The success Cadet celebrates 50th anniversary

Rüsselsheim, July 15, 2015

" The Volkswagen car. ": This brand claim to know well many car enthusiasts. The fact that the archenemy Opel once advertised with a very similar slogan, on the other hand, few know. " Opel Kadett. The car " it was said in the '70s. The thus expressed confidence had its reason, because the Opel Kadett and Astra his successor talked for nearly two decades in second place in sales in the compact segment ?? behind the VW Beetle or VW Golf. The success days are long gone. Today the car from Rüsselsheim is ranked only fifth place ?? behind VW Golf, Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Ford Focus.

Gill - Coupé US-style

But the Kadett was a success, and especially the Kadett B. With more than 2.6 million units, he is one of the most successful Opel models at all. After the cadet A was built only three years, the Kadett B was launched in September 1965. He was equal to 18 centimeters longer and skipped so loose the four-meter mark. At that time from 4.10 to 4.18 meter long car was still one of the compact class, today we would expect it to small cars. Right at the market launch, there were five body styles: two-and four-door notchback sedan, five-door and three combination ( " Car - A-Van " ) and coupe. When Coupé clearly Fastback models were like the Chevrolet Chevelle from parent company General Motors Godfather: A backwards gently sloping roof gave the car a dynamic line. In the annals of automotive history, the three ventilation slots are included in the C-pillar: Today these " gills coupes " Achieving high prices on the used market.

Up to 90 hp

With the length of the Kadett B also increased the performance: The one-liter four-cylinder engine of the entry-level model now had five more horsepower and thus came to 45 hp. In addition, there was a 1.1 - liter engine with 55 hp. A year after its launch was a two - carburetor version added with 60 hp, and in 1967 introduced the top model had 90-hp 1.9 - liter four-cylinder from the record C. Except with four-speed circuit could the Kadett from 1968 ordered with three-speed automatic transmission, which was not common at that time in the compact class. Also unusual is the twelve-volt voltage ?? competition still was satisfied with six volts.

Low Combined share

The Kadett B was an immediate success, in the first year left more than 105,000 copies the workshops. Dispensed with today's compact models more than 60 percent on the combination, the former accounted for just 17 ​​percent. About half of the Kadett B production was exported. Successful model is also in motorsport. The 1966 60-horsepower engine started Rallye Kadett is long before the VW Golf GTI the ancestor of all sporty compact. The matt black painted hood to prevent glare of the driver by the sun. In addition there was lateral rally stripes. The 1967 offered 90 - PS version has no fewer than 170 km / h. It celebrates successes at numerous rallies. Opel tuner Irmscher Günther wins 1967 Tour d` Europe, in the same year, a rally cadet class winner at the Monte Carlo Rally.

For individualists: The fine sister

From 1967, the premium version of Olympia was introduced. More than 80,000 customers opt for the Olympia A. It is available as two-and four-door sedan and coupe and with 60, 75 and 90 hp. For a particularly fine features include special carpets and a padded dashboard " with fine wood character ". The optical characteristics include the wraparound grille around the corners, rectangular framed front headlights and a black plastic cover on the roof. In 1970 the Olympic was reinstated. He could not properly fill the gap to the larger Opel Rekord. He was succeeded yet at the same year the Ascona. In July 1973, ended with 2.6 million units produced, the career of the Kadett B. The sequel to 1979 came only to 1.6 million copies . ( sl )