1993 Opel Monterey RS 4×4 Turbodiesel

When it comes to 80s and early 90s off-roaders, three names come to mind – Mercedes-Benz with the G-Wagon, Land Rover with the Range Rover and Defender models, and Toyota with the 4Runner and Land Cruiser. But one of the more popular and capable off-roaders in the period came from Isuzu, with their stellar Trooper.

The Trooper was sold in the U.S. for two generations between 1983 and, somewhat amazingly, 2002. But one of the more crazy aspects of Trooper history was the number of variants that were produced under other nameplates. Of course, the Trooper was famously re-introduced as a Honda Passport in the last 1990s, as well as under their Acura brand as the SLX model. Neither were particularly successful. But the badge engineering was far from over there.

In some parts of South America, the Trooper retained its name, but was sold under the Chevrolet nameplate – and it was oddly offered in Asia by Chevrolet dealers as well. In Japan, in addition to a Honda variation and Isuzu’s own sales, Subaru borrowed the Trooper too for their Bighorn model. New Zealand and Australia of course ended up with Holden-badged examples, one of which was called the Monterey. And that name carried to Europe, where the trooper was sold under Vauxhall (UK) and Opel (Continental Europe and Ireland) throughout the 90s. Well, one of those Opel Montereys has made it to the US….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Opel Monterey RS 4×4 Turbodiesel on eBay

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1965 Opel Kadett Caravan

Here’s one you don’t see every day! The Opel Kadett B launched in 1965, but was actually the third generation of the Kadett nameplate if you counted the pre-War models. It introduced no less than eight body-style variants on the chassis, including two- and four-door sedans, two- and four-door fastbacks, two-door coupes, and two- and four-door ‘kombi’ wagon models that were dubbed the Caravan.

Produced at the Rüsselsheim factory (about 200km north of Stuttgart, near Frankfurt), the Opels were sold through Buick dealers with little success in the heyday of the 1960s. Part this wagon next to one of the General’s other creations from the period – I’m looking at you, Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado – and you being to understand the vast gulf that marketing just couldn’t make up for. Under the hood lay not a 7.0 liter V8, but a 1.0 liter inline four powering the rear wheels through a manual transmission. Luxury? Yeah, it had….carpet….and…..windows. This one even has a radio! But it’s still really neat to see a survivor Opel on the market today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Opel Kadett Caravan on eBay

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1962 Opel Rekord P2 Coupe

We don’t cover many Opels on these pages, but every once in a while one catches my eye and is worth a look. Here’s one such case; a Opel Rekord P2 Coupe. The P2 replaced the P1 in 1960, and the “P” moniker came from the panoramic windshield signature of the early model. While the P2 dropped the heavily rounded windows and become significantly more angular, it kept the “P” nameplate. In many ways, the P2 mimicked the Michelotti BMW 700 design – but of course the GM roots also drew design language from cars like the Chevrolet Impala and Biscayne, while adopting a more discrete, diminutive size for European distribution.

Under the hood was a 1.5 liter inline-4 rated at 50 horsepower, with an option 1.7 liter unit good for 55 horsepower in normal form or 60 horsepower in “S” specification. These were linked to a 3-speed manual mounted on the column, though a 4-speed became optional later in production. The Rekord P2 was West Germany’s second-best selling car (behind the Beetle, of course!), with nearly 800,000 produced between 1960 and 1963. Rare to see today, this Coupe certainly looks like a nice alternative to the traditional air-cooled history:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1962 Opel Rekord P2 Coupe on eBay

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1992 Opel Lotus Omega

“Youngtimers” have been popular in the automotive news segment over the past few months, as a greater appreciation for cars just turning “vintage” has set the market ablaze. Within that category, automotive collaborations between manufacturers in the 80s and 90s produced some of the most memorable and, consequently, the most sought creations today. There was the Yamaha-powered Taurus SHO, the Mercury Marine-powered Corvette ZR-1, the Porsche-built Mercedes-Benz 500E and Audi RS2, Lamborghini had a hand in the BMW M1, and of course there was the Cosworth-built….everything, from Escorts to 190Es to Audi RS4s and RS6s. But one of the hottest cars from the period was, undoubtedly, the Lotus-built, Corvette-gearboxed Opel Omega/Vaxhaull Carlton twins.

Lotus was majority-owned by General Motors in the early 1990s, which led in part to the “Handling by Lotus” Isuzu Imark and Impulse models. Lotus, in turn, got an engine for their small Elan from the Japanese manufacturer which worked in partnership with GM. But their best work was certainly their last joint venture before GM sold them off to Bugatti in 1993. For the Omega/Carlton, Lotus took the production 3.0 inline-6 and punched it out to 3.6 liters, while fiddling with the 24V head from the Carlton GSi. Then, they hooked it up to a 6-speed manual ZF borrowed from the General’s parts bin. Also borrowed was a limited-slip rear end from GM’s Australian division, Holden. Then, they slapped not one, but two turbochargers on it. Brakes were Group C units employed from AP Racing. The result? A crushing 370 plus horsepower and over 400 lb.ft of torque from the C36GET produced the fastest sedan in the world:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Opel Lotus Omega on Classic Driver

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1991 Opel Lotus Omega

The first generation Omega was a mid-sized luxury car offered in Europe by Opel, the German subsidiary of GM, between 1986 and 1993. Sold in Britain under the Vauxhall marque and rebadged as the Carlton, my friend’s dad had a mid spec model when I was growing up. I always thought of it as a poor-man’s BMW 5-series. And I don’t mean that in a bad way: it was actually a pretty admirable car, offering luxury features to the masses like ABS, an on-board computer and a dazzling (at the time) LCD instrument display. I suspect most people by now have forgotten all about them. But there is one very special edition of the Omega/Carlton that enthusiasts of my age could never forget, the one breathed on by Lotus. The British sports car manufacturer took the hottest version of the car, the 3000 GSi, enlarged the 3.0 liter 24v motor to 3.6 liters, added two Garratt T25 turbo chargers, a six speed manual gearbox taken from a Corvette and an aggressive bodykit. The result was a menacing and breathtakingly quick uber sedan, with 377 hp on tap and a top speed of 177 MPH.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Opel Lotus Omega on mobile.de

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1970 Opel GT

Generally speaking, engine swaps are usually an improvement over the stock running gear even when they’re home brews. And if you’re really clever with your swap, you can end up making quite the sleeper; V8 powered Volvo wagons come to mind. But some people go over the top, and throw an absolutely crazy motor into a car which was never designed to have anywhere near the power levels capable of the new mill. Such is not the case here. That’s because the builder of this Opel GT designed that the popular adage “There’s no replacement for displacement” meant putting a V8 into the nose of the diminutive GM product. And by “a”, I actually mean two V8s. In an attempt to dispel the notorious “Mini-Corvette” moniker, this GT tops out at 11.4 liters of American muscle with just a bit of Opel sprinkled into the mix. Though far from our usual flavor, let’s take a look at this crazy creation:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Opel GT on eBay

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1988 Opel Manta B GSi

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It’s pretty rare that a car becomes the subject of a feature film, let alone the title, even if said film is a bit of a parody. Enter the Opel Manta. By the time the 1980s were coming to a close, so was the production cycle on this classic, rear drive coupe. This was a bit of a cult car amongst West German youth of the day, bucking the trend to go more towards the hot hatchback layout that was popular with boy racers. This 1988 Manta B GSi for sale in The Netherlands represents the last of the line for an eighties icon. With only 97 kilometers on the odometer (60 miles), this has to be one of the best preserved late model Mantas left in existence.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Opel Manta B GSi on Mobile.de

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Barn Find: 1970 Opel Kadett

It’s not very often that we post supposed barn finds, but once in a while one turns up that is pretty interesting. Barn finds are all the rage right now – original, preserved vehicles as seen in shows like Chasing Classic Cars can often draw more money than perfectly restored examples even if they’re wrecks. Fairly recently, a 1961 Ferrari 250 SWB California Spyder emerged from a barn in France, covered in books and looking quite forlorn. The price it sold for was unimaginable to most mortals; $18,500,000 – the most paid for any 250 GT series Ferrari, despite the seeming poor condition. People are willing to pay for a story, it would seem, and the French Ferrari was a tome of history. But what if the barn find is something less exotic…say, an Opel? And not even a particularly desirable Opel (yes, that’s really a thing…)?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Opel Kadett on eBay

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1970 Opel Rekord C 1900 with 10,000 Miles

I know what you’re saying. “Carter, that Opel from last week was boring”. Okay, how about two Opel Rekord C models in a week, then? That’s got to be worth something? As with the last example, this blandish late 1960s-early 1970s GM/Opel coupe has been presented in all the brown color spectrum – but in this case, it’s an all-gold affair, as the matching tan cloth interior provides continuity to the gold exterior. But with some shiny details and ridiculously low mileage, isn’t it worth a look?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Opel Rekord C 1900 on eBay

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1971 Opel Rekord C

One of the joys that continues to drive my automotive interest is seeing cars that aren’t often discussed day to day. They may not be the most attractive, best selling or performing cars ever made, but regardless it’s because of their infrequency that they’re neat to see. No one would claim any of the previous traits for basically any Opel model ever produced. But in what can become a sea of Porsche 911s and BMW E30s, strolling across a clean early 1970s Opel coupe can really be a breath of fresh air. Let’s stop for a moment with our usual programming and take a look at this 1971 Rekord C:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1971 Opel Rekord C on eBay

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