Opel love and the farewell of a loyal comrade

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A beautiful Saturday started very early for me on June 11th. I was delighted because I was going to get my new car. On this day I received a beautiful Volvo V50 2.0 Kinetic with Edition II options from Gerard Kramer in Wolvega. At the same time, it meant that I was going to make the last drive with my Opel Astra. And that's a car I had become very attached to.

The Opel has since been exchanged. I bought it in October 2020 as a temporary alternative, as a filler for the period when I would quietly look for a replacement for the Lancia. The Italian charged me with a large amount of costs. And because we were in the middle of the lockdown, I opted for a temporary alternative: a somewhat older petrol car. The Blitz returned to the Van Putten home. And the assumed half-year was quickly exceeded. I had the Opel for over twenty months. And got attached to it.

In total I have owned six Opels, four of which were privately owned. That's not for nothing. I've been very fond of the brand since I was very young. My first Opel was from that time. That was a Kadett 1.2N City from 1976, that was a nice car, a real student car that liked its sip of petrol. The Kadett had more than two tons on the clock, the wear was on it, but I earned money with it (rental) and I also sometimes used it for a longer ride. In the end I said goodbye to the Kadett, because someone else wrecked it. That was a shame, but for the 400 peak I paid for it, I enjoyed the orange City. And he always did.

I still have fond memories of the Corsa 1.2S LS that I rode city and country with. With which I took my two-day love Marianne from Koblenz to Freiburg in Germany. She came from Hamburg, had earned good money and decided to seek refuge in Southern Europe. The Corsa, with which I experienced everything, it symbolized a good time that was marred by three car break-ins. Then the confidence was gone. Man, did I regret the sale. I feel it enough.

The third private Opel was the car I had the longest. An Opel Astra Sports Edition II, painted in Prestigeblau. That car was magnificent. I'm almost certain that we would still have had the car if it hadn't been a total loss in the thick fog (you really didn't see anything). For seven years we experienced all kinds of things with the Opel, for example we drove whistling with it to central Sweden and to Italy (with three children and a lot of luggage in the back). It really was one hell of a car, which unfortunately retired early due to a heavy collision in the thick fog.

And exactly five years later I bought the Astra H 1.4 16V Edition, from 2006. A station. The dealer-maintained Opel was therefore already a bit older. He belonged to a generation of GM-Opels where the high-quality cheese slicer had been pulled over the brand. The somewhat older age of the Astra did not hide that, He had his issues and wanted a sip of coolant. And during the last few months, the malfunction lights came on more and more frequently. So there were still a few things.

I took wisely, but reluctantly, the decision to trade in the Opel, which was quite difficult for me. Because I was attached to the car, which I could use for anything. I could put everything in it. Used it for everything. Moreover, thanks to an excellent chassis and ditto steering, the Opel was a really nice travel car. It had never been bothered by crosswinds and also offered a very nice seat. Moreover, I was charmed by the looks of the Astra H Estate, from its introduction I find that a pleasant appearance to see.

Now I'm a Volvo owner, and I'm proud of that. I think I have a beautiful car and I want to drive it for years. And Volvo - at least, I think so - is a worthy and noble brand. But the love, the weakness for the (older) Opels remains. Because in their total unpretentiousness they can surprise you so pleasantly. And let a friendship grow with every kilometer. Namesake Bas van Putten once said it so beautifully: Opels never lie† And not a word was lied about that.


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  1. Erik,
    I'm warning you because you are going to drive the Volvo that is an addiction that you can't get rid of make sure you don't have too much space at your house I do have that and because those Volvos can't be broken and dog loyalty it can just happen that the whole history is still in the garden
    Have fun with this one

  2. For years we have criticized the Japanese as inferior but 'face it', they are simply better. The driving character can be debated for a long time. That's a matter of taste. But in terms of reliability, they can no longer be beaten. When something arrives after a long time, it is often followed by more. No one is so good at constructing with age than the Japanese. So there they are again with the nose in front. And I say all that as a 2.0 FSI Golf V driver. Just a little while and I'll be unfaithful

  3. Yes, the Astra H. It was my introduction to Opel, a beautiful twintop. Looked really nice and drove well. But yeah, those maintenance bills. There was something wrong with it every year, even in the 2+1 year warranty period. But yes, Opel does not have much with warranty, so the significant leakage after 2 years and 1 week was not covered. In total I have completed 7 years with it, exactly the same duration that I now drive in my (second-hand) Mazda. The only difference is that Mazda only costs normal maintenance.

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