In 1973, Douwe Land purchased a new Opel B Kadett Caravan for the careful and correct delivery of the parcels he was transporting. Douwe Land could transport everything, long, wide, heavy, vulnerable and fresh. The Opel Kadett Caravan was the preferred means of transport for delivery in the region.
By: Dirk de Jong
The investment for the reliable Kadett was very justified. The faithful workhorse drove for many years, during which the engine eventually showed signs of fatigue due to the high mileage and ended up in the shed with the aim of refurbishing it in the future.
The Opel Kadett now had a painful existence, once the pride of Douwe Land and now discarded and waiting for the future. Actually, it was a model (Caravan version is already quite unique) that had to be kissed awake for a new life. A little love and care were needed. The love and care were there, but not the time and opportunity. Sjoerd's girlfriend at the time discovered the car by chance in the shed and enthusiastically passed on the information to Sjoerd with the comment: "Really something for you."
The Opel B Kadett Caravan was bought, refurbished and got a different engine from a C Kadett. Of course no longer original, but the right solution to make it driveable again – and MOT ready – as a daily car. However, the use did not last long. After three years, the car was stored again with the intention of a better restoration soon. Once again the Opel Kadett had to fight against the decline.
Don't give up
Sjoerd did not want to acquiesce in the natural lifespan of the Opel B Kadett Caravan and there was therefore no question of a final trip to the dismantling company. But it didn't come from restoration either. Sjoerd had to invest in his growing family and in various studies to further develop his skills as a musician. So no time, no space (it was now in storage in various places) ... and yet the loyal Opel Kadett caravan has now appeared on the road again as a hobby car.
Sjoerd: “The Opel B Kadett Caravan is now very much alive for me. It's a pleasure to drive it again. It is not (!) solid on the road, but the interior is very spacious. I must confess that I experience a lot of key fun. It's more therapy for me if I can retire to the garage after my busy work."
Sjoerd: “I love the characteristic roar of the exhaust, the smell of grease and oil. And also the spartan elements, such as the triangular ventilation windows, the long lever and the absence of rear window heating. The engine noise, the windscreen washer with foot control and the beautiful chrome simple exterior mirrors, it's all part of it. The simple technique is just manageable for a hobbyist like me. Furthermore, the car (770 kilos and rear-wheel drive) is not very firmly on the road and is sensitive to crosswinds. Admittedly, the Opel Kadett in the photo doesn't look so flourishing yet, but it still gives a lot of satisfaction after 29 years of ownership.”
It is obvious. For Sjoerd it remains sympathy for the Opel and the classic is very much alive in his experience.
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