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Launched in late 1987, the 16 valve GTE was the ultimate evolution of General Motors’ (GM) ‘teardrop’ Mk2 Astra(Opel Kadett). It was loud and raw compared to Volkswagen’s rival Golf Mk2 GTI 16V which was polished, sophisticated, and slower. The GTE appealed to buyers who loved this unruly character and its era-defining digital dashboard. It was created by fitting GM’s 2-litre ‘Family 2’ engine with a motor sport inspired 16-valve twin-cam cylinder-head developed by Cosworth to become the ‘KBA’, or ‘red-top’, as it’s often called.

This endowed this lightweight hatch with blistering real-world pace, especially above 4000rpm, which eclipsed its on-paper figures making this hottest of the eighties front-wheel drive hot-hatches great fun to drive. The GTE modelled was purchased from Vauxhall/Opel Dealers Ferguson of Renfrew, Scotland, on June 3rd, 1989, having been ordered with the optional fuel computer and GM factory-fitted alarm.

The first owner kept it for ten years and it was then dry stored before being purchased in 2005 by Glasgow-based enthusiast Graham Walker who did some light restoration before returning it to the road. It was purchased by the current owner, Angus-based Sandy Carnegie, in 2013 as a sound and honest 58,000-mile car which, unusually, had no corrosion issues but many cosmetic blemishes. He has restored and detailed the car to perfect original show winning condition, fitting many new components, and it is now acknowledged as one of the best in the UK.

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