Thursday, August 11, 2011

1969 Opel Kadett Station Wagon

My first car was identical to this one... The only thing that might be missing is the super-hi-tech Kraco under dash 8-track player I installed in mine. (I chose a Kraco over the equally popular and cheap Sparkomatic brand because I didn't think it was great idea to install an aftermarket electrical component with the word "spark" in it... For those of you who are computer and stereo component geeks, Sparkomatic eventually bought Altec Lansing - the company who made the sound system for the original Woodstock Festival - and is still in business today, but not using the Sparkomatic name. I have a pair of Altec Lansing speakers hooked up to my home computer. They're very good. I have no idea what became of Kraco and it's not important enough for me to look it up. But, I digress...)

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 Kadett was very popular for awhile in the US. At one point it was the second most popular import, behind Volkswagen. It was meant to be an economical, well built, inexpensive car, and it succeeded at that. It was far from exciting.

For a car that was once so popular, there are very few left. It's kind of strange; the Kadett had no real engineering or mechanical flaws and it didn't rust any worse than any other car from the late sixties / early seventies. It was a car that went about its business with very little drama and very little excitement. Maybe because of that, no one thought to preserve a Kadett.

This car is a restoration project, but it has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it has the 1.9 liter engine and it's a 4 speed manual. (The 1.9 was an option and was a huge improvement over the standard 1.1. It was however, often paired with the optional automatic transmission.) The seller has owned it for 15 years and has done some work to it, including new brakes and the mandatory Weber carb conversion. The seller says all of its - now getting hard to find - trim is there and it has minimal rust. He does not mention the condition of the interior, but Opel interiors are fairly durable.

If you're looking for an exciting German import to restore, this is not the car. But, if you're looking for a little piece of automotive history and a car you won't see at every car show, this would be a perfect choice.

Located in Moline, IL, click here to see the Craigslist ad.

A big thanks to JaCG reader, Tim, for sending me the link to this car!


Anonymous said...

what the heck is refer to it constantly

Just A Car Geek said...

JaCG = Just a Car Geek

Maxichamp said...

Is it wrong to be more entertained by your radio story than the car itself?

Anonymous said...

You noticed right away that the aluminum valve cover is really off of the Opel GT. (slanted in the front to clear the sloping nose of that car) Never had a wagon, but did have multiple Mantas, a GT & an Ascona.

rrshadow2 said...

but wait there's More! This one is on Vancouver Island