· From 8/25 hp to Cascada: Lineup of convertibles spans 100 years of company history
· Prominent contender: Opel VP Sales Peter Küspert in Super 6 Gläser cabriolet
· Fast combination: Racing ace Joachim Winkelhock with Rekord C Deutsch cabriolet
|Large convertible tradition: Opel shows on the Rallye Hessen-Thüringen open-air models from 100 years of company history.|
The first Opel in 1899 – the Patent Motor Car “System Lutzmann” – was a convertible. While an open body was standard during the early days of automotive engineering, it later came to signify luxury and a chic lifestyle. At this year’s 22nd ADAC Opel Classic Hessen-Thüringen rallye, five classic Opel cabriolets and one current convertible model give an overview of the evolution of open-air driving. Opel Vice President Sales and Aftersales Peter Christian Küspert is participating in a strikingly beautiful Super 6 Gläser Cabriolet. The classic car rallye takes place from May 26 – 28 through the romantic Werratal region that straddles the former East-West German border. Classic and historic automobile and motorcycle owners have already been exploring the most beautiful areas in Hessen and Thuringia since 1995. The center of operations for the rallye that covers 350 kilometers is Hessen-Hotelpark Hohenroda.
|History and modernity: Sportiness anno 1920 exudes the Opel 8/25 PS. Opel Cascada that accompanies the classic models during the historic car rallye through the Rhön Mountains and Thuringian Forest|
Five open-air stars from Rüsselsheim are taking part in this year’s action. The Opel 8/25 PS from 1920 was a sporty tourer with four seats; the Super 6 Gläser Cabriolet from 1937 a premium-class, elegant, sporty two-seater. The 1950 Opel Olympia as a cabriolet sedan was a popular body variant, while the 1964 Rekord A and 1967 Rekord C were a case for the specialists: coachbuilder Deutsch transformed series production sedans into shapely convertibles. The Opel Cascada that accompanies the classic models during the historic car rallye through the Rhön Mountains and Thuringian Forest embodies the contemporary interpretation of the large, luxurious cabriolet with canvas roof and space for four people.
Opel’s tradition in open-body automobiles goes back to the brand’s beginnings: like all cars built at the dawn of the automobile age, the Opel Patent Motor Car, System Lutzmann from 1899, followed traditional carriage design principles and had a body without an integral roof.
|Modern motor car anno 1920: Opel 8/25 PS with four seats and characteristically pointed front radiator .|
When the Opel 8/25 hp with the characteristic V-shaped radiator front came onto the market 20 years later as an open, four-seat tourer, it was the epitome of the modern motor car. It had a canvas roof but no side windows; motorists in the post-World War I era wore season-appropriate weatherproof clothing. The Opel 8/25 hp four-cylinder engine delivered 25 hp at 1,600 rpm from 2-liter displacement, enough for a maximum speed of 65 km/h. Its model name reflected its tax class and output: according to the federal law introduced in 1906 that first regulated the taxation of automobiles, an “hp tax” was due per one-half liter displacement.
|As painted: In 1937 Opel 75th anniversary of the company, the Beautiful Super 6 Gläser Cabriolet|
Ex-works and per order
The 1950 Opel Olympia was a more comfortable ride. Abundantly adorned with chrome ornaments, it was a symbol of post-war rebuilding and the economic miracle. But as a cabrio-sedan it still wore pre-war fashion. Unlike a full convertible, this open-air model had fixed window frames that were connected to the windshield frame in front and that constituted the C-pillar in the rear. In between, the large roof rolled open, letting in light and air. In 1956, the last car with this design in the Olympia Rekord model line rolled off the assembly line in Rüsselsheim.
|Chrome flashing: 1950 Opel Olympia convertible sedan - with fixed window frames and large rolling roof|
|Case for the specialists: 1964 Opel Rekord A - Fancy convertible built by coachbuilder Karl Deutsch|
|Shapely transformed: In 1967 followed the convertible version of the Opel Rekord C made by Karl Deutsch|