`s list for about seven years.
Ford seemed to have a knack of making quite average cars which I can only assumed traded on the reputation of earlier, better selling cars. They also managed to get things quite badly wrong even in later years with things like the bug eye Scorpio and the Probe. The latter was a poorly executed and brutally ugly knee-jerk reaction to the Calibra. It was suggested that when the Calibra was first shown to the public that Ford unofficially announced it would take them 5 years to come up with a rival which, in my humble opinion, was never even close.
I have to confess I don`t recall the BX being launched but compared to all it`s rivals it was an innovative, modern deign and yet still looked undeniably different which must have attracted quite a few `floating` buyers.
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tim leech

Post by tim leech » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:15 am

This does have a cambelt as its got a bill for a new one 5 years ago at 18000 miles! It started first turn of the key this morning and the heater worked better than most cars I have owned lol

Agreed it is antiquated.

However I think were confusing the Mk1 Cavalier with the MK2, MK1 was 1976-1981 and then the Mk2 came out on a 1981 X plate which as Cavmad did point out was available as a 1.3/1.6 and of course 1.8 in carb and Injection form although not straight away and was front drive.

Next week lets get a Monetgeo and compare that! :D

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Post by jeremy » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:41 am

Yes I'm talking about the front wheel drive Cavalier - and agree it was listed as being available in 1.3 and 1.6 forms - with no external badging to distinguish. Did they ever make any 1.3?

For some reason GM must have taken about 4 or 5 years to make a 1.8 - and I remember a ride in a new sporty one - that seemed to have an extremely rough engine which put me off, but overall, an excellent car, and one highly respected by its users after Cortinas.

It was the Mk 111 Cortina (Looked like a Vauxhall FD Victor - Coke bottle shape) which removed the 1100/1300 from the best sellers position. Mk 11 was quite smart but a bit bland and virtually indistinguishable from a Hillman Hunter - but did introduce the 1600E

The Calibra may have had virtues but to this day I have to look very hard to distinguish it from a Cavalier and even though I was driving competitors (Scirrocco GTi) it tended to produce a yawn rather than interest from me. Opel Monza was more interesting but as its fuel consumption was in the Jaguar league I got the real thing.

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Post by Will2cv » Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:41 am

Back in the late '80s my dad seriously considered a Mk2 cav CD or Sri but ended up going for a secondhand CX, he got a lift in one and was hooked forever! In 1985 though he was looking for a mid-range estate car and unfortunately the BX estate was still a few months away from being Uk launched. I remember a wodge of brochures on the kitchen table for Montego, Cavalier and Sierra estates, but the one he went for was a Fiat Regata 100S Weekend (twin cam iirc). Better than all three apparently. When did you last see a Regata on the road? Quite fancy one now!

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Post by cavmad » Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:15 am

the Mk1 was available with at least two engine sizes (1.6 and 2.0) in standard from with a 1.9 Coupe also available. I`m pretty sure there was a 1.3 too, but not 100%.
The Mk2 did indeed have 1.3/1.6/1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines as well as the 1.6 diesel.
The 1.8 in SRi format was a wonderful car with great performance and brilliant build quality and could take huge amounts of abuse and neglect, I think they had a different gearbox to standard 1.8`s and it showed.
They could be slighly rough feeling though I`ve found the Mk3 1.8`s to be nowhere near as smooth.
Mk2`s in 1.3, especially two door, versions are very rare now though I know of about 3 still left in the hands of enthusiasts.
I think it`s probably difficult not to see the similarities between Cavalier and Calibre as they shared the same floor pan/base but I do really like the lines of the Calibra and their mechanicals are tried and tested and also capable of huge amounts of abuse/neglect (except possibly the later Ecotec engined ones), parts are easy and cheap to come by and servicing is a piece of cake too.

By-the-by though, as not fair to mention them in comparison to BX`s.
Had I known what I know now and had I been in the position to buy a new car in the eighties I`d have still gone for the Mk2 Cavalier first with the BX very close behind. I don`t think I`d have ever considered a Fraud, Fiat or VW (for example) had I tasted the BX earlier.
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Post by jeremy » Thu Sep 07, 2006 12:11 pm

The RWD Cavalier (Mk 1) from the 70's was simply a rebadged Opel Ascona (or was it Commode?) which had evolved into a good car by then. It had the Opel cam-in-head engine which was also used in larger cars in 6 cylinder form and had a Chevette-style front grafted on to it - and gave us the familiar toothless front with 2 lips sucking on a bumper. Long after the thing dissappeared Opel were still making Mantas which were based on it - and I seriously considered one - but the 2 litre GTE's were expensive and the 1.8 slow so didn't bother. (Think they were also heavy to drive and didn't have PAS - and as I live in the centre of town and had grown to hate my Scirrocco as it was brutally heavy at slow speed this was important)

Ford of course were still making the Capri but having driven a few and not liked the driving position or the thirst of Ford's engines I ignored everyone who told me that a 2.8 or 280 would be a good investment and think I was right to do so.

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Post by Stinkwheel » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:03 pm

One thing to say about DOHC ford engines.............

I had 2 late granada's with the 2 litre DOHC engine and they are DEFINITLY timing chain driven.

If yours has had a belt Tim then its a SOHC or the garage are lying to the poor old owner.

I like this thread, its a good one.
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Post by cavmad » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:10 pm

I was kinda told the same thing about the Capri, Jeremy, and would agree with your comments about values.
I think Brooklands versions will do well money wise and maybe the 280 in a few years time but only mint originals.
Mk3`s don`t seem to attract huge premiums at the moment, in fact an average or rough one would be worth more in parts.
Suprisingly few Mk2`s seem to be about these days, I`d suggest it was the Mk1 (especially pre-facelift) models that are the `big thing` along with stuff like the 3000E/RS3.1/3000Gt etc and have you seen how much money Mk3 3000 `S` models are getting on eBay? They`ve gone through the roof and these will become extremely sought after along with things like the Cortina Mk4 2.0/2.3 `S` versions I think.


Tim, sorry to have gone so far off topic with this, I have tried to include BX`s in one or two of my replies!
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Post by jeremy » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:59 pm

Strange that the 3000 Capri should attract a premium - as it was reconed by all the road testers that the 2.8's were much better cars as the lighter engine improved the balance as well as improving power, refinement and fuel consumption at the expense of some low end power. Many also had 5 speed boxes and although Ford did make an overdrive gearbox for 3 litre V6 I think it was mainly used by Reliant and on ambulances, and never offered on the Capri.

Just shows that people buy these things to polish not drive!

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Post by artic-steel » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:36 pm

Very good post Tim,

Another intresting similarity is I mentioned it to my Ford loving mate & he wants it for the engine, it will fit straight in a Mk2 Escort apparently.

Many BX GTi's have gone this way as we all know, it would be a shame for this to join them.

tim leech

Post by tim leech » Thu Sep 07, 2006 2:39 pm

The cars been sold on to a member of staff who will use the car, it wont be broken as its in fine fettle with a 12 months MOT so it would be pointless, when there plenty of granadas with the same engine in the scrappers!