Ownership Verified: Meet Karl - 1974 Opel Rekord

_Jules_

New Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2019
Messages
4
Location
Berlin, Germany
Car(s)
1974 Opel Rekord
Due to popular demand – my very first post on the forum! Here we go!

I’ve dreamed of buying an older Opel for a while now, but owning an older car always seemed quite impossible as I honestly had not a lot of knowledge on what it means to maintain a car like this and no access to the necessary infrastructure what so ever. Let’s just say, both of these issues changed quite a lot after I met Dr_Grip last year and he helped me to make turn this fun idea into a reality.

I spend most of my life living in the city of Bochum in the deep west of Germany (please sing the song in your head now if you’re familiar with it 😉) which had an Opel plant that was famously closed and torn down not too long ago. But because of that, my family has a long history of owning Opels (there’s lots of pictures of my dad and grandfathers Opels over the years, I'll post one below , let me know if you’re interested in more of those) and I grew up appreciating them a lot. Naturally I was keen on buying a car that was also build in Bochum, but the options are quite limited as only the Kadett, Ascona and Manta fit the profile and my preferred time frame.



Then Dr_Grip found a ’74 Rekord on mobile.de, it obviously wasn’t my first choice – model-wise – but what the heck, we were travelling to Bremen anyways (people on the chats may remember the embarrassing 90s party we had to endure) and from there it was only a short trip to Hannover to take a look at the car.

Long story short, it sparked joy. ^^

So here’s a couple more technical info (Dr_Grip helped me with that as I’m not yet familiar with most of the car-related terms in English, but I guess I'll have learn):
It’s a four-door saloon in what can only be described as pensioner spec: Second to smallest engine (1.7l/84hp), three-speed automatic gearbox, no extras apart from a sunroof. But it really is the most comfortable car I ever owned, it’s like sitting on your fucking sofa while driving.

That’s the bad. The good news is it’s low-mileage, the interior is near mint (apart from an ill-advised aftermarket rev counter) but most importantly, the car is almost unrealistically rust-free for a 70s Opel, heck, for any 70s car.

Next steps -the engine is in dire need of a tuneup (idle speed and possibly/probably also carb and ignition timing are off), fluids shall be changed and before the summer the almost stuck sunroof mechanism has to be fixed.

We’ll hit the garage next weekend as we are chilling in a polish wellness resort this weekend for a direly needed shot vacation. But as soon as we start working on the Rekord I will make sure to update this thread with more informative pics!



Yay!
 

Der Stig

is Der Slut
DONOR
Joined
Dec 19, 2008
Messages
7,184
Location
Misery Knob
Car(s)
Too many and yet not enough
Most excellent foil to Lucille! Hope we see this at RingMeet this year :)
 

DanRoM

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 27, 2009
Messages
7,998
Location
Ruhr Area, Germany
Car(s)
MX-5 ND, CBF1000 & two bikes
At first I thought someone had actually bought an Opel Karl when I read the thread title. Then I saw it was your thread. This is better. :)

And welcome to the forum!
 

Matt2000

Disco Stu-pour
DONOR
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
14,500
Location
Country smells, England
Car(s)
'01 Disco 2 V8, '90 Disco 1, '05 Smart Roadster
Welcome to the dysfunctional family of FinalGear!

That's a good looking car, it looks like we didn't get an exact Vauxhall equivalent to it here as the Victor of the time is more ugly. Nice colour too. I look forward to reading more about it!
 

93Flareside

Döner Kebab enthusiast
DONOR
Joined
Jul 20, 2009
Messages
16,472
Location
42 miles outside of Chicago
Car(s)
‘18 VW Golf GTI, '87 Mercury Colony Park
This is great! I really enjoy seeing old cars that aren’t from the American big three and learning how they’re just as loved by those who owned or grew up around them.

Hope to see this at ringmeet this year.
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
DONOR
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
13,955
Location
Germany
Car(s)
1979 Opel Kadett | 1972 Ford Country Sedan
I thought "Polish wellness" was something only nicjasno experienced!
Doesn't polishing one's knob feel well in general?

That's a good looking car, it looks like we didn't get an exact Vauxhall equivalent to it here as the Victor of the time is more ugly.
Interestingly, it seems like the UK got some Opel models (Rekord and Manta, at least) from the mid-70s to early 80s, not even re-badged as Vauxhalls. @_Jules_ even found some Sales Brochures.

Maybe someone with obsessive knowledge about 70s Britain (@captain_70s , @MWF , @Andeh) can shed some light on that?
 

MWF

Now needs wood
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
27,507
Location
MWF HQ, Ukadia
Car(s)
MX-5 1.8i Indiana SE, update pending
I seem to recall we did get them in Ukania as the Opel Rekord but most of them were sold here as the last itineration of the Vauxhall Victor.
 

captain_70s

Forum Addict
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
6,190
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Car(s)
'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
You could indeed buy Opels in the UK alongside Vauxhalls, they tended to be quite a bit pricier and you were mostly paying extra for the prestige of having an unusual European car.

The underpinnings of the Rekord and the Victor were the same IIRC, the mid-70s was probably the last point before Opel and Vauxhall bodyshells were essentially identical aside from badging and trim, although prior to this the Opels were usually the prettier car!
 
Reactions: MWF

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
DONOR
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
13,955
Location
Germany
Car(s)
1979 Opel Kadett | 1972 Ford Country Sedan
You could indeed buy Opels in the UK alongside Vauxhalls, they tended to be quite a bit pricier and you were mostly paying extra for the prestige of having an unusual European car.
Do you know anything about the idea behind this? What were Vauxhall/GM thinking? Were Opels sold through Vauxhall dealerships? Anything?
 

MWF

Now needs wood
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
27,507
Location
MWF HQ, Ukadia
Car(s)
MX-5 1.8i Indiana SE, update pending
I'm not sure but I'm guessing it was a very early experiment along the lines of Citroen v DS - promoting the car as a premium version even though the basic architecture underneath is the same. The cars were sold alongside each other and the dealerships were branded as GM selling both brands, rather like British Leyland dealerships which sold Austin, Morris, Triumph and Rover cars from the same lots.
 

captain_70s

Forum Addict
Joined
Aug 6, 2008
Messages
6,190
Location
Glasgow, Scotland
Car(s)
'77 Triumph Dolomite 1300 + '83 Triumph Acclaim
I believe the Opels were largely sold via Vauxhall dealerships, although there were also independent Opel franchises IIRC (dealers specialising in European imports generally). I don't think the customer base would actually overlap as much as might be imagined.

The Opels on offer were always a fairly high spec while, by the mid-1970s, Vauxhalls were associated with fleet buyers, and very cheap, basic motoring.

Vauxhalls were marketed directly towards UK competitors like Austin, Hillman and Ford UK. Opels were aimed at competing against BMW, Audi and the like. Well equipped exec saloons sportier models aimed at those with what, at the time, would be considered a more exotic taste. The UK equivalent would be Rovers and Triumphs, although in the mid 70s the sort of person who bought them probably wouldn't be overly tempted by a "foreign job".
 

Tram13

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2019
Messages
75
Location
Croatia
Car(s)
Currently I commute on bicycle
Old cars in good condition are always refreshing to see, no matter the trim level or engine/gearbox. Congratulations for making your dream come true and I wish you many happy kilometres with as little trouble as possible to you!
 

Matt2000

Disco Stu-pour
DONOR
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
14,500
Location
Country smells, England
Car(s)
'01 Disco 2 V8, '90 Disco 1, '05 Smart Roadster
I can certainly imagine Opels being sold as more exotic cars here and UK buyers being too dense to see through it. Those same buyers maybe went on to buy a Rover re-badged as MG. :LOL:

I feel like I've derailed this thread somewhat now, sorry. Didn't take long. :p
 

Mitchi

Forum Addict
DONOR
Joined
Dec 10, 2012
Messages
5,302
Location
Lüneburg
Car(s)
Ford Sierra
She ackchually did a thread. Very nice Ruhrpott Skyline you got. Good colour aswell.
 

MWF

Now needs wood
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
27,507
Location
MWF HQ, Ukadia
Car(s)
MX-5 1.8i Indiana SE, update pending
Don't forget to post the standard proof pic - Dr Grip will advise what is required.

More shots of the car would also be appreciated.
 

Dr_Grip

Made from concentrate
DONOR
Joined
Jul 8, 2008
Messages
13,955
Location
Germany
Car(s)
1979 Opel Kadett | 1972 Ford Country Sedan
Don't forget to post the standard proof pic - Dr Grip will advise what is required.

More shots of the car would also be appreciated.
Let's get plates on the car first. Proof pic and more photos will follow then!
 
Top