Vauxhall When I was a lad there was a metallic burgundy VX490 parked on my walk to school. We lived in one of the less celebrious parts of Portsmouth, so seeing something with a shiny grill and what looked like million dollar wheels, was a real treat. Then when I left home at 17 to share a flat with my sister, her BF (MD @ Marconi) had a white Vauxhall Victor. It was the dogs to a lad brought up on Heralds and 1100s and assorted scrap heap wannabes. Even Vivas seems better than Fords, Mexicos, 1600Es and Lotus Cortinas apart. Then when the first Cavaliers came out they seemed like seriously good cars. I remember renting one on a leave back in the UK and it had all the toys. Great shape too and not blighted by the jellly mould styling that afflicted later models. And then there was the SRi and GSi and of course, the Lotus Carlton and latterly the quite decent Omegas. But since then? Are Vauxhalls these days as rubbish as my prejudice suggests they should be? I read in AutoCar that a new era of bold styling is on the way, coupled to a new grille. Enough to turn their fortunes around or does the brand need a complete overhaul and perhaps a name change too? Opel sounds a lot cooler after all.