Potential Purchase of the Week: 1968 Opel Rallye Kadett

Automobile Staff
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The internet is a wonderful thing, allowing automotive enthusiasts to search for interesting cars and parts to buy. We do this on a weekly basis to bring you our Potential Purchase of the Week, and this week’s is certainly special. We found not one, but a pair of late 1968/69 Opel Rallye Kadetts for sale.

General Motors introduced the Kadett in 1962 as a basic Volkswagen Beetle competitor. The second-generation car debuted in 1966 with a small 1.1-liter I-4, rather than the 1.0-liter engine of the previous generation. The Kadett was also offered with 1.5-, 1.7-, and 1.9-liter I-4s.

In 1967, GM began importing the car to the U.S. and selling it through Buick dealerships, simply badged as the Opel.

The Opel Kadett proved to be wildly successful in Europe. With almost 2.7 million second-generation cars sold, it remains one of Opel’s best-selling vehicles ever in terms of volume. The car proved extremely successful in the U.S. as well. In 1969, the Kadett was one of the best-selling import cars in the U.S., second only to Volkswagen’s Beetle.

In 1967, Opel introduced the Rallye version of the Kadett, which featured a sporty four-speed manual transmission and body kit. The body kit included fog lights, chrome rims, stripes, and a faux-wood steering wheel. With its sporty fastback styling and striping, it was targeted at wannabe college racers. Despite its sporting intentions, the car could be ordered with any of the four engines offered.

The pair of Opels offered for sale here are of the Rallye variety, thankfully with the largest 1.9-liter engine. It produced 106 horsepower and was coupled to a four-speed manual transmission. The cars for sale here are from the 1968 and 1969 model years and have been refurbished.

Why would I want one?

Even though this vintage Kadett was one of Opel’s highest volume cars ever, they’re rather rare to see nowadays -- especially a Rallye version in the U.S. They were 30+ mpg daily drivers that became classics overnight.

The cars are also reliable as the seller reports that one sat for 37 years and, with a new battery, started right up. All of the hard work has also been done on these two examples, meaning the new owner could simply buy them and enjoy. They’d make a great matching set of cars for husband and wife or father and son.

Find these cars on eBay. H/T to Bring a Trailer!

-Andrew Peterson

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