Factory involvement from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Rover, Ford, Opel and finally Audi propelled the DTM into the public eye. With cars strongly resembling the ones parked down virtually every street, the series managed to gain traction among the average car buyer. Nowhere else could you see your uncle’s boring Rover take on your dad’s humble Ford in a ferocious battle to the finish line. With contact a frequent occurrence, the spectacle was complete.
There were two distinct generations of the Kadett B: 1966-1967, and the 1968-1973. Bob Lutz had a hand in the key feature that distinguished the two. The torque-tube/leaf-spring rear suspension was replaced for 1968 by a coil-spring and control-arm set-up, designed to both improve ride and handling, especially in reducing the Kadett’s tendency to tippiness. Bob had recently arrived at Opel, where he mentioned that the Kadett had a bit of a rep in the US for being a bit tippy, especially in a J-turn maneuver. The engineers told him that the new rear suspension (seen here in this picture) would eliminate that, and invited him to see for himself. The result is self-evident (full story here).
He dropped by my house early one Friday evening the day he bought it at Ackerman Buick in Ferguson, MO, picked me up, drove to a buddy’s, picked him up and we took off over the bridge into Illinois to ride all the levee roads and every other back road we could find. We had to drop off our buddy around 9 o’clock, put $1.80 in the tank and went back to Illinois! We finally returned home after midnight and somehow put over 250 miles on the car in that time!

The Kadett C appeared in August 1973[12] and was Opel's version of the General Motors' "T-Car". It was the last small Opel to feature rear-wheel drive, and remained in production at Opel's Bochum plant until July 1979, by which time Opel had produced 1,701,076. Of these, 52% had been exported outside West Germany,[13] most of them to markets in other parts of western Europe.

The extra-light, all-aluminium engines, together with optimization of the front and rear axles, also contribute to the low total weight. The particularly compact three-cylinder petrol engines weigh around 15kg less than the previous generation of similarly powerful four-cylinder units. Highly unusual in the small-car-sector is the new Corsa’s aluminium engine bonnet, which although longer, saves 2.4kg in comparison to the previous model’s bonnet made of steel. The Insignia flagship was previously the only model in the Opel range with an aluminium bonnet. The seats also have been put on a diet. The new optimized seat structure saves a total of 10kg – 5.5kg at the front, 4.5kg at the rear. New lighter insulating material was used for fine tuning. Altogether the measures result in a weight reduction that, in combination with optimum aerodynamics and the efficient powertrains, will lead to a considerable reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.


The case of the Saab Calibra is one I'm glad didn't pan out, but I wish the car had made it here somehow. Even weirder than this was a plan to sell the Opel Senator through Porsche dealers in the late '80s, after GM's dealers were uninterested because their lots were full of Park Avenues and didn't need another luxo-barge competing. Strange, too, since the company was willing to sell that car as an Opel until the cost of importing became too strong. That likely killed the math for sending the Calibra here, too.
Komfort PARKTRONIC vorne + hinten SITZHEIZUNG Vordersitze Tempomat Klimaanlage LENKRADHEIZUNG Pakete WINTERPAKET (beheizbares Lederlenkrad und Sitzheizung) Assistenzsysteme Spurassistent Verkehrszeichenerkennung Müdigkeitserkennung Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzer Infotainment RADIO R 4.0 IntelliLink TOUCHSCREEN USB-Anschluss Smartphone-Integration via Apple CarPlay und Android Auto Freisprecheinrichtung Bluetooth-Schnittstelle Sicherheit 6x Airbag ABS (Antiblockiersystem) ESP (Elektronisches Stabilitäts-Programm) el. Wegfahrsperre Reifendruckkontrollsystem Innenausstattung 5-Sitzer Polsterstoff Schwarz/ Grau Fahrersitz höhenverstellbar 5-Kopfstützen ISOFIX MULTIFUNKTIONS-LEDERLENKRAD Lenksäule höhenverstellbar teilbar klappbare Rücksitzbank Gepäckraumabdeckung Aussenausstattung 5-trg. el. Fensterheber vorne + hinten el. Außenspiegel beheizbar Colorverglasung Licht und Sicht LED-Tagfahrlicht Lichtautomatik Technik 6-Gang-Schaltgetriebe Bordcomputer Außentemperaturanzeige Servolenkung ZV mit Funk-Fernverschließung Berg-Anfahr-Assistent Reifen Reifen: 205/60 R16 Umwelt Abgaskonzept EU6 START-STOPP-Automatik Sonstiges - Irrtümer vorbehalten -
The 114bhp 1.0-litre engine fires to a near-silent idle, and in general it’s responsive and keen. It revs willingly, and such is the quietness and consistency of output that there are times while cruising when you could be in any of, say, three gears and you wouldn’t notice much difference in either noise or throttle response. It drives as standard through a six-speed gearbox that is occasionally notchy but otherwise positive.
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.
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