The Kadett’s role in facilitating that is a major piece of automotive history I’ve been wanting to tell for years, but finding a Kadett in this country has been impossible, despite Opel having dumped almost half a million on our shores. It took my son’s recent trip to the old country to find one, sitting on the street in Innsbruck, no less. Maybe folks back there have a greater appreciation for Kadetts and the role they played; Americans’ fling with the Kadett was a very fleeting one, and perhaps many would just as soon forget it. Not me.
The Opel brand is present in the most of Europe, in parts of North Africa, in South Africa, the Middle East, in Chile and in Singapore. Their models have been rebadged and sold in other countries and continents, such as Vauxhall in Great Britain, Chevrolet in Latin America, Holden in Australia and New Zealand, and previously, Saturn in the United States and Canada. Following the demise of General Motors Corporation's Saturn division in North America, Opel cars are currently rebadged and sold in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and China under the Buick name with models such as the Opel Insignia/Buick Regal, Opel Astra sedan/Buick Verano (both which share underpinnings with the Chevrolet Cruze), and Opel Mokka/Buick Encore.
The Kadett B wis sauld in the Unitit States throu Buick dealers frae 1967 till 1972 simply as the Opel. U.S. models wur later grantit the front end an trim o the new Opel Olympia, introduced in 1966 as an upmarket version o the Kadett. The caur teuk pairt in the Trans-Am Series durin its commercial life. Kadett A an B wur technically semple caurs whose task wis tae compete wi the mercat leader, the Volkswagen Beetle.
Includit in the range frae 1976 wis vera rare version, the Aero-Kadett, an open-top Kadett wi targa roll bar, detachable ruif insert an a separate convertible tap aft o the roll bar (lik the contemporary Lancia Beta Speeder). This caur wis biggit in very leemitit nummers bi Karosserie Baur in Stuttgart. Ane clue concernin its rarity is the manufacturer's recommendit retail price o DM 15,500 at a time when Volkswagen's trustit (if slower an hivier) 1303 Cabriolet wis affered for DM 12,735.
It had some crazy mechanical issues. At one point it stumbled and stalled because the carburetor had come loose from the intake manifold and I had to tighten it back down! Another time, my brother was driving it and the brakes failed. Somehow the end of the brake shoe that meets the brake cylinder piston had become worn on one side, causing the piston to slip off the end of the shoe when the brakes were applied, losing braking and squirting fluid all over.