Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1989 Opel Kadett Diesel - A Government Grey Market Car

According to the seller, this car was used by the US government in Greenland and then sold at a government surplus sale. OK. Does that mean the US government imported a car that they would seize if an ordinary citizen tried to do the same? I guess so.

Whatever the case, this car is now in Ohio.

The Kadette "E" was introduced in late 1984. (Each series of Kadett is designated by a letter. 1962–1965 "A", 1965–1973 - the one we received in North America - "B", 1973–1979 "C", 1979–1984 "D", 1984-1991 "E". The Kadett name was dropped in 1992.) It was voted 1985 European Car of the Year. During its run, Opel built some pretty impressive versions of the car, including the GSi, which had a 16-valve twin-cam 156 HP engine and a Bertone designed convertible.

This is not one of the more impressive models. It's a 2 door station wagon with no rear seat (making more of a panel delivery truck, I guess). It's an "LS" model, which was Opel's designation for the base model. The engine is a 1.7 liter, 57 HP, diesel.

This car is not in great shape, but not a basket case, either. The body has some rust (but not as much as you'd expect from a car that lived its life in Greenland) and a few bumps and bruises. The interior could use some tidying. It needs an exhaust and a window in the right door. The seller says it runs and drives.

Parts should be easy to find in Europe, as Opel built a ton of these cars. I wouldn't swear to it, but I suspect some parts from the 1987 - 1993 Pontiac LeMans would fit this car too, as it was a Korean built version of the Kadett.

As I write this, the car has been bid up to $449.00, but the reserve has not been met. While it's rare and unusual, it's still a base model Kadett with a 57 HP engine. I wouldn't pay a lot for it.

This car is being sold with a "bill of sale from government surplus". That doesn't make this legal to register or drive in the US, however. If you buy it, you'll have to do some "work" to get a US title.

Located in North Olmsted, OH, click here to see the eBay listing.

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