Opel Rekord 1.8 S. Impression of an old-fashioned fine travel car

ER Classics Desktop 2022

During the autumn of 1982, the facelift version of the Opel Rekord E appeared. The 1977 model was quite updated. For example, the front, interior and rear were redesigned. The then GM subsidiary also used more plastic. These are just a few of the changes that have brought the Opel Rekord up to date. Partly thanks to the optical adjustments, the cw value of the new Rekord E2 dropped from 0,42 to 0,36. The Rekord was also available with 1.8 OHC engines, which actually retired a number of CIH engines. We drove the Rekord E2 with a 1.8 S engine on board.

In 1983, the year of construction of the Stratosblauwe Opel, the Rekord was the best-selling car in the large middle class in the Netherlands. Overall, the Rekord then finished tenth in the Dutch sales ranking. The welcome guest of yesteryear is a fairly rare sight today. That makes it special to drive with this rear wheel good old to be on the road. This car is known at the RDW as Opel Rekord 1.8 N, but a look under the hood shows that we are dealing with the 1.8 S engine. The GM Varajet II carburetor confirms that fact, the engine code is playing hide and seek. Anyway. Instead of the 75 DIN-PK version, we have the 90 DIN-PK version, and that is very noticeable in this Opel Rekord E2.

Powerful motor, fine proportions gearbox

The 1.8 OHC engine is mated to a four-speed manual transmission, and that combination allows for a rather lazy shifting behaviour. Today it may sound strange, but you don't miss the fifth gear in combination with the engine. The torque of the 1.8 engine is available early on, the overlap in the gears is significant. That makes this Opel whistling and quite powerful in today's traffic. Less contemporary is the driving character of the Opel, the Rekord E2 clearly derives its technical configuration from its predecessors, including a rigid rear axle and coil springs at the rear.

Nice old-fashioned comfort

The November 1983 car drives like a later XNUMXs mid-sized car. It keeps its course, hangs nicely in the springs, is understeered, leans over a bit in the bends despite two stabilizers and puts quite a bit of weight in the shell. It drives pleasantly, the languid handling is pleasant. But again: do not underestimate the performance potential of the car - especially with this powerful engine in the front. You can make good, fast and relatively economical meters with it. Especially on longer stretches, this is in all respects a very nice car to be on the road with. Within the built-up area, the Opel is a lot less agile. This Rekord is not built for a quick in-between maneuver, even parking (without power steering) in small spots requires insight and get to work.

Excellent service, modest interior

The operation is child's play as far as the gears and clutch are concerned, the accelerator pedal does give a considerable back pressure in this example. It also takes some getting used to the single lever on the left of the steering column, which houses most control functions. Occupants welcome a lot of space in the interior, the large furniture contributes to a quite comfortable experience. In terms of equipment, the Opel is modest, it is a real basic version, with the exception of the engine. That does not alter the fact that the decoration of the car is neat, things do look neat. But richly endowed with goodies: that's another story.

Solid comfort

That is not a problem in this car, especially when driving, the car offers a solid comfort, although a power steering would not be out of place in the weighty-feeling car. The braking system is energized, and it does its job more than properly. Slowing down is child's play, and the Rekord remains very stable. Rekord E2 copies are for sale for reasonable prices, also because they are not much in demand as a classic. But therein lies an opportunity for the candidate. With this type of Rekord in particular, fans of large Opels can get a car that weighs in, offers old-fashioned comfort and gives a clear nod to the good-natured and steadfast character that characterized Opel's larger mid-sized cars for years. And not only that: you also buy a maintenance-friendly and easy keyable car with which you can easily participate in daily traffic. A car too, with which you can easily and comfortably cover long distances. In a way that pleasantly brings you back to how it once was.

Thanks to Nosstalgia, Drachten



Give a reaction
  1. We had one at my place of work, a three-door caravan in delivery, no rear seat and no rear side windows. Thick 2.3 diesel with no less than 71 peekaas under the hood with powerdome. Drove fine, was a bit clumsy thing: large steering wheel, thick poker, large seats covered with leatherette, floaty handling and because of the rear-wheel drive actually not very spacious in the back. It was a white one and had a few antennas on it, apparently people thought it was a police bin, because everyone moved out of the way when I came tearing up. As said, a bit clunky car, but not unpleasant. Really a car that a farmer can easily get in with his clogs.

  2. Despite the excellent quality, they were too often, wrongly, regarded as disposable vehicles. It also has a lot to do with the very low prices for a well-used one.
    My father had a 1964 Record model, after a relatively small defect on the autobahn, this 5 year old car was simply crushed into a cube.
    All types and model years Records are indeed very rare now.

  3. My parents drove a 2.0S Berlina with a 3-speed automatic transmission. Just went with 4 kids in the back. It was also the first car I was allowed to drive after getting my driver's license. Wonderful travel car, but with the automatic transmission not exactly fast when overtaking. You had to time that

  4. I had a four-door record in the mid-seventies with a 70 engine, fantastic execution, spacious, fast and reasonably economical, I still think about it often, before that a record with a captain 1900 cyl. Engine, for that time very fast but drum brakes all around was too short.

  5. My favorite car has had 4 e rekords and now have a rekord e2 caravan under renovation will be happy when it is finished. the space and the sound of the opel engine makes me happy

  6. Wonderful cars that Rekords, have driven a 5S myself for almost 2.0 years, every kilometer was a pleasure!
    Have one in the garage and it will show up again when it turns 40.
    Varajet carburetor works great, and if it ever starts to give you a hard time a replacement - Weber will go on.

Give an answer

The email address will not be published.

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
cover 8 2022 300

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 € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.


Suzuki Savage

Hanomag Henschel Camper Van (F20D) (1971)

Hanomag Henschel Camper Van (F20D) (1971). Freebooter feeling for Her Majesty Sjoukje.