Opel logo (2010).
Opel. (Germany) 1898 to date.
The founder of the Opel cycle and sewing machine works, at Russelsheim, Adam Opel died in 1895. His sons bought Lutzmann and produced the first Opel car, 'System Lutzmann', in 1898. In 1900 they started importing Renaults and also Darracqs (for which they acquired the production license).
From 1902, Opel-designed cars (initially twin-cylinder 1884cc models) were offered alongside Opel-Darracqs of up to 8008cc. The Opel range was always very wide and by 1914 four-cylinder models from 1392cc to 10,200cc were offered, the latter having a 100 hp three-valve ioe engine and four-speed gearbox. In the 1920s young Fritz Opel won races on Opel motorcycles and Opel cars and in 1928 drove the first Opel racing car powered by rockets at the Avus race track.
Models built in the early 1920s included 1984cc and 3430cc fours and a six-cylinder 5598cc model. After installing a moving assembly line in 1924, Opel built the Citro?n 5cv-like 951cc four-cylinder "Laubfrosch" in large numbers. Priced at 4000 Gold Marks, it sold in large numbers. A 1016cc 14 hp model followed, while other models included excellent sixes of 1735cc, 1924cc, 3540cc and 4170cc. From 1929 Opel also offered the eight-cylinder 5972cc Regent, built on American lines: understandably so, because General Motors of Detroit had taken control of Opel in 1928. New small Opel fours appeared, including the 1074cc Kadett and 1488cc Olympia: the Kadett became a best-seller. Among six-cylinder Opels were the 2473cc Super-Six and Kapit?n and the 3626cc Admiral, all with ohv engines.
When World War Two broke out, Opel was the leading European car manufacturer, selling the small versions in large numbers; some 107,000 Kadetts were built from 1937 to 1941. The first Opel car after the war was the pre-war Olympia, now with an ohv 1488cc four-cylinder engine, which entered production in 1947. The first new 2473cc six-cylinder Kapit?n arrived in 1948. Other models included the Rekord and the 1200. The year 1962 saw a new, modern Kadett with a 993cc four-cylinder engine. New 1963 Rekord models had 1488cc and 1680cc ohv four-cylinder motors. Later, four-cylinder engines up to 1897cc and six-cylinder power units of Rekord, Commodore and Senator/ Monza 2586cc were available in. the Rekord. Six-cylinder Kapit?ns and Admirals. had engines up to 2784cc, while other big Opel cars, including the Diplomat, housed Chevrolet-built V-8 motors. The 1979 Opel range consisted of Kadett, Ascona, Manta, models, with a variety of engines from 1196cc to 2969cc. There is also an Opel branch factory in Argentina.
(Vintage European Automobiles)
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