Scrapyard Gem: 2005 Vauxhall Tigra TwinTop

DERBY, England — There was a time when American car shoppers could buy sporty little convertibles based on the platforms of econo-commuters, but that was back during the era of the 1991-1994 Mercury Capri and open-air versions of the Geo Metro and Yugo GV. Those good times continued in Europe, though, and Peugeot had a sales hit with the retracting-hardtop 206 CC

starting with the 2000 model year. For today’s Junkyard Scrapyard Find, we’re heading across the Atlantic for a look at a discarded example of Vauxhall’s 206 CC competitor.

The main purpose of my four-day trip to England was to visit the scrapyards around York and Leeds, but I stopped at an old-school breaker’s yard near Derby on the drive up from Heathrow. Albert Looms Ltd

has a fascinating selection of European machinery plus the occasional American-made vehicle. Check in later to see many more Scrapyard Gems from England. (That’s what they call junkyards over here).

Vauxhall became part of the far-flung GM Empire back in 1925, and it remained there until being sold to the PSA Group in 2017. With the merger of Fiat Chrysler and PSA to form Stellantis in 2021

, Vauxhall now gets its marching orders from Amsterdam. The General took a shot at selling new Vauxhalls in the United States during the late 1950s and early 1960s, without much success (though I have managed to find a Victor Super Estate in a Colorado car graveyard)

Starting in the early 1970s, most Vauxhall models were closely related to Opel counterparts; some of those cars also had U.S.-market cousins or siblings (with varying amounts of Isuzu and Daewoo DNA finding their way into the mix from time to time). In Australia, plenty of Vauxhall models were sold with Holden badging.

The Opel/Vauxhall/Holden/Chevrolet Tigra was built in two generations, both based on the Opel Corsa (yes, I’ve found a Corsa in an American junkyard). The 1994-2000 generation was a coupe, while the 2004-2009 was a convertible with a hardtop that retracted into the boot.

Being Corsas under the skin, these cars all had small engines and front-wheel-drive. Two gasoline engines were available (a 1.4-liter and a 1.8-liter) plus a 1.3-liter diesel. This one is the 1.4, rated at 90 horsepower and 92 pound-feet. With a curb weight of 2,557 pounds, this car would have been slow but not intolerably so.

At least it has the five-speed manual.

A fender-bender just bad enough to fire the airbags took it off the street.

It’s so much fun that it will make even a staid German spray urine everywhere.

Essentially the same thing as Viagra. Happiness, squared!