Not another Opel. But it is. This is a follow-up to our Opel Astra saloon. I’d like to draw your attention to the fine detailing of the rear side window.
And the aerodynamically-shaped rear wheel arch looks good too. The interior is a study in Spartan efficiency. The centre stack rises from the floor in a neat column and to its left is driver-orientated binnacle. The seats in this car look quite unmarked and the rest of the car is nearly unaffected by the passage of time. I’d guess it’s a late-model car, one owner, with a garage. It has a 1.3 engine, so it’s pre-1988. If I hope to achieve anything with this focus on Opel, it’s to
re-appraise the firm’s design. While VW gets a lot of respect and medals for its output, and often rightly so, Russelsheim made similar efforts to combine efficiency with thoughtful design. There is nothing about this shape that is incorrectly finished and it still manages to have a distinct personality.
The same bodyshell went over to the US where it became the quite horrible Pontiac Le Mans. This website considers the Vauxhall Belmont one of the worst British-made cars ever and judges the boot to have been hastily tacked-on. No, it was simply the saloon version of a decent hatchback, no more and no less. In my view it’s properly integrated and seems no less acceptable than a 3-Series of the same period.
When you realise a Pontiac Le Mans once look like this, the sheer wrongness of forcing a moderately-priced front-drive hatch into the same role becomes glaring.