In 1991 Opel launched the F-series Astra which lasted until 1998. These unsung cars form part of our streetscape and are often overlooked. I took a series of photos of them in their daily setting so as to document the afterlife of the car.
While the VW Golf basks in kudos for its design consistency, and Ford enjoys the warm glow of popular approval, the poor old Astra lingers in the deep shadows of something or other. I find the shape has aged very well and I wish later cars in this class had the same clear fenestration.
The Opel is designed to balance a rational approach with some character. The shutlines are all tidy and the small details well-handled.
The one stylistic flourish is the feature above the rear wheel arch: it’s quite daring in the context of the car and its times. It adds a bit of visual length and is the grace note that distinguishes this from equally tidy but lifeless designs from Toyota and Renault from the same period.