Summer, sun, classic rally: After two years of "corona pit stops", the ADAC vintage car ride Hessen-Thuringia. And for the anniversary of "160 years of Opel" the brand with the lightning bolt comes up with a strong group of automotive classics. Real sports stars from the Opel GT and the Kadett GT/E to the Manta GSi are at the start, as are state-of-the-art models such as the Opel Diplomat V8 and the Kadett GSi, which former Chancellor Schmidt drove in his free time. Shortly before the start of summer, of course, a timelessly beautiful open-air classic should not be missing: the Opel Rekord C Cabrio will attract many admiring glances at the side of the track - just like the latest addition to the Opel family. The ADAC organization team is in a completely new position at the vintage car rally Astra plug-in hybrid on the go and shows how driving fun can be combined with a sense of responsibility in a highly modern and elegant way.
The Rüsselsheim rally stars of the ADAC Hessen-Thüringen 2022 at a glance:
- Opel Rekord C Cabrio, built in 1967, 55 kW/75 hp
- Opel GT, 1968, 66 kW/90 hp
- Opel Diplomat V8, 1975, 169 kW/230 hp
- Opel Kadett GT/E, 1977, 85 kW/115 hp
- Opel Manta GSi Exclusive, 1988, 81 kW/110 hp
- Opel Kadett GSi, 1991, 85 kW/115 hp
- Opel Astra Hybrid, 2022, 133 kW/180 PS system performance (as organization vehicle)
Timelessly beautiful: Opel classics from four decades in the Rheingau and Taunus
The field of participants in the 2022 edition of the ADAC Hessen-Thüringen starts on both days of the rally in Oberursel. On the first stage on Friday, June 17th, the riders will go through the beautiful Rheingau; on Saturday, the vintage car drivers will circle their automobile treasures via Wetzlar and Butzbach through the Taunus and Wetterau back to Bad Homburg. Skill is required instead of "lead foot", because the routes are peppered with special tests.
That fits Opel Rekord C convertible perfect for cruising along the scenic roads - and at the same time represents a real rarity. Because the bright red convertible didn't just roll off the assembly line in 1967, but was specially converted for open-air fans by the traditional Cologne coachbuilder Karl Deutsch. The cheapest basis in the form of a two-door Rekord C cost 7.590 marks at the time, the conversion costs another 4.000 marks. The exclusive creations of the Deutsch company remain beautiful, special and rare – only around 50 of these elegant convertibles are built.
The Opel GT, Kadett GT/E and Manta GSi provide a sporty, fast flair at the classic car outing. "Only flying is nicer": This slogan has now become a classic - just like the advertised car. Of the Opel GT enthralled the public right from the start and is still one of the most sought-after coupés in the world with its exciting "Coke-Bottle-Design". A total of 1968 examples were built from 1973 to 103.463. The 66 kW/90 hp red GT, which is starting in Oberursel, is the world's oldest existing GT.
The second version of Kadett GT / E was presented to the public for the first time at the IAA in 1977 and was primarily intended to make it particularly easy to get started in motorsport. The competition vehicle, which was consistently trimmed for sporty use, still inspires enthusiasts today with its equipment from the two-liter engine with electronic fuel injection to the ZF five-speed gearbox and limited-slip differential to the sporty tuned and reinforced chassis. The eye-catching white and yellow paintwork was standard.
Its enduring popularity ensures the Opel Manta B a special place in the company's automotive history. No other model stayed on the market longer than the second generation Manta. Presented in autumn 1975, the sleek coupé rolls off the production line 14 times in 557.940 years. For many years, the Manta B was Germany's best-selling sports car. The special model refined by Irmscher Manta GSi Exclusive puts the “shiny” crown on the Manta success story: with light-alloy wheels in an exclusive design, three-part painted rear wing and round double headlights.
The strongest model in the Opel field of participants in this year's Hesse-Thuringia Rally is the Opel Diplomat B V8. With its 5,4-liter eight-cylinder engine (169 kW/230 hp), the long-wheelbase version of the Opel flagship reached speeds of around 200 km/h, making it one of the fastest touring sedans of its time. The diplomat also lives up to his name, as the vehicle was used by American President Gerald Ford on his state visit in 1975.
"Last, but not least", another "state-supporting" example completes the starting field: the metallic black painted one Cadet GSi with 85 kW/115 hp was purchased in 1991 by none other than former Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who used the car for five years for private trips together with his wife Loki. The Kadett GSi was able to reach the then prestigious mark of 200 km/h top speed not least because of its aerodynamic qualities with a pioneering cW-Reach a value of 0,30.
Compact class fit for the future: The new Opel Astra as a plug-in hybrid
The last Kadett generation already showed what the compact class from Opel has always been able to do. Innovations and state-of-the-art technologies in models that customers otherwise only know from higher vehicle classes - Opel has remained true to this credo to this day. This also applies to the latest compact class generation with the lightning bolt, which combines tradition with modernity: while the completely new Astra is reminiscent of earlier Opel icons with small visual reminiscences, it is also a highly modern design gem with an Opel Vizor and a fully digital Pure Panel.
In addition, the newcomer, which has also been available from dealers for a month, is driving electrified for the first time as a Astra Hybrid before. The plug-in hybrid provides a system output of 133 kW/180 hp and a strong maximum torque of 360 Newton meters (energy consumption according to WLTP1: 1,1 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions 26-24 g/km; each combined). The organizers of the Hesse-Thuringia Rally can drive up to 60 kilometers purely electrically with the Astra Hybrid (according to WLTP2) travel emission-free.
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