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Opel, Toyota and brand love

ER Classics Desktop 2022

"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.

9 Comments

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  1. I drove 20x C kadett for the hobby for almost 3 years, now exchanged for a peugot 304 convertible. Very different technique, give me the German one. Also drive Toyota Celica from 10 for almost 1991 years, without problems and no rust. Go get the 300.000 km this year.

  2. my mother had an A Kadett, then an Opel LS-B Kadett. as an 18 year old I went racing through the woods with my boyfriend. when my father had a service at the dealer, he was taken aside. all nuts and bolts were loose! what have you done with it?
    I got a driving ban on my kl ... immediately. you sat crookedly behind the wheel. the steering wheel is skewed.
    otherwise a reliable car, but the engine did not allow high revs during the cross.
    sweet memories!
    later I drove several Opels as a business car.

  3. It must have been around 1975. My Beetle was confiscated because the police thought that the hole in the floor was too dangerous !!… (MOT did not exist yet). But because of my studies I thought I needed a car. I had never heard of public transport card at the time. Fortunately, with part of my scholarship I was able to buy a nice Kadett B for Fl 900, -. Great car and really beautiful. That evening to the cinema with some friends. After the movie was the parking space where I had placed my Cadettje empty? At first I didn't get it, would I have put it somewhere else? But no, it was stolen. When I was reported to the police in Heerlen, I was told that they could not put a "man" on it because, after all, there were priorities ... (then already). Never heard from my beloved Kadett or the police again. Fortunately it was a coincidence and I received his VW 1600 TL as a gift from an accidentally visiting uncle. Well my luck could not have been and I have enjoyed riding this for many years.

    • Looks familiar… I drove a Kadett E 1.6i that I had neatly parked. An hour later, the only evidence that the car had been parked there was a plastic ring that had been wrapped around the door lock.
      Police looked at me a bit sorry and continued with the lunch break.

  4. Of course the b kadett. It used to be the transport for the common man. Back then they were spacious and reliable and in everything actually better than the VW Beetle, but also ab kadett can rust terribly. I have experience with it. The last b kadett that I bought 3 years ago was still a year of MOT with some welding and for a b kadett it drove well. At home we put the Opeltje on the bridge and they had completely sealed it and the welding was a mess. In short, a huge rusty bin and a danger on the road, but it will be rescued and the aim is to be ready early next year. Everything will be fine. Greetings from Pieter and Norma

    • Thanks Erik and Amk for this article. You notice that this magazine is made by enthusiasts. Good luck with your magazine. Greetings from the beautiful Friesland from Pieter and Norma

  5. Three times I bought the Opel Kadett B. They were out of date, always more than ten years. But I didn't have a lot of money to own a car and at least needed one to get where I needed to be. Even the toxic carriage, rust, did not stop me because motorically they were simple and very strong. You could still work on it yourself with limited knowledge. They all had more than 150.000 km. The only problem was the heating which was inadequate in heavy freezing days. The windscreen was barely defrosted while driving, and then it was only a small hole. Hoping that winter would soon be over was the only way to overcome the cold. Beautiful car.

  6. Have also been satisfied with my Starlet from '98 for years.
    Indestructible and loyal cart with 200000km on the clock.
    Never let me down.

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