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Cars that turn 40 in 2018. Part One.

The new year has begun. A year in which a number of car models will reach the age of forty. In two companies we look back on a number of selected models, who pressed their nose to the window in 1978. Today we describe the first part of the diptych.

Opel Senator / Monza

The production of the Senator and the Monza started in 1978. They represented Opel in the higher segment. Both luxury Opels debuted with the choice of two engine variants: the 2.8S and the 3.0 E. Later in 1978 followed the 3.0 S, which was also available in both models. However, both models were hampered by internal competition (top versions of the Rekord and the Commodore) while the finish was considered average. The first facelift took place for the 1982 model year. The models lasted in two generations up to and including 1987, and became available with smaller engines over time.

SAAB 900

Strict American safety requirements inspired SAAB to further develop the 99. The 900 was given a modified front, a longer wheelbase and a well-thought-out cockpit. The car was initially delivered with three and five doors. The sedan with a rear end that was also modified compared to the 99 was introduced in 1980 as a two- and four-door version. The 900 was equipped with the well-known 1.985 cc engines, which were available in multiple configurations. Of course, the Turbo engine was also used in the 900, for which power sources were later developed with 16 valve technology. The car was facelifted in 1987, and an 1991 liter engine became available from 2.1. This SAAB, on the basis of which the first SAAB cabriolet was also developed, lasted until 1993. Beautiful cars.

Toyota Tercel

Toyota brought the Tercel, the first front-wheel drive car from the Japanese manufacturer. It was available with an 1.3 and - for certain markets - with an 1.5 engine. A striking feature was the three-door Coupé, which had a large glass tailgate and could also be equipped with a five-speed gearbox. What also caught the eye: in terms of price, the Tercel fell between the Corolla and the Carina. In terms of dimensions, however, it was smaller than the Corolla. The Tercel made a very nice debut. In 1982 he was therefore able to pass on the baton to the second generation.

Mitsubishi Colt (A150)

In 1978 Mitsubishi launched a multi-continent car. The compact hatchback entered the European market as Colt, and was offered as a three- and five-door body style. It was available with a 1,2 liter and a 1,4 liter engine, and was fitted with a 4 x 2 transmission. The driver could combine the four regular gears with a sport mode and an economic mode, which can be set with a second lever. The Turbo followed in 1981. In 1982 the Colt was slightly facelifted and at the same time it served as the basis for the sedan version. He was called Lancer F. In 1984 the A150 was replaced by the Colt C10.

Citroën Visa

As a successor to the Ami 8 presented Citroën the Visa, which was available from the outset with an 652 cc engine (Special and Club) and an 1.124 cc engine, which was exclusively reserved for the Super. The Visa was undeniable Citroën with its satellite control, one windshield wiper for the windscreen and the curiously stylized nose. The coach with five doors provided the necessary ease of use. In 1981 followed the second and more successful generation of the Visa, on the basis of which also the C15 and a number of sporty types (such as the Mille Pistes!) Were built. And in 1988 the production of the Visa, after more than 1,2 million copies, was terminated.

A few more newcomers to 1978

BMW introduced the M1, the first Bavarian car with a middle engine. Mercedes Benz put the S123 - the station variant of the W123 - into production. It was the first combination car that Mercedes-Benz had developed in-house. Citroën launched the Acadiane in addition to the Visa described. That became the successor to the 2CV AK models. The French also presented the LNA. Vauxhall brought the Carlton, in fact an adapted de Rekord E. The Carlton had to cope with the disappearance of Ranger in the Netherlands. Furthermore, the British GM daughter came with the Royale, the counterpart of the Senator and the Monza. In addition to the previously described Tercel, Toyota also brought the Starlet to Europe. For Japan it was the second generation, for the rest of the world it marked the debut Starlet.




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The December issue, containing:

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The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also much cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

best wishes

Classic enthusiasts: The best wishes for 2018!

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