September 17, 2009

Opel Kadett

A little history

After the name had been momentarily used before World War Two, the first modern Opel Kadett appeared in October 1962 as a boxy and very conventional popular car powered by a 1.0-litre engine. An instant success, the car appealing to the German motorists who wanted something else than the ubiquitous Volkswagen Beetle, this first-generation Kadett nonetheless didn’t last more than three years as, for model year 1966, a totally new Kadett was introduced. A lower, wider car, this new model extended the nameplate’s success to foreign markets. It also introduced a sporty Rallye version powered by a 1.9-litre, 106 hp engine.

The second-generation Kadett lasted much longer than the first, until it was replaced in 1973 by a modernized car carrying over most of its predecessor’s flair. The car’s success turned into a triumph when its production started all around the world, notably as the Vauxhall Chevette in England, the Isuzu Gemini in Japan, or the Chevrolet Chevette in the United States. The iconic Rallye was maintained in the range, and was joined by a new GT/E coupe.

The Kadett was at a crossroad when its fourth generation was unveiled in 1979. A compact and boxy front-wheel-drive hatchback, it was above all a family car devoid of any glamour. Though keeping the same character, the fifth and last Kadett, introduced in 1984, at least featured a pleasant styling, which was also one of the most aerodynamic of the time. It was built until 1991, when the Kadett was succeeded by the Astra.

(This car’s history will be expanded in due time, please be patient.)

About the model

Model: Opel Kadett GT/E
Year: 1975
Maker: Detail Cars
Scale: 1/43
Distributed by: Detail Cars, “Platinum” series
Acquired: brand new, in May 2005, in Manila, Philippines

Detail Cars produced this pleasing third-generation Kadett in its fastback coupe variant, both as a road car or a rally car. The moulds were taken over by Solido after the Italian brand’s demise. My rating is 13/20.




Jovet's Garage said...

I'm not familiar with this model but I remember an Opel Manta way back in the late 70s and early 80s. Loved the sporty shape of that car. =)

lorenzo721 said...

Oh yes, the first-generation Manta, as I already wrote in a post about it, was really a beautiful car. The V-shaped grille and quad-headlight arrangement was very tasteful, in my opinion. Unfortunately I didn't see any in Europe since many years. In Manila, one in always parked around Magallanes in Pasay, but here also they're becoming rare.

komenda said...

It's the Isuzu Gemini's German twin :-) another wonderful post.

lorenzo721 said...

Thanks a lot Erwin for this comment. I would even say that if the Opel Kadett and the Isuzu Gemini were indeed twins, they had many more sibblings! :)

JDMike's Diecast Site said...

very very nice indeed!! :-)

lorenzo721 said...

Hehehe... Having a rather similar model I could not imagine you saying otherwise! ;)

JDMike's Diecast Site said...

:D :D :D