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FlanFlinger

Centaur pics, info, owners etc

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FlanFlinger    2

These are the green ones I have, GHF is mine, LPN is still around, the picture of HCF I have is a dark solid green, so that leaves ECV, VTM and PPM

GFH345V 01/08/79 68 1979cc Green Now ZV60536 Yes
ECV768V 08/01/80   1979cc Green    
HCF5W 29/08/80 57 1979cc Green   Yes
LPN212W 07/11/80   1979cc Green   Yes
VTM113W 20/03/81   1979cc Green    
PPM839X 07/08/81   1979cc Green    

 

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KAA    11
On 9/8/2017 at 08:52, FlanFlinger said:

If you have any showing the dashboard sticker that went between the air vents on the passenger side would be even better as I'm going to get some reproduction ones made up

Found it!

Probably the rarest part attached to a Centaur because they just degrade in UV light - bit of a problem with a convertible...:(

The dashboard badge is from a 2000 production car MMY 679W - car number 083.

The glove box sticker is from a 1900 pre-production prototype car WGU 777S - car number 026.

Badge is made from a very thin acetate-type material, about the thickness of heavy cartridge paper. The 'Centaur' wording is dull-embossed from the back to give slightly raised lettering, the 'Cavalier' wording is not embossed (too fine). Lettering is then printed on the back and then the black over that, also on the back face.

Looked like this when the car was less than six years old and now been stored away in a box since I bought the car 31 years ago. Unfortunately the outer ends had disintegrated and the parts were too small to keep for reproduction. Best I can do I'm afraid and trying to remember what it looked like - thinking maybe it was diagonal stripes or chequered or maybe chevrons like my slightly dodgy sketch.

Font type is exactly as the glove box sticker but about 30% larger. I think it may have been silver originally but is now gold-coloured after the plastic turned brown.

If you want to make a reasonably accurate copy the 'Centaur' wording is 67.5mm overall from end of the 'C' to end of the 'r', lower-case characters are 9mm high, upper-case 'C' is 11mm high and the stylised 't' is 16.5mm high. Lower-case and the 't' letter located centrally on the strip, which is 19.5mm wide. I am guessing the badge was about 200mm long (as per the sketch). 'Cavalier' wording is very feint but is approximately 33mm long.

026 and 083 are both with me, so if you need any more anorak info...:)     

59b5b87a7cadb_10_09.2017005.thumb.JPG.3c2483cc7af850d54bbcb767cafa3226.JPG59b5b8e0ac4ad_10_09.2017012.thumb.JPG.91cf20be88b2f67d0f5ce3918b85926d.JPG59b5b90f4204b_10_09.2017013.thumb.JPG.9bc594eb41c23c9281b0d23e7d998035.JPG

Edited by KAA
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davo    212
22 hours ago, FlanFlinger said:

Nice one! 

I don't suppose you know your number? 

Not the best example here's a picture of the label. I think it says 044

IMG_1815.JPG

Edited by davo

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FlanFlinger    2
20 hours ago, KAA said:

Found it!

Probably the rarest part attached to a Centaur because they just degrade in UV light - bit of a problem with a convertible...:(

The dashboard badge is from a 2000 production car MMY 679W - car number 083.

The glove box sticker is from a 1900 pre-production prototype car WGU 777S - car number 026.

Badge is made from a very thin acetate-type material, about the thickness of heavy cartridge paper. The 'Centaur' wording is dull-embossed from the back to give slightly raised lettering, the 'Cavalier' wording is not embossed (too fine). Lettering is then printed on the back and then the black over that, also on the back face.

Looked like this when the car was less than six years old and now been stored away in a box since I bought the car 31 years ago. Unfortunately the outer ends had disintegrated and the parts were too small to keep for reproduction. Best I can do I'm afraid and trying to remember what it looked like - thinking maybe it was diagonal stripes or chequered or maybe chevrons like my slightly dodgy sketch.

Font type is exactly as the glove box sticker but about 30% larger. I think it may have been silver originally but is now gold-coloured after the plastic turned brown.

If you want to make a reasonably accurate copy the 'Centaur' wording is 67.5mm overall from end of the 'C' to end of the 'r', lower-case characters are 9mm high, upper-case 'C' is 11mm high and the stylised 't' is 16.5mm high. Lower-case and the 't' letter located centrally on the strip, which is 19.5mm wide. I am guessing the badge was about 200mm long (as per the sketch). 'Cavalier' wording is very feint but is approximately 33m long.

026 and 083 are both with me, so if you need any more anorak info...:)     

 

This is just the sort of anorak info I have been looking for !! 

I remember them being a smooth, matte finish clear strip (quite thick as you say), screen printed from the back, the raising might be through the plastic degrading slower due to the ink on the back. It's a shame the thinner pinstriped parts haven't survived, at least I can see the positioning, border gap etc around the font, I've got a couple of new wing/boot badges I can scan and get one of my more nerdier friends turn them into scaleable fonts.
I've got some silver metallic sheets that can go through my laser printer, I can then put a matte clear sheet over the top, if that comes out pants I've got a friend that does screen printing, on clothes though, but it should be easy enough for him to do on plastic, then it just the issue of adhesive for the back.

And you thought you were an anorak 

20 minutes ago, davo said:

Not the best example here's a picture of the label. I think it says 044

 

Excellent !

I've got yours down as first registered 01/08/1980, there's a block of them on that date as the DVLA site no longer gives the day, any chance you can have a look at the date on the logbook so I can add the day in, it makes sorting things easier

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FlanFlinger    2
23 hours ago, KAA said:

The glove box sticker is from a 1900 pre-production prototype car WGU 777S - car number 026.

I don't suppose you have a picture of the car by any chance ?

I've now got 3 Crayford cars, WGU777S, YGW543S and KGN753T, YGW and KGN both have the non cast hood mechanism and are both 1.9's

The odd thing there is also LIJ9716 that is also a 1.9 and registered before everything else, it's down an 13/08/76, so in theory the very first, although looking at that reg number there might have been a cockup at the DVLA or something along the line.

 

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KAA    11

You probably came across this auction last year in order to note 065 in your listing. There are a couple of errors but it does note that a red car (VMV 77S / YGW) was the first and the 1978 magazine article below states WGU 777S was the second, with differences in the design compared to production versions.

I did a V888 history enquiry on WGU - will put up some details later. Decent photos will be tricky as it is locked away in storage away from home at the moment but I will see what I can do at some point.

LIJ 9716 may be a red herring - cannot see KJ Motors registering a car at Downpatrick, County Down VRO. All the KJ cars are London and South East VRO - MV, GU, GW. Even my 083 was first registered at KJ Motors - MY.

Possibly a typo with the dates, or when the car was exported or re-registered?

 

Centaur details from eBay auction – December 2016
KJT 202W – Car 065. Registered 1st August 1980. Orange Tan

The colour is called Orange Tan. I worked at Vauxhall dealer KJ MOTORS Bromley which was owned by Garth Macgraw who also owned Magraw Engineering. He was also best friends with the owner of Crayford Convertibles who lived locally to Bromley in Kent. All cars were Cavalier GLS Coupe models and never the Opel Manta versions. I am not sure how many were made but i think about 200. The very first one made was a solid red one which remained in the ownership of Garth Macgraw in his Bromley showrooms until his death in 1983.
 

59b727ae93409_WGU777S.thumb.jpg.cf90b64d7bd24762c7ea7b33b682642f.jpg

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KAA    11

Hi Simon,

Try this link (although I guess you may already have seen all the info.)

Cavalier U-car.

Section 3 press photos, Section 8 Centaur. Should be able to read the article featuring WGU/026.

Some of the dates and details do not seem quite right (stating there was only one 1900 for example, when you know different...) but he has got access to a lot of info. on the site. I have not been in touch but whilst researching the history of my Chevette 2300HS I spoke with Andrew Duerden at Vauxhall Heritage - he was very helpful with the HS but unfortunately Vauxhall have nothing regarding Centaurs. Which is understandable really because as Andrew rightly said, the cars were not a Vauxhall engineered product even though they were sold through the dealers. 

What other published info. do you have? I have a copy of the original 1978 Autocar article - has some fantastic colour pictures of VMV/YGW and I think possibly also WGU on the title page. When I get to a decent scanner in a week or two I will try and get a copy posted up if you are interested.

There may also have been another article featuring WGU 777S. One was posted on the OMOC site a good few years ago but will have disappeared when the site was upgraded - be interested to get a copy/scan if someone has one.:) 

http://vauxpedianet.uk2sitebuilder.com/vauxhall-u-car---cavalier-mk1 

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FlanFlinger    2

Excellent !

I received a spreadsheet from Phil Scrivener (former owner of my car twice and used to run the Cavalier Convertible Club) with loads of production numbers on, so I'll fill myself with coffee and get beavering away merging all that info.

9 hours ago, KAA said:

You probably came across this auction last year in order to note 065 in your listing. There are a couple of errors but it does note that a red car (VMV 77S / YGW) was the first and the 1978 magazine article below states WGU 777S was the second, with differences in the design compared to production versions.

 

KGN753T (29) has the Crayford hood mechanism, I'm missing all info on 28 but that could be LIJ9716 or CVT255T as that's an early reg. Interestingly all the Crayford produced cars have the grille badge from the FE Victor 2300 on the B pillars, slightly smaller and smooth as opposed to embossed.
 

9 hours ago, KAA said:

I did a V888 history enquiry on WGU - will put up some details later. Decent photos will be tricky as it is locked away in storage away from home at the moment but I will see what I can do at some point

Nice, all info is greatly appreciated and helps finish the jigsaw, pictures of the hood mechanism would be handy as well as a clear pic of the car :thumbup

9 hours ago, KAA said:

LIJ 9716 may be a red herring - cannot see KJ Motors registering a car at Downpatrick, County Down VRO. All the KJ cars are London and South East VRO - MV, GU, GW. Even my 083 was first registered at KJ Motors - MY.

Yeah, all KJ cars would have been registered at Sidcup DVLA office, so it does look like that's a data entry error, see my previous comment about CVT255T

9 hours ago, KAA said:

Centaur details from eBay auction – December 2016
KJT 202W – Car 065. Registered 1st August 1980. Orange Tan

The colour is called Orange Tan. I worked at Vauxhall dealer KJ MOTORS Bromley which was owned by Garth Macgraw who also owned Magraw Engineering. He was also best friends with the owner of Crayford Convertibles who lived locally to Bromley in Kent. All cars were Cavalier GLS Coupe models and never the Opel Manta versions. I am not sure how many were made but i think about 200. The very first one made was a solid red one which remained in the ownership of Garth Macgraw in his Bromley showrooms until his death in 1983.
 

Mrs Macgraw is still alive and regularly meets up with former KJ staff, I knew she had one, have even been in it, couldn't remember any other details though, that's filled in some blanks

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FlanFlinger    2
20 minutes ago, KAA said:

What other published info. do you have? I have a copy of the original 1978 Autocar article - has some fantastic colour pictures of VMV/YGW and I think possibly also WGU on the title page. When I get to a decent scanner in a week or two I will try and get a copy posted up if you are interested.

 

I've got the following

2 KJ stamped sales brochures

Macgraw Engineering press release "Date-line Motorfair"

Motor magazine 1/4/78 review

John Taylors article "Vauxhall Cavalier 1300 and Centaur", not sure what that was published in, is that the Autocar article ?

Original operating instructions with my car number on them

Sticker from in the glovebox

2 spare "Centaur" badges, just bought 4 more, interestingly from the previous owner of Robbie Stinsons car

A framed print of the Beryl Cook painting featuring my car, there's 2 others mentioned by Richard Watt, I'll track those down as well

 

If there's anything you have that isn't on that list would be great. If you want copies of anything I have I can send you those

 

Another oddity, this is on the back of WJN360W, never seen that one before

21192211_1595515347186102_79199447359560

 

 

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FlanFlinger    2
2 hours ago, Exclusive Opel said:

DSC_0542.thumb.jpg.abd57ea711eceb5c3f4c323dfaf3da98.jpg

Just found a picture I took a couple of years ago. B)

That's number 69, and a better picture than the one I have, do you mind if I use your photo? 

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KAA    11
12 hours ago, FlanFlinger said:

John Taylors article "Vauxhall Cavalier 1300 and Centaur", not sure what that was published in, is that the Autocar article ?

John Taylor article was 'Country Life' July 1978, according to Vauxpedia site.

12 hours ago, FlanFlinger said:

Another oddity, this is on the back of WJN360W, never seen that one before

Wondered what that was - was too small to see clearly when the car was on eBay.

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Exclusive Opel    112
19 hours ago, FlanFlinger said:

That's number 69, and a better picture than the one I have, do you mind if I use your photo? 

That's ok. I have more but can't find them at the moment.

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FlanFlinger    2

State of play now
 

55 Cars Identified
33 Cars assigned number
20 Cars missing number
20 Cars with picture
35 Cars with no picture

 

I've posted a request for info on the KJ Motors group on FaceBook page to see if they have anything in their archives

 

Quote

Brain picking time!
I've been working with Crayfords, Vauxpedia and the now defunct Cavalier Convertible Club trying to build a database of all the Centaurs that were made, I've managed to compile a list of 55 cars, I've got the production number for 33, the highest one so far being number 83, as the numbering started with number 25 I'm starting to question the 100+ made figure, Crayfords don't seem to have a total number, probably because they didn't make them, is there anything in the KJ archives that would help to shed some light?
Also any photos (preferably showing a reg number (I've only got pictures for 20) would be greatly appreciated.

I've now run out of Google site searches, picture searches etc and pretty much every forum there is, I must say you guys have been the most helpful :thumbup

All I have left now is to trawl as many Vauxhall and Opel groups there are and go through all the galleries and manually eyeball every photo :blink:

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