Opel Olympia Record: Milestones in Opel History |  Opel

Opel Olympia Record: Milestones in Opel History | Opel

  • The first real Opel novel after the Second World War
  • The CarAVan version paved the way for Opel station wagons
  • More than 1.3 million units were produced in 8 years

Turin. Seventy years ago, in the spring of 1953, the Opel Olympia Rekord, a seminal model in the century-old history of the German company, was seen in public for the first time at the Frankfurt Motor Show. After taking some models created in the 1930s and updating them as much as possible, Opel presented its first novel after the Second World War.

In fact, this mid-range car represented a kind of bridge between the two eras: from one it resumed the construction of the load-carrying body (introduced in 1935 by Opel Olympia), from the other it adopted many chrome finishes that reached the peak . the original shape of the shark’s mouth. Good speed performance coupled with a very competitive price of 6,250 Deutsche Marks dictated its immediate success. In four years, 558,452 units were sold.

The first Opel as a CarAVan

The 2-door sedan was joined in September 1953 by the successful CarAVan version (short for “car and van” or car and van), but above all the perfect expression of a convertible car that had to accompany the owner to work during the Week and weekends with the family . It is not by chance that the documents of the time showed its performance as follows: “The rear seats can be folded forward in a very short time, transforming the elegant and refined Opel Caravan into a very practical and economical car”.

Even today, the Opel Olympia Rekord Caravan is very important in the history of the German company as the forerunner of a long family of highly successful station wagons. His unprecedented approach led to a real boom. In two years, Opel built about 16,000 cars, equal to more than 10% of the sales of the corresponding sedan. Since then he decided to make station wagon versions of each of his sedans.

In 1954 the Opel Olympia Rekord range was completed with a convertible. In the same year, the 1,500 engine power increased from 40 HP to 45 HP and the bodywork was improved with more chrome. Tubeless tires and rubber wheel steering became standard equipment.

The luxury version of the P1

The 1957 Opel Olympia Rekord P1 was a completely different model. It was not only longer, wider and lower, but above all it had a more modern line with a windshield and a rear window that surrounded the round part. It was made with a sedan and 2-door and 4-door wagon bodywork (also two-tone) and, in addition to the already famous 45 HP (33 kW) 1,500 engine, it was available with 55 HP (44). kW) 1,700 engine.

“Encircling large windows, wide view of traffic and panorama” this is how Opel’s advertising brochure described the new Opel Olympia Rekord P1 in 1957. With its chrome, no longer as passionate as before, this car responded better than ever to taste of customers. “It’s true: I drive comfortably. The Opel Olympia Rekord is perfect for me. I don’t have to do physical exercises to get in, I sit effortlessly. In short, I feel good in my Opel Olympia Rekord. Because it’s spacious and equipped in a practical way . Because the engine is quiet and at the same time very bright”. Opel Olympia Rekord P1 was produced in 855,749 copies until 1960.

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Stephen Virgil
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