1984 Vauxhall Nova Saloon 1200CC from UK and Ireland


Motoring On A Shoestring


Drivers Seat Became Ripped On The Corner Facing The Door.

The Usual Valve Cover Gasket Leak.

The Valve Stem Seals Needed Replacing, although this was not worth the effort on such an old and cheaply purchased vehicle.

I got round this by Just replacing the oil soaked Spark Plugs every 3000 miles.

The Fuel Gauge never worked so I just used the Trip Meter and Refueled each 150 odd miles.

There was severe rust inside the boot, all saloons share this problem.

I believe the Welds were not up to scratch at the time of manufacture. The boot area was permanently flooded along the seams.

I installed a K And N Filter which did help performance slightly.

The Piston Rings were well shot when I purchased the car, confirmed by lots and lots of Blue Smoke upon acceleration.

In the end there was a severe Electrical problem, the Battery would run flat each 2 days and it was not the Alternator.

I decided to trade It in, as I felt I had had my moneys worth and was now pushing my luck.

The Clutch Cable snapped, this was the only time I was left Stranded in 25,000 Miles of ownership.

Not the best Image, but faster than it looks.

General Comments:

Excellent Vauxhall Reliability.

I really have no complaints here.

I paid 250 U. K Pounds and traded her in for the same amount.

It sailed through one M.O.T.

So for 25,000 Miles of Service, All she cost me was general wear items such as Tyres, complete Exhaust System, Oil Changes and lots of Spark Plugs.

Way to go Vauxhall.

They sure do not build them this cheaply to run no more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th February, 2004

21st Sep 2004, 04:50

I had an E reg Vauxhall Nova 1.2 saloon two years ago which was similar to yours in terms of the rusty boot and the electrical problems resulting in the flat batteries. My boot floor was so bad that one day my tool box fell straight through the floor onto the exhaust. Electrical gremlins killed my car though. After 23,000 miles in 18 months, it was time to say goodbye-a great car!!!

15th Jul 2005, 17:31

I have owned Vauhall Nova saloons since 1988 and no other make of car. My first one was a 1986 1.2 Merit; I drove it for 7 years and at the end of its life it had done over 167,000 miles. My second one was a 1.3 Pearl (1989) ; I bought this in 1996 and drove it until July 2004 when it failed the MOT. At the end of its life it had done over 142,000 miles. Now I own an F-reg 1.3L saloon with 67K miles and a 1.4 Luxe with 88K miles. I hope to preserve the Luxe as a classic. I am looking for a third - probably a 1.4 Luxe saloon in blue. My son is learning to drive and is the proud owner of a 1984 A-reg 2 door saloon complete with 4 speed gear box and manual choke. I feel it was a dark day when Vauxhall stopped making Novas; these cars have class, quality and style. As the Pearl brochure said, "Once driven forever smitten". Nova - a name you can trust.

30th Apr 2008, 16:41

My lovely 1984 nova is still going, admitedly she was on blocks for many years. But since putting her wheels back to the tarmac all she's needed is a new clutch cable and a fan belt. And still only 26000 on the clock. And she was free lol!

1984 Vauxhall Nova Merit 1.2 from UK and Ireland


A fine and reliable little motor


Almost nothing went wrong except for the wiper mechanism which was a bit expensive to replace.

1.2 litre basic saloon in yukky green, but it was a clean, one previous owner car with history when I got it.

Almost totally reliable and could be serviced and maintained very easily.

Very economical - I averaged over 40mpg - and it was quite nippy.

Boot space was fantastic and it was generally very comfortable to both drive and ride in.

General Comments:

A very reliable little runabout with a fantastic engine. Not the best looking car (especially the saloon) but an excellent motor nonetheless.

Mechanical simplicity and reliability was something that modern cars would do well to follow. Anyone with a Haynes manual and a basic set of tools could service this car (and I did)!

It cost me almost nothing to run and I should never have sold it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2003