Joseph DeBattista and his son, Joey, acquired this Lapis Blue wonder after trading a Volkswagen. Owing to its rarity, they had to be creative with the restoration. While Joey was hunting for parts on eBay, his father bent metal to perfection, slowly completing a car that will always remain an underdog, a nice conversation starter, and a fail-proof daily driver. Just ask Richard Hammond, if you need more proof.
I bought a used Opel Wagon in 1971. It came to the US from Brazil where my college roommate’s father worked for an American firm. It was a 1968 model, had impressive handling and was fun to drive. While the car was excellent in all respects, and I owned it from ’71 through ’74, I took a lot of grief about it. Gas station people made comments like “Is this your car? It’s not paying your taxes.” and “Does this thing come with a motor?” and “This thing is made for insects.” But, worse, were the insults from the Queens County (NYC) Buick dealer parts department who consistently said really nasty things to folks buying replacement parts: “Ya look like the kinda’ guy who’d buy this ting”. After completing my Industrial Design degree, and I went on to design vehicles here and abroad, I never bought a GM car.
Unfortunately, Opel’s first victory in the DTM turned out to be as much of a fluke as the podium at Hockenheim. The Calibra’s fell behind once more, and resorted to occupying the lower end of the top 10. The airfield circuit at Diepholz, a third visit to the Nurburgring and the high-speed section of autobahn known as the AVUS-ring were all without meaningful results.
*Fuel economy values are determined through CO2 measurement in accordance with the latest ECE R101/SANS 20101 standards, as prescribed by South African government, conducted in a controlled environment and were correct at the time this disclaimer was published, which is subject to change. The specifications are for comparison purposes between the different vehicle models available in the S.A market which are all tested in the same manner, specific driving cycles and controlled environment.
15" Alufælge, Vinterhjul, Airc., Fjernb. C.Lås, Fartpilot, Kørecomputer, Infocenter, Startspærre, Udv. Temp. Måler, Højdejust. Forsæde, El-Ruder, El-Spejle, Automatisk Start/Stop, Dæktryksmåler,Multimedie/Intellilink Radio,, Bluetooth, Apple Carplay, Multifunktionsrat, Armlæn, Bagagerumsdækken, Kopholder, Airbag, Abs, Antispin, Esp, Servo, Indfarvede Kofangere, Tonede Ruder, 1 Ejer, Ikke Ryger, Service Ok
Veludstyret Og Økonomisk Opel Karl Med 5 Døre, Denne I Udstyrsmodellen Enjoy + Indeholdende Bla: Aircondition., Fartpilot, Vinterpakke, Varme I Sæder, Varme I Rat, Læderrat, Fjernb. C.Lås, Bluetooth Til Mobil, Kørecomputer, Aut Start/Stop, City Servo, Startspærre, El-Ruder, Cd/Radio, Højde Justbar Føresæde, Sort Kabine, Multifunktionsrat I Læder, Isofix Barnestols Beslag, Kopholder, Stofindtræk, Nedsældig Bagsæde, Airbags, Abs, Antispin, Esp, Servo, Indfarvede Kofangere, Tonede Ruder, 16 Model Ifølge Stel Nr, Reg.F.G I 15, Dk Bil Fra Ny, 1 Privat Ejer, Alle Service Ok Ved Opel Incl Rustkontrol/Garanti, Nysynet 06/3-19. Opgivet Til 23.3Km/L Dvs At Den Halvårlig Ejerafgift KUN Er 330Kr. Velkørende Bil Med 75Hk, Modellen Der Er Lidt Større, Lidt Højere Og Lidt Flere Hk End Andre I Denne Bilklasse. Sælges Til KUN 59.500Kr. INCL Nr Plader Og Indregistering Heraf. Kan Evt Finanseres Gennem Di-BA Uden Udbetaling. Se Evt Test Af Opel Karl På Youtube, Kopier Linket. Https://Www.Youtube.Com/Watch?V=Fsytphimqp0.
GM retains an engineering centre at Millbrook in the UK and is no stranger to tuning cars there, because it knows that British road conditions are different from those elsewhere. So whereas Opel Corsas, belying their German engineering origin, will apparently have greater straight-on stability to their steering, UK cars get a different power steering tune (electric assistance makes that much easier).
Looks-wise, we know from Chevrolet’s teaser photo that the Spark’s front end will differ from the Opel, but the two cars’ side surfacing and overall profile gives away the relation. We also expect the Chevrolet Spark to have a similar interior as the Opel Karl, which looks significantly more modern and upscale than the current Chevrolet Spark, at least in photos.
Cars and truck production lines were lost by Opel. As reparations for war destruction, under plans of the Allied Forces, the Soviet Union asked the Allied military government for the tools, jigs, dies, fixtures, and drawings for the Kadett. This, they said, they would use to begin auto production at an Opel subsidiary in Russian-occupied Leipzig. The equipment was duly delivered to the Soviets in June 1946, and that was the last Opel was to see of it – but not of the Kadett.
Depending on fuel price relations in particular markets, the factory-converted Karl should pay back the price premium over its conventionally motivated sibling after covering some 50-60 thousand km. That's not exactly little for a city car, but still the LPGTEC version should be interesting to those who would normally go looking for a diesel. Hopefully we'll be able to tell you more about this latest offering from Opel when we put it through its paces in a test!
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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.