The third and fourth generations of Kadett grew in size, power and versatility: Caravan, Aero, Sedan, City, Coupé … and even Rallye. And it was in the sporting arena where the Kadett won his greatest fame.
Opel Kadett history would not be complete without mentioning the ancestor of 1936, but not without making their sportier versions, which gave him popularity and success throughout Europe for almost two decades. Both the Type B (1965-1972) as Type C (1973-1978) included models for competitive its clientele in its range: B “Rally” and C “GT / E”. With them managed to capture a young audience eager for fast cars … but economic. For as the “compact” concept Kadett had managed to socialize the car at first and popularize the family car in a second, now he democratized the competition. Opel was the first brand that offered almost ready to run a model of affordable, easy maintenance and high performance.
When the Kadett B was introduced in 1965 and type sedan body offered (with two or four doors), “fastback” (the “LS”, with two or four), “station-wagon” (Caravan, three or five) and coupe. All strong American inspiration. Even a termination “Olympia” luxury for some versions. The new Kadett had grown: it was 18 cm. longer and wider 10, 9 cm. Additional wheelbase. The small Opel had become adult. Engines grew in line:. Expanding diameter 3 mm, the engine capacity 1078 cc passed and power 45 hp (55 S version). But soon they followed 1.2 60 hp engine adopting “L” 1.7 out of 75 and, since 1967, from the Rekord 1.9 90 hp.
– Opel Kadett B
– Opel Kadett C GT / E
Opel created a new segment in the market or, rather, two. Also the compact-sports with the incorporation of the Rallye version November 1966. Then the Kadett Coupé were already known in racing: Hans Beck, Development Department, and Dieter Lambart working for a dealership in Stuttgart, they had prepared one and had aligned rallies. In the 1966 Monte Carlo finished 15th and 3rd class. Rally Kadett was a bestseller immediately and many European pilots began his flying. In 1968 he won his class of 238 times 222 shares, plus many absolute victories.
Incorporation of 90 hp 1.9 engine since September 1967 it became a real winner. Opel is not officially involved in competition, but numerous cars prepared for dealers and customers. Many of them went to the Nordic countries, where they were particularly competitive on gravel and snow. This time we have been fortunate to get behind the wheel of an official Rallye Kadett away from Anders Kullang, one of the best drivers of the time, and is preserved as then. Except its spectacular yellow and black decor, nothing outside of a difference Coupé second-generation B (rear windows long). Even inside the tripmaster except Halda- is standard. Only the rear four-point rollbar and baquets period (without headrest) give it a sportier … Because the belts are three points! And at that time they were an extra competition!
The black predominates in a sober interior, dominated by a large diameter wheel and a few watches indicators. The brand cuentavueltas up to 7,000 rpm and the engine (1.9-handled “crossflow” and 130 hp) through the rear exhaust roars. But make no mistake: it is little more than standard and have low despite a crossed tree and preparation time. A delight to use, without jumping or potholes. A more rpm, more power.
The gearbox is the standard four-speed, robust enough to rallies. It does not take special piñonería and is fully synchronized, but the group is a little shorter than the original and carries autoblocante. We go down a snowy road We check what is driving the old one rear-wheel drive: the strange thing is going right. Gas shock, steering wheel and handbrake allow place where we want, with complete smoothness. A specific suspensions help it snow: the body is a little high and the first impression is that they are very soft, but only at the beginning of its route. Then they are become firm and convey a reassuring sense of control. Leafleting, it must be pretty volantear, but you do not abuse the change so elastic that motor. You not even have to hands off the “rudder” to operate the wiper, which is pedal. Yes, it makes no mistake with the clutch. The brake is little used in these circumstances, but with front disc and rear drum has a good potential.
Rally Kadett paved the way for a new niche sports models culminating in the GT / E of the next generation: the Type C. The jump between the B and C was not as great as between A and B. In fact, it was a logical evolution, an update aesthetic and dynamic day after an incredible sales of more than 2.6 million units since 1965-1972 (half export). The new aesthetics of the Kadett C was more angular and aggressive than its predecessor and that was not thought only in the coupe: nineteen body variants were offered, including a convertible (Aero) and a city (City). But Opel guilty of conservatism: he kept rear-wheel drive rather than risk with the front of your competition. Yet 1.7 million units were sold in seven years, before the onset of Type D with front wheel drive.
Kadett C he shortened active battle about one centimeter, but again extending -levemente- length and width in continuous growth. Improvements in its frame were remarkable, with new front axle with overlapping triangles, springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabilizer; extending the rear track and providing the rear axle rocker arms and springs new (the B and led from 1967). The range of engines was wide: from 1 liter to 40 CV of 2 liters of 115, passing the 1.2 (60) 1.6 (75) and 1.9 (105).
– Opel Kadett GT / E