"Sometimes, sometimes I miss him, my faithful companion." It was the text accompanying a photo of the Opel Astra Sports Edition II that I posted on Twitter. As if I sensed it. Because two weeks later I received the announcement of an unexpectedly high cost item for the Delta. That was the start of the Lancia farewell. A fine Opel Astra H 1.4 Station from 2006 has been accompanying the indestructible Starlet for just under three weeks. There are very good reasons why after five years I gave in again to the call of the Opel Blitz. So far, the walk has been excellent.
“As a fancier you cannot easily correct that”, I heard. Fine. Hobby is a selective concept, everyone has their own arguments for calling a car or a certain type of a manufacturer as a car enthusiast. Or to be regarded as a civilian car. Sometimes these reflections are purely technical, sometimes they depend on the type of owner or driver. It often involves hollow images and cosmetic reflections. For me, the total package counts, including the subcutaneous construction, long-lasting technology and the use of strong materials, for example. A car is more than just the throbbing stroke of the design pencil.
Take the Opel Kadett-B. Those who used to show it in the past got the wrath of the self-appointed bon ton, and I never understood that. You often heard: "You see them so much." That was true, but I still think that is a hollow phrase. There were several reasons for Kadett's success. That good old Kadett was usually very well put together, had a harmonious construction, you knew what it was worth and they were available in a thousand and one shapes and sizes. Moreover, it was also economies in use. I thought that was fascinating.
Later I also understood why there were so many Opel enthusiasts. The total package was logical and you could also present it perfectly. You already redeemed the evidence, you didn't have to prove anything. I love such cars. They not only make you feel at home, but also come home. Carefree and in a completely sober balance. Besides, post a photo of a Kadett-B (or C) on any social car medium at this time. Then you know enough Success guaranteed.
However, such reflections do not easily land in the special world of cars, in which people sometimes elevate themselves. In this era, many are driven as never before on imagery, which is often hardly based on objectivity. Take the comparison between any Land Cruiser, a Land Rover and a G-Class. Those last two are culture. If you indicate that within that spectrum the Landcruiser (whichever) is your favorite, then that is not understood. Then you can explain something. Question marks arise. Because it is within the world not done to raise such matters. Certainly not when it comes to European cult objects Japanese perspective.
It is very simple. Daimler-Benz needed an AMG 63 6 x 6 to show its desert potential. And in various parts of the world, the Landcruiser wiped out the Land Rover in no time. It's the facts, and so it goes quiet then. Because everyone knows that a Landcruiser has stood its ground in its desert since the XNUMXs - and in various capacities. But it says Toyota, and yes, apparently it isn't established European order. That is curious, because Toyota sold millions of cars in Europe. And much more beyond that. Yes, the world is really bigger.
So that's what it's all about for me. The intrinsic and proven top qualities of a car that makes no promises and only delivers. That is also why I am a fan of many Toyota. It is not without reason that I swear by our small, 25 years young and loyal Starlet P8. You know: that is the second car in the family. And it was not without reason that Toyota was high on the list when I recently decided to say goodbye to the Lancia due to upcoming and unexpectedly high costs to the Lancia, and with great haste.
I quickly developed a two-track policy. Do we immediately pick up a car that evokes enthusiastic emotion in me? There was that possibility. I was looking forward to a 520i E34, a Rover 75 just went through the head. Meanwhile, in the distance, a lively Toyota RAV-4 loomed briefly. And for a flash of a second, I thought about a 900 SAAB 1983.
On the more voluminous side of the choice spectrum, two Toyota Auris copies (many km, decent asking price) appealed to me initially, and I briefly looked forward to a very cool Honda Civic zero eight. And then I switched back to the enthusiasts side, because an immeasurably cool Volvo V50 2.4 Geartronic from 05 came into the picture, Swiss delivered new. I was really looking forward to it, and it was close. The machine prevented the step to Sweden. There was one more reason not to make this enthusiast V50 mine. Because the Blitz called me home after five years. And I wanted to go there again, despite the technical differences with the Volvo, and I also knew why.
"Opel's never lie," said a fellow editor and behind namesake once in a column. It is precisely that title that makes me feel at home in it. It's that old Kadett feeling, inspired by the thunderbolt on the forecastle. Moreover, the 1.4 is quite spry and quite economical. The Opel is also very well put together, and feels stable and solid under all circumstances. I recognize that characteristic out of thousands, which is also why this is Opel number six. Come out of brand love, which also translates to the Starlet. I am happy with this duo that makes up for the loss of the Sports Edition II after five years. And I can honestly conclude that automotive affection goes much further than quasi exclusivity alone.