MINTY FRESH !
Mat came across Minty the Mk2 Cavalier for sale on the Mk2cav.com website 15 years ago.
The car had been given by its original owner Mr McGrady from Yeovil to a mk2cav member Mr Nicholas Tapp. As Nicholas had no interest in the car he put the car up for sale for £250. Mat remembers making the trip with a friend in his mk3 Cavalier he had at the time to purchase minty as he quickly became known. Minty had a flat tyre when Mat arrived and Nick quickly reduced the price to £150.
OWNER: MAT BARLOW
Mat Says "Driving home was a little worrying as the oil pressure gauge was sat at 1 bar all the way home. Some investigation later confirmed it was a faulty gauge and my local Vauxhall dealer of High Wycombe was able to source me a replacement. I used the car as my daily, at the time I was an AA patrolman covering the Reading and high Wycombe areas. In 2008 I moved to Northampton but still patrolled back in Reading. The Cavalier was used daily covering the 200 miles or so without any troubles. 2009 I rescued an abandoned 10 month old Boxer dog named Rocco from a kennels in Luton. A great memory collecting my best pal in the car. An odd feeling looking back that I had that car when my pup came into the world and still had it 12 years later when he left it. Where ever I've gone, the car has come with me. Unfortunately due to other commitments I stored the car for 8 years but over this last lockdown it became my project to get minty back out and on the road. It's not a concourse winner or a show winner but it's a very solid car. Never had any welding. There are a few age marks, a small scuff on the offside front bumper where the car was attempted to be stolen the first week I owned it. A dent in the nearside rear door from the previous owner and several stone chips. The car odometer has turned over a couple of times and currently showing 40,000 again but it's runs superbly. You feel everything that's going on in these older cars. I feel part of the car when I drive. My daily car is a 2014 Skoda Octavia which is fantastic. It's a completely different car though. Looking back, I've had some great cars and had some great fun with them. I bought a 1985 Opel Ascona GT which I had along side minty during my early twenties. 2 mk3 cavaliers, A few Escorts and Fiesta's and a couple of Volvo 440's in the mix. Out of them all, Minty has been my favourite. It's never broken down and always always got me to my destination safely. Even at times when time was somewhat of the essence getting back to Reading to start duty.
I had lots of history for the car. The original owner Mr McGrady bought the car new in January 1983,
he's documented how he got it home with 6 miles on the clock, took out all the interior and being a ship engineer, Wax oiled the car inside and out using wax from ships. Possibly a main factor how this Luton built car has survived. It's documented that the car had a new engine supplied and fitted brand new by Vauxhall of Yeovil in 1995 due to camshaft failure and a new weber carburettor fitted in 1999 as the old vari-jet was causing grief. Unfortunately I have done some silly things though. During my youth the in thing at the time was to make your car look like the sportier model. So I painted the bottom half of the car black to look like an Sri. ( I know I know, silly sod!) I also scrapped another cavalier with the original GLS wheels and fitted lxi wheels to minty. I have since sourced the correct GLS wheels and repainted the bottom of the car Reed Green again. The interior is original and apart from the Nova Sr steering wheel it's as it left the factory. I still have the original wheel but I need to repair the horn pad !"