Under the working title “Project 1450”, the Opel developed the Manta in the late 1970s. It was presented in September 1450. Project 1970 brought another new Opel. In November XNUMX, the Germans presented the Opel Ascona A in Turin. He succeeded the Opel Olympia and grew the friendship of many buyers with every kilometer for almost five years.
The Opel Ascona A was destined to make a career as a Kadett C. The international developments in the middle class segment led to a different decision. The Opel Kadett B remained in production as an asset in the smaller middle class. The Kadett C was placed under the Ascona A by Opel in 1973. For example, Opel was very strong in the entire middle class with the Kadett, the Ascona, the Manta and the Rekord.
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Enough body choice
The Ascona A was notable for its rather compact and massive, stocky design with rounded accents. A strong feature was the powerful and high nose, which gave the Ascona A a solid appearance. From the outset, the Ascona was available as a coach and sedan. Opel also supplied both a standard and a luxury version. Opel also brought the three-door station wagon. The luxurious “Voyage” variant had a glued-wood decoration on the sides. The standard model of the station wagon was called Caravan.
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The chassis of the Ascona A (also used for the Manta A) was very suitable for competition purposes. The front wheel suspension was independent with coil springs and transverse support arms (2x). The rear wheel suspension was of the Zentralgelenkachse type, a rigid axle with a drawbar application. Long arms, a Panhard rod and coil springs kept the case behind the ride.
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Separate braking system, fine engines
All Asconas had a separate braking system. The delay took place (energized) via discs at the front and drums at the rear. The Opel Ascona A was available from the outset with two 1.6 engines (duplex chain driven CIH). Those were the 1.6 and the 1.6S. The latter got a downdraft register carburettor, the normal 1.6 got a downdraft carburettor. The 1.6S was - just like the later introduced 1,9S engine - also available in combination with a three-speed automatic transmission. Those who did not choose an automatic transmission received a manual gearbox with four forward speeds in all cases.
Topper: the Ascona A SR
From March 1971, Opel also supplied the Ascona A as an SR version with a sportier tuned. suspension and 1,6-liter S-engine with 80 hp (59 kW). In addition, the buyer could have the 1.9-liter S-engine with 90 DIN-PK installed in the new SR. Opel equipped the SR richly. The interior showed a sports steering wheel, tachometer, wood veneer on the instrument panel and a console with clock, ammeter and oil pressure gauge. In appearance, for example, the SR was recognizable by the chrome-plated exhaust pipe and steel sports wheels without hubcaps. In March 1972, Opel introduced the 1,2-liter OHV engine as the new cheapest option. The power was 60 DIN-PK. The valve control took place via a chain driven lateral camshaft.
In 1973, the Opel Ascona A received a facelift. The aluminum parts on the front disappeared from time to time. The (and characteristic) grille, which is equipped with aluminum elements, was replaced by matte black applications. Further adjustments included differently designed mirrors, the placement of two windscreen washer jets, different dashboard levers, better ventilation options and a new center console.
From 1975 the power of the larger Ascona A engines decreased, or rather: a number of Opel engines. This was due to a reduced compression ratio and developments in the field of fuel, whereby less and less lead was allowed to be added. Opel applied the regulations to the engines, and the owners did well to use lead replacement. With these changes (and the once modified 1.9S), the Ascona A drove to the end of its career. And that was successful.
Opel 1900 for America
The Opel Ascona A was also available in several special promotional versions during its production period. The Holiday and the Plus are well-known. A special version was built by Opel for America. That was the Opel 1900, which was sold in the usual two-door, four-door and Kombivariant. The engine was a pinched 1900 cc version with a lower compression and barely 76 DIN-PK. The Opel 1900 series also included the Manta A. In total, the Opel 1900 was shipped 170.000 times to America.
Opel's business and sporting success number
The striking Opel Ascona A did well in terms of sales. Moreover, the Ascona A was a very suitable rally car. Walter Röhrl described the Opel Ascona A in 2016 as one of his favorite rally cars, due to its superior handling and rally suitability. He became European champion with it in 1974. In addition, Röhrl gave the Ascona A a suitable farewell to the rally circuit in 1975. He won the Acropolis rally with it. With this, Opel also established its strong name in the rally circuit.
Position located in central middle class
The Opel Ascona A was loved anyway and therefore successful. He walked almost 700.000 times in Bochum. In July 1975, Opel stopped the production of the Ascona A in favor of the new B generation. It perpetuated the strong position that Opel had built up with the sympathetic and characteristic Ascona A in the middle class. Today it is a powerful and robust-looking classic, the prices of which are certainly rising for the more luxurious and highly motorized versions.
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