Follow Motorbase:
Search Motorbase for

Overview

Founded in 1898 Opel cars first begun car manufacturing by building Lutzmann cars, followed later by Darracq designs. By 1906 Opel had begun to concentrate on building its own Opel designs of cars and trucks. By the late 1920's Opel had become the largest car firm in Germany and was acquired by US car giant, General Motors.

Following the end of WW2 Opel started to concentrate on building its own European designs, breaking away from building the cumbersome US inspired models that it produced in the 1930s. As Opel moved into the 1970's it began to grow ever closer to its other European GM owned sister company, Vauxhall. By the 1980's Opel was really the driving force for GM in Europe and continues to design and produce cars that are sold under the Opel and Vauxhall banners (Vauxhall is only marketed in the UK).

Source: Motorbase

1899-to date

Late in 1898 the family firm Adam Opel of Rüsselsheim, sewing machine and bicycle manufacturers, entered the motor industry when it acquired the business of Friederich Lutzmann who had been making Benz-like cars since 1893 at Dessau. The whole enterprise including Friederich moved across Germany to Rüsselsheim and production of Opel-Lutzmann cars slowly got underway in 1899 into 1900, but the design was obsolete and sales were few. Opel then obtained the Darracq agency for Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, made bodies for the imported chassis, and by 1902 was selling the products using the Opel-Darracq name. By 1904 plain Opel cars were being marketed although they still looked remarkably like their French counterparts.

The business prospered and in the 1920s Opel again turned to France for its inspiration, making the 5cv Citroën under licence. Full acquisition of the company by General Motors of America was completed in 1931.

Source: Society of Automotive Historians in Britain

Models produced by Opel

1.2 Litre

1.2 Litre

1931-1933

1.3 Litre

1934-1935

1200

1200

1959-1962

2-Litre

2-Litre

1935-1937

4/12 Laubfrosch

4/12 Laubfrosch

1924-1925

4/14 Limousine

1925-1926

8/25

8/25

1920-1922

Admiral

Admiral

1938-1939

Ascona

Ascona

1970-1975

Ascona

Ascona

1975-1981

Commodore

Commodore

1967-1971

Commodore

Commodore

1980-1983

Commodore B

Commodore B

1972-1977

Diplomat

Diplomat

1969-1977

GT

GT

1968-1973

Kadett A

Kadett A

1962-1965

Kadett B

Kadett B

1965-1973

Kadett C

Kadett C

1973-1979

Kadett D

Kadett D

1979-1984

Kadett E

Kadett E

1984-1991

Kapitan

Kapitan

1948-1970

Manta

Manta

1975-1988

Manta 400

Manta 400

1981-1983

Manta Coupe

Manta Coupe

1970-1975

Monza

Monza

1978-1982

Olympia

Olympia

1936-1937

Olympia

Olympia

1938-1939

Olympia

Olympia

1967-1970

Olympia (1947)

Olympia (1947)

1947-1949

Olympia (1950)

Olympia (1950)

1950-1952

P4

P4

1936-1937

Patentmotorwagen

Patentmotorwagen

1898-1901

Rekord

Rekord

1966-1971

Rekord

Rekord

1977-1986

Rekord C

Rekord C

1966-1971

Rekord II

Rekord II

1972-1977

Rekord P1

Rekord P1

1957-1960

Senator/Monza

Senator/Monza

1978-1987

Super Six

Super Six

1937-1938

TE 2800

TE 2800

1974-1976

Related Links

Suggest a link relating to Opel