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What was the first Opel you ever owned?


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My first Opel was a 72 GT in a yellow/mustard orange color. It had white interior, with a 4 speed stick. I drove it for a while, and then my sister drove it throughout her high school and college years. Shortly after we got the GT, we also bought a 74 Manta Luxus, blue with dark blue cloth interior and a sunroof. I made several cross country drives (DC to CA, DC to AL, MI to CA, MI to DC, MI to LA) in the little Manta, and it always held its own on the road. My grandfather used to tease me about the Manta, saying that whenever I finally stopped driving it, I should have it bronzed and placed on display...I still have it (some 30 years later), and it is currently being stripped and repainted, after which it will be reassembled and put back on the road...

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The first car I ever worked on was an Opel - I'm not exactly certain of the details (it was 50 years ago), but what I remember is when I was 5 years old my uncle got me a model kit of an Opel sedan. This would have been around 1960. His brother worked for SWANBERG-SCHEEFE BUICK in St.Paul, so that may have been the source. My dad helped me put it together. After that I got a Hubley Model A Pickup metal kit that was great because it used screws. I rebuilt and repainted that one many times. I also messed with old watches that didn't work - they also used screws - but I never got one back together!

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  • 2 weeks later...

THe first one I had to build, it's purple with the optional V6 engine, of Course!

The second one was a real car, 1976 Opel Isuzu can't find a good pic, but will eventually. The next one was made in HongKong, matchbox size, my Mom sent to me when in college, offered to trade for the isuzu. Hmm, I still have it.

And today on my trailer, 1973 GT, rescued from the barn, runs, but no brakes, etc. It's not mine, offered to work on it for the owner, stuck brake on rear, etc.

Check that license plate frame!!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Bought a '75 Sportwagon new in '75. Drove it for nearly 100,00 miles. Rust really ate it up though. Put a Sears luggage rack on top. Made a ramp and rack to hold my GoKart. Wish I had some pictures of it! Put the whole set up in/on that car.

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It was also my very first car...a '65 Rekord Caravan 2-door wagon, white with red interior. I bought it from my neighbor, an ex-serviceman who'd shipped it back when he came home from Germany; price, $35 USD.

Bear in mind, I didn't have a license yet (late-1973), so for the first 6 months, it was a field car. I tore up and down the fields around the house in it, learning to shift on its four-on-the-column, and it was great fun. Eventually something broke and the little cutie was scrapped; Wisconsin winters had taken their toll on the body by then.

Wish I had it today...

TG

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My first of may Opels was a 1968 navy blue Kadett station wagon. Great car. Drove it over 150,000 miles. :) After that I probably had about a half dozen GTs in almost every color and year they were made. Fun cars to drive. :D

Damn, I forgot there were wagons at all - had to go and google one. I never owned one, but when I was in high school, most of the guys' families had two cars, and if the second car was not a Volkswagen or Corvair, it was an Opel, so I have a lot of miles in them. Always kind of liked them, and I suspect they got a bad rap and were probably better cars than people thought...

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first Opel was a 1960 Opel Rekord 2-door coupe that looked like a downsized 1956 Buick Century. It had a 4-cylinder engine with 3-on the tree shifting. I ran it to 75,000 miles and it was a really neat car. All my Army buddies like it and it rode very well. I purchased it new from a local Buick Dealer in Pennsylvania. It was green with a tan cloth inside. The front seat backs were curved like a bucket and helped keep me in the seat at speed. My second Opel was a 1969 Opel Rekord 2-door Station Wagon which was also quite neat. Overall, both Opel's were neat cars and I enjoyed them very much.

IIIJFULLER@aol.com

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  • 6 months later...

I had a 68 Kadette L and it was a pretty quick little thing. After about 165,000 miles, it developed an oil leak. I forgot to refill it one week and it spun a main on my way home from work ( think it was 1977). I left it set overnight and went back and put oil in it. Traded it in the next day on a new Plymouth Arrow!!!

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  • 6 months later...

Hi, all,

The first Opels in our family were a new 1958 Rekord-Caravan (that also said "Olympia" on the dash) station wagon (all over gray exterior color---not sure of interior colors), bought at the local Vineyard Haven, Mass Buick dealer (on the island of Martha's Vineyard---one of the first sold there, driven down there from the Boston port by one of the salesmen). It was a good solid car except that the sliding bar speedometer always used to get stuck. 3 on the tree too.

Later it was replaced by a light blue, 6 volt, 46 HP 1964 Opel Kadett station wagon, bought used in 1966 that only lasted for one month. That little 4 on the floor was so light that when I was driving to work, crossing the Arrigony bridge HIGH above the Connecticut river between Portland & Middletown,CT, a gust of wind got me & flung me across 2 lanes into the elevated sidewalk wiping out the whole front end & suspension (even our '59 Chevy Bel-Air used to get tossed around while crossing that bridge).

That had to immediately be replaced by the brand new robin's egg blue 1967 Opel Kadett "L" station wagon (also known as the model 39---still remember the s/n 391165543). Thankfully it was a heavier 54 HP car with the 1.1 L engine & 12V electrical system, & dad sold that to me in 1971 when I needed MY first car while I was still in the Air Force. I kept that in really great shape for many years until I got my 1978 VW Rabbit diesel (BIG mistake buying the VW !!!).

Dad replaced the '67 he sold me with a 1971 light blue Opel station wagon (not sure what model name it used, but I think the model number was #54). The #54 was lower & sleeker looking than the #39 (& I think they still sold both station wagon models at the same time. Dad wasn't very happy for some reason with the #54---not sure why (if it was built by Isuzu in Japan by then instead of in Germany), but he had sold it by the time I got out of the Air force & switched over to Datsuns/Nissans from then on until he passed away in 2003.

Ct. Ken V

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  • 2 weeks later...
I owned a '69 Rallye Kadet while in college in mid 70s. I had been warned by my dad about buying it, but thought I knew more then he did. Repairs were non stop.

My first and only Opel

Kevin

I had a little better luck with my first-and-only Opel. A '73 Manta Rally with 1.9L 4 and 4-speed. I had been looking for something smaller than my first car, a '65 Electra, in the days of "gas shortages." It performed quite satisfactorily, but never got the fantastic gas mileage I was hoping for-- I could eke out 25 mpg on the highway. Finally got rid of the POS Solex carb and put in a Weber with mechanical secondary. Big gain in performance and a little in gas mileage.

The biggest disadvantage for power and economy was that the '73 engine had been horribly de-tuned with dish pistons yielding a pathetic 7.6:1 compression ratio. Just a band-aid treatment to pass U.S emissions. It also had a primitive egr setup that was disabled before I got the car.

Very few routine repairs were needed, though, and it was reliable transportation. Absolutely always started in the coldest weather (tractor-style compression helped). But it had lifter noise and poor oil pressure from when i got it with about 70K on it. Never USED any oil, though.

BUT THIS IS WHAT I LEARNED: THE FIRST THING TO CHECK WITH LOW OIL PRESSURE in an Opel 1.9L is THE OIL PUMP FACE PLATE. The stupid aluminum/pot metal plate serves as the surface on which the oil pump gears run, and of course the cover gets scored eventually by the steel gears and the oil pressure goes to pot. After replacing cam, bearings, etc. with minimal improvement, I'm driving along one day and oil starts leaking out of the face plate (bad casting cracked) onto the road. Hm, that's not right. Got a new replacement, 10 minutes later-- like-new oil pressure! A $20 part probably ruined more Opel engines, particularly cams and lifters, than any amount of hard driving ever did.

Be warned! Replace that cover! it's literally a 10-minute job, as the pump is mounted externally right on the front of the engine.

I had the car for about 4 years and sold it for what I bought it for in 1979. Bronze metallic paint, black stripes and blackout hood, rallye gauges, tan leatherette interior... good selling points--and gas was still "expensive." I bought a new Mercury Capri RS V8-- that got better mileage!

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I never owned one but I had many opportunities to ride in one when I was in high school. A buddy of mine had a '68 Kadett that was in good shape and ran great. I was fairly impressed on how well he was able to zip around in that car and park it in some of the tightest spaces no one else could.

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I never owned one but I had many opportunities to ride in one when I was in high school. A buddy of mine had a '68 Kadett that was in good shape and ran great. I was fairly impressed on how well he was able to zip around in that car and park it in some of the tightest spaces no one else could.

The one I had was a ('66) Kadett "L" (L for Luxus?). If I remember correctly, it had rack and pinion steering and front disc brakes? 4-speed I believe, I remember the gear shift was long. Paid $600 for it, in a year, year and a half sold it for $600 to a couple of Opel enthusiasts. This was in New Jersey.

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a Opel Manta C 2.0 GSi Lift back Coupe 1988 (belgium built) - Had it since Sep 1990 1 of 100 NZ New - Still got it now stored in a Garage apparently less then 15 on the road so I have been told & Still my currently daily driver Opel Vectra A 2000 16v (Gsi) 4 door sedan had it since 2003 1 of 100 NZ new (I Believe only 50) Again 15 or so left on New Zealand Roads - This was German Built - all other Vectra A were in fact sold here as British Vauxhalls quality not as good ie less rust protection - and Vauxhall Badging was replaced by GM NZ at the wharf All cars RHD as New Zealand is RHD market

NZ prior to WW2 had 150 Opel Kadetts sold here as sedans in part CKD form and 4 Cabrio Kadetts - Believe less then 4 Kadett sedans surive ; 1 Cabrio now in Australia

Real rare one is Rumored Opel Admiral Cabrio owned by a Retired Dutch individual painted in Nazi colours somewhere in CHCH- this guy would regularly go to South America Hmmm...

There also a 51 Opel Kapitan 4 door Sedan RHD that brought in NZ new for Head of Phillips Electronics - believe owned by a Hot Rod enthusist in Masterton NZ

Opel only came back to NZ as new car 1985-1996 - Opel Badge was changed to Holden from 1996 - We can still buy here the Holden Astra (opel Astra in Europe)

Cheers Julian

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  • 4 months later...

I bought a 1953 Opel Olympia in 1960 in Sweden & drove it around for a couple of months

and then gave it to my then father-in-law who never owned a car before, when I came back to the US. I have never been able to find one anywhere since 1960 that was for sale in the US or anywhere on the internet. EVER SEEN ONE????

Nick Angiuli

561-676-5723

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  • 2 weeks later...

My '65 Opel Rekord Caravan looked alot like this, my '62 Minichamps 1/43rd scale model...

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Larger

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Larger, this large showroom poster was at the 2011 Veterama Show in Mannheim, Germany,

priced at 180euros. It translates loosely to..."doubly useful, twice sympathetic."

Shoulda bought it, but was worried about how to get it home undamaged, even in a tube.

TG

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first car at 16 was a '71 1900 4 door. I wanted a muscle car, but noooo, dad said the Opel.I hated that car, but it wouldn't die. My dad went out of town for a few months for work. I took out the Opel, found a big rock, knocked a hole in the oil pan and drove it until it seized. Then I bought a red '65 Impala Sport Coupe before he got back. Heh.

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My first Opel was a 1953 Opel Olympia 2 door. I bought it on my honeymoon in Sweden in 1960 & drove it for 2 months & gave it to my former father-in-law when I came back to the states. It cost me $460.00. I bought it in Bollnas, Sweden. I think the car lasted him longer than my marriage. I have never seen another one since & have never found one searching for one on the internet. It was a good driving car with the stick shift.

Nick Angiuli

nickan@msn.com

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Anders,

Never owned one, but have a Matchbox car of exactly the same color, without the black roof. It has a spare tire in front of the engine, doesn't it?

Still have the Matchbox car, do you still have the full-sized version? The color is very close to the color of my '73 Manta, too.

Hi :)

Opel Diplomat have never had it's spare tire in front of engine i am afraid. No room for it there in front of the 270hp 327 chevy engine.

Sold the car in 1986!

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Never "owned" an Opel however as a teenager with a new drivers license in late 1959 I was thrilled to get to drive quite a few brand new 1960 Opels. The Buick dealer in my small west Texas town of 10,000 people would frequently "hire" 6-8 young guys (including me) and take us 137 miles north to Amarillo in a van and we would go to the railyard where new Opels were unloaded from the train and drive them back to our hometown in a caravan. I remember how great it felt to (a) get to drive a brand new car with the "new car smell" and (B) get to use that brand new drivers license! The dealer didn't have to pay us anything because we were thrilled to just get to drive a new car - he did however treat us to dinner as compensation. I recall them primarily being Opel Kadetts - small 2-door sedans with an occasional station wagon. I do remember the dealer having us disconnect the speedometer cable so the 137 mile trip would not be reflected on the odometer. Fun memories!:cool:

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Edited by Texas Old Car Guy (see edit history)
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  • 2 months later...

I'm from Brasil, here the Chevrolet made the, with basis in the 0pel Rekord 67, the Chevrolet 0pala and the wagon 0pala Caravan, from 68' until 92', I have a Caravan Diplomata engine GM 250 6 cyl, soon I send pics.

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  • 7 months later...

My father bought a new 58 Olympia Caravan wagon. This was the first year of the new body style. It was a good trouble free car. Five New York winters did it in. The blue alkyd enamel finish looked like primer and it was rusted everywhere including the chrome. Capitol Buick no longer had parts for it after it was four years old. He got $100. trade in on a new 63 Valiant.

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