Despite its long stint under General Motors ownership, we Yanks don’t hear about Opel too much. We were privy to a handful of Opel models between 1958 and 1975, but we haven’t seen an Opel-badged vehicle since. That’s unfortunate, because from the looks of the vintage Opels headed to Essen’s Techno Classica, we missed out on some seriously cool cars.
The Opel collection on its way to Essen is a cluster of “big Opels” from some 80 years of production. While the current Opel lineup primarily consists of small sedans and hatchbacks, the automaker historically made a name for itself with its larger sedans. These bigger four-doors were closer to contemporary Buicks and Chevrolets than VWs and Peugeots.
This Essen-bound group begins with the 1937 Admiral, an imposing six-cylinder saloon that shared its reserved appearance with many other pre-war sedans. Next, a 1956 Opel Kapitan wears golden chrome, showing off the best wings and tinsel from the 1950s.
The 60s Opel Diplomat and Ambassador look very in-line with the best contemporary sheetmetal from Detroit, and the 1977 Opel Senator begins to show shades of the Malaise Era. No Opels from the 1980s, 1990s, or 2000s are included, with things instead ending with the new 2017 Opel Insignia Grand Sport.