In 1965 Opel presented the Kadett B at the IAA in Frankfurt. The car became a success and was built in many versions until 1973. We found such a Kadett at Carrosso in Oldemarkt. A Modell 92 coupé in the standard L-version from 1971, painted in Pampasgrün and equipped with the 1100 N engine. The Opel had been standing still for a while. So it's high time to entrust this Kadett to the environment again.
The Opel looks good and also benefits from the L equipment. That means: chrome trim, aluminum window frames and an interior that was beautifully finished at the time. The condition is original, there are only doubts about the black letters in the grille because they were officially expired in 1971. Now that we are in the vicinity of the engine: everything is neat under the hood and you will find a ballroom of space . And an oil filler cap that is historically one of the few parts of this car that is incorrect.
Beautiful materials, enough luxury
In the coupé you can see why you are in the luxury version. Behind the classic steering wheel with three forward-curved spokes you will find a set of instruments with a water temperature and fuel gauge on the left, a centrally placed speedometer and on the right side a clean-running Kienzle clockwork.
You also see carpet and beautifully finished door panels with a card compartment on the left. In the middle, Opel placed the shorter lever, which is surrounded by a beautiful panel with the Opel logo. And you will find beautiful upholstered furniture, for example. Speaking of upholstery: this also applies to the dashboard, which also has a deep and top-opening box (or rather: box) mounted.
Waking up after a long standstill
The Kadett wakes up after a long standstill and it takes a while for the 1078 cc OHV power source to rotate nicely. At first this happens on the manually operated choke, but even after a while it still has a life of its own. Only after a longer period does the engine run smoothly, and we can also appreciate the Kadett while driving. Despite the once specified 45 DIN-HP of the 1078 cc engine, the Kadett makes quite a spry impression. The Opel pulls (in some relativity) reasonably through to a speed of 100 kilometers per hour, the gear ratios (with a short one and two) help very well with that. The acceleration feels quite lively.
Lively chassis, lively body.
Talk about lively. the interplay of damping and the fairly limited absorption capacity of the mounted suspension (the Kadett already had coil springs at the rear, in addition to a rigid axle and a Panhard rod) also deserves that qualification. The effect of this is a body that is constantly in motion. The light-feeling steering also always requires small straight-ahead corrections. The inherently limited traction is partly to blame for this and it also influences the braking manoeuvres. The Opel has trouble with the concept stable braking stability. Finally: even at a slight bend, the roll tendency is already quite large. The historical findings confirm our view of the typical driving characteristics. Also around 1971, these were not the strongest point of the Opel Kadett-B in combination with the technical basic equipment, although they can certainly be lived with.
Enough advantages, nice furniture, ease of use
But there is enough to praise Opel's historic hit. The engine likes to show what it is doing, but the noise reduction is reasonably okay by 1971 standards. The front seats, which also provide excellent lateral support, are excellent and they also offer a deep and beautiful seat. The freedom of movement on board is sufficient, which also applies to the ease of use. Buttons and levers are well within reach. And via the short lever you shift with fairly short gear and with feeling through the four synchronized gears.
Good constructive basis, but maintenance is required due to longer downtime
In terms of construction, the Opel Kadett-B is logically put together anyway, and thanks to the traditionally very reliable and in fact simple to maintain technology, it offers sufficient basis to enjoy it as a classic driver for a long time. The condition is that the report copy is properly inspected because of the longer standstill and that it receives a good service.
Popular on the go
Anyway: you also please bystanders with the Kadett-B. The number of positive reactions during the impression was considerable. And a photo of an Opel Kadett-B always does well online. That is not without reason, because it evokes beautiful memories and is today an attraction with its classic shapes. The Kadett-B is therefore a welcome guest, certainly also in the outfit in which we drove it.
Statement for historical success
Memories and nostalgic considerations are not the only explanations for this. Anyone who used to buy a Kadett-B knew that he or she did not buy a car with balanced driving behavior. But that consideration was not against the knowledge that you then (also thanks to the large trunk space) practically usable, well screwed together, technically simple and extremely reliable family car in your hands. A car that, moreover, because of a favorable cost, never gave the owner financial headaches. In addition, the entry-level versions certainly had clear purchase prices.
Unpretentious and loved
Add to this the unpretentiousness of the versatile model range and the explanation for historical success is there. Because an Opel Kadett-B had a lot, but no haircut. A luxury version with a different body also contributed to the popularity of this Opel model range. On a beautiful spring day in the vicinity of the Weerribben we noticed what that means today.
Thanks to Carrosso, Oldemarkt