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The Opel Kadett B. Success number of Opel.

ER Classics Desktop 2022

The first Opel Kadett B rolled off the production line in 1965. Partly thanks to the extensive range, the many options and the launch of the sporty Rallye Kadett, he grew into a particularly successful model. No less than 1965 million units were built between 1973 and 2,6.

The Opel Kadett B arrived quite early after the introduction of the Kadett A - the first post-war Kadett that had been in production for only three years. The more than four meters long Opel Kadett B was eighteen centimeters longer and came on the market as a two and four-door sedan and as a caravan (station wagon). A coupe was also launched on the market. The flat, sloping rear and the characteristic ventilation openings in the B-style gave the Opel Kadett B coupe its own appearance.


Extremely popular during the construction period and rising in popularity as a classic: the Opel Kadett B. Image: Erik van Putten
Extremely popular during the construction period and rising in popularity as a classic: the Opel Kadett B. Image: Erik van Putten

"Downsize"

The Opel Kadett B received an 1,0-liter four-cylinder engine with a larger displacement of 1.078 cm3. The power increased with 5 pk to 45 pk. An 1,1 liter S engine was also available with a higher compression and a power output of 55 hp. A more powerful version with double carburetor and 1966 hp was launched in 60. In terms of engines, the 90 pk strong 1,9-liter four-cylinder engine from the Opel Rekord C was the topper. That was mounted in 1967 in the rally version of the Opel Kadett B. In addition to the classic four-speed gearbox, the Opel Kadett B from 1968 was also available with an automatic three-speed automatic transmission, which was unusual in this class at the time. Initially this automatic transmission was only available for the 1,7 and 1,9 liter engines. A year later, the Opel Kadett B with 60 pk strong 1,1 engine was also available with an automatic. In terms of handling, the Opel Kadett B in the middle of 1967 underwent a clear improvement: the leaf springs were replaced by coil springs. The intervention clearly benefited stability. Modifications were also made in the area of ​​passive safety within the interior. In addition, the Kadett B received larger rear lights from the summer of 1967.

Recognized as a five-seater

The second generation Kadett was first recognized as a five-seater, with the exception of the coupé that remained a four-seater. Talking about the coupé: two versions were delivered during the career of the Kadett B. Opel built the Germs Coupé from 1965 to 1970. From 1967 to 1973, Opel also built the Fliessheck Coupé. In addition, Opel delivered from 1967 to 1970 including the Fliessheck limousine. Back to the beginning. The Opel Kadett B was immediately successful. In the first production year more than 105.000 copies rolled off the band. Approximately 17 percent of that was a caravan, while the share of station wagons in the middle class nowadays amounts to around 60 percent. The popularity of the Opel Kadett B went beyond the German border. Half of the production was exported to 120 countries. This made the Opel Kadett B a real world car.

The two-door Fliessheck Limousine was built up to 1970. Image: Erik van Putten
The two-door Fliessheck Limousine was built up to 1970. Image: Erik van Putten

Rallye Kadett

Meanwhile, the sporty Rallye Kadett from 1966 already made an impression in the compact segment. The striking coupé with matte black bonnet and stripes was initially delivered with the 60 hp 1.1 four-cylinder engine with double carburettor. From 1967 there was also a version with the 90 hp 1,9 liter engine. The matte black bonnet was not a design feature, by the way, but prevented the driver from being blinded by the reflection of strong sunlight, which was more common at the time. The 1.9 version of the Rallye Kadett achieved a top speed of 170 km / h, while the modified sports suspension provided extra safety. This Rallye Kadett was also an ideal base for amateur motorsport and has achieved several successes, including victories in the Tour d'Europe and the Monte Carlo Rally.

2,6 sold million times

The Opel Kadett B - which had a more luxurious brother in the form of the Olympia A between 1967 and 1970 - was succeeded in 1973 by the Kadett C. In 1969, this Opel was largely responsible for conquering the number one position of the brand in our country that Opel held for years. And with 2,6 million copies sold, the Opel Kadett B is still one of the best-selling Opel models ever. The world-famous advertising slogan of the Kadett B was - back then - 'Das Auto'.

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