Race Retro Classic Car Sale 2017

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2002 Vauxhall Astra Triple Eight T8 Coupé

Lot No.: 936

Registration: T888 BTC
Chassis Number: WOLOTGF072B002951
Engine Number: 31005915
Number of cylinders: 4
CC: 1998cc
Year of Manufacture: 2002
Sold for (£): Unsold

Founded in 1996, Triple Eight Racing has been a major part of the British motor racing scene winning over 130 races in various championships and is probably best known for securing both Driver's and Manufacturer's titles in the British Touring Car Championship. The driver line-up for its début BTCC year was Derek Warwick and John Cleland in the legendary Vectra and their crowd-pleasing antics still regularly appear on 'U-Tube' clips. However, in 2001 the Vectra was replaced by the Astra Coupé and in 2002 the Astra became the car to beat in the BTCC with drivers Yvan Muller and James Thompson alongside Matt Neal in the sister “egg-sport” car. Thompson eventually won the championship with Muller and Neal enjoying successes and the Astra became one, if not the, most successful car in BTCC history.

Dovetailing nicely with their various motorsport projects, Triple Eight has developed a range of performance road cars including Vauxhall's fastest ever selling vehicle, the Astra, an achievement which the manufacturer celebrated by commissioning 100 bespoke 'Triple Eight' Astra T8 Coupés.

A range of modifications were made to the interior, exterior bodywork and chassis of the standard Astra Coupé Turbo (on which the 888 is based). The engine, however, is unchanged - which means 192 PS at 5400 rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1950-5300 rpm from the smooth, 2.0 litre 16v turbo unit. 

To focus the already sharp handling, the Astra Coupe 888 was lowered, sitting on Eibach springs and dampers. Seventeen-inch 'OZ Racing' alloy wheels were fitted, shod with 235/40 Michelin Pilot Sport tyres compared to the standard cars 215 width tyres. The brakes featured an uprated Ferodo brake pad material, giving improved pedal feel. 

The Astra Coupé Turbo's standard interior was also given quite a makeover, including Sparco front sports seats finished in blue & black Alcantara. The same blue Alcantara is also used on the handbrake gaiter and gear change gaiter, while the alloy handbrake lever and alloy gear knob are unique 888 designs. The revised steering wheel trim is finished in blue Alcantara and black leather. The pedals feature 888 alloy extensions with the addition of a unique 888 alloy footrest. Finally, the centre console which houses the multi-function driver information display, ventilation controls and audio system is colour coded to match the Europa Blue exterior. 

On the outside, the car wears a unique 888 body-kit, comprising a front bumper splitter, rear wing, side skirts and wheel arch extensions to mirror those used on the BTCC race car. All Astra Coupé 888s were finished in Europa Blue 'pearlescent' paint. 

Offered here is Number 96 of the celebrated Triple Eight T8 Coupés with just 7,558 miles on the clock and in fabulous unmarked condition. The only owner of the vehicle was actually a Triple Eight Engineering employee and as you can imagine has been totally fastidious in his care for this sparkling vehicle. All Triple Eight Engineering cars were signed off with a completed checklist form but customers did not normally receive copies, however, this vehicle has its Triple Eight Engineering build sheet and quality checklist forms in the file complete with the service history showing six services through from 2003-16 substantiating the mileage together with all MOTs. The last service included a cambelt replacement and a new water pump. All tax reminders and old tax discs are present in the history file, along with all the original booklets in the original wallet, the Finance Agreement, payment receipts, an unused spare key, and the original Vauxhall touch-up sticks.

The car comes complete with its unique registration plate T888 BTC with all paperwork to show the transfer and still sits on its original tyres.

With the demise of 'homologation specials' for racing these 'limited edition' cars are the ‘new game’ for investors and may represent a sensible investment, however, in the meantime, this attractive little coupé will undoubtedly be a lot of fun.