I used to see Opels once in a while as a kid. Both Mrs. Orr and Mrs. Hall had Opel wagons, though I think they both may have been the bigger 1900 that looks similar. These days, you may see an Opel GT here ‘n there, but something like this 1968 Opel Kadett Wagon is something I haven’t seen in decades—when was the last time you have seen one? For that reason, it’s the ClassicCars.com Pick of the Day. It’s listed for sale by a dealer in Woodland Hills, Calif. (Click the link to view the listing)
This generation of Opel Kadett first appeared at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the summer of 1965, and it lasted through the summer of 1973. It was Opel’s entry-level car around the world and competed on some level with the Volkswagen Beetle, though the Opel offered more space albeit in a more conventional layout. In the U.S., the Kadett was available from 1966-72 and was equipped slightly differently from European markets, with the trim being of the more upscale Olympia version, plus several lenses were modified to meet federal rules. Body styles also were limited in the U.S., but nonetheless there were Kadetts a-plenty for 1968, all two-doors: Sedan, Sport Sedan, LS and Deluxe Sport Coupes (fastbacks), Rallye (fastback), and Deluxe Wagon. They were marketed as the “Mini-Brute” complete with tongue-in-cheek advertising.
This restored 1968 Kadett Wagon (called Caravan in Europe) is a national show-winner with several trophies under its belt, including the Opel Nationals. It is powered by a 55-horsepower 1.1-liter OHC four with twin Solex 35 PDSI carburetors. “The engine has been fully detailed and runs well,” says the seller. “Under the hood, it retains the proper German parts from Bosch, Solex, SWF and ATE.” Shifting chores rely on the standard four-speed manual. Inside, the upholstery is in good shape, with the headliner and carpet being redone. The Kadett even has its original German Sekurit glass. Mileage is claimed to be 85K miles.
The price of German engineering, with more places to get it serviced than any other import (per old ads)? $24,900. In the world of old cars, that’s a small cost for a seemingly pristine collectible that you likely don’t bump into at the local bank drive-through.