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:
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?
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:
Starting in the late 1950s, General Motors began to import cars from its longtime European subsidiary, Adam Opel AG. The Olympia Rekord was one of the first cars from this company to make it to our shores, resembling a bit of a scaled down 1956 Chevrolet. Powered by a 1.5 liter four cylinder engine, it didn’t mirror the Chevy in the power department, but in post WWII West Germany, this car was second best seller behind the Volkswagen Beetle. I’ve never seen one of these cars here on US soil, and this example for sale in Massachusetts is amazingly well preserved for a 53 year old car.
I am listing this car for a friend of mine, a 1959 Opel Olympia Rekord. As the owner of Bill Daley Opel Parts, Bill is selling this Opel from his private collection and has owned this car for 30+ years. It is an original rust free California car and has always been garaged. The interior is all original except for a new carpet. The engine, 1.5L 4 cylinder was rebuilt years ago and runs excellent. The transmission is a column shift 3 speed. The car has always been started every year. The body is rust free and the front fenders are nos. The original fenders had many dents so Bill replaced both before painting. The paint is 25 years old and was painted the original Neptune Blue. Also, included are NOS tail-lamp housings, door moldings, rubber door gaskets, etc. The mileage is 39,000 kilometers. This is a fairly rare car as not many were imported to the United States by Buick.
At least in the US, putting a value on this car is difficult, as there aren’t many comps by which to evaluate it. A quick scan of Mobile.de, a German vehicle marketplace, shows a few Olympias between 1957 and 1960 pop up, ranging from €5,500 to €7,500. Based on that, the asking price of $6,450 seems in the ballpark, although maybe closer to $6,000 or a shade under might spark a little bit of interest, as this car has been listed once before. The market in the US for such an obscure GM import isn’t large, but you would certainly be the center of attention at a classic car meet, amongst the slew of 1950s and 1960s American iron that would inevitably show up.