I wound up with an Opel because I wanted an import, but my dad, who was buying the car for me, was a General Motors executive who would not allow a non-GM car in the driveway. The Opel was sort of a compromise. (It could have been worse, my brother wound up with a Chevy Vega...)
The Opel Kadett is a pretty unremarkable car. In the US it was marketed as an alternative to the original VW Beetle. As that, it was very good. Sold through Buick dealers, it was, at one point, the second best selling import, behind VW.
As a first car, it was also pretty unremarkable. It was slow, but got very good gas mileage. Mine had a 4 speed manual transmission, and I learned all the nuances of using a manual transmission to achieve maximum power. (A skill I have used on all subsequent cars I have owned.) I remember it handling safely, but even at a young age I realized that pushing a car with 13" bias-ply tires to its handling limits was not a very good idea. The car's best feature was the folding rear seat and large cargo area. It was very useful on dates. ;-)
This car supposedly has 24,000 miles on it. (The odometer rolls over at 99,999.9) Not that it matters, as this car needs restoration. The seller says it runs well. It has quite a bit of rust.
This car is located somewhere in Suffolk County, Long Island. I grew up in Huntington, which is in Suffolk County. I'd like to think this is my old car, but mine was t-boned by a Lincoln and junked. I seriously doubt anyone repaired it.
I have great memories of my Opel, but very little desire to own one again. (Maybe it would be cool to show my son... He's 14 and will be looking for a first car in a few years. When he complains about whatever car I buy him, I could show him the Opel and say "Stop complaining! It could be this!" But, better yet, I'll just show him a picture of my brother's Vega...)
A note: I also owned an Opel GT. I would like to own one of those again. But that's for another post...
Click here to see the Craigslist ad for this Opel Kadett.
What was your first car? Would you want to own it again?