A Photo For Christmas Day

And a very happy Christmas to our readers.

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Here is a working car, heading the wrong way, from new to neglected. It’s getting tatty and probably won’t have a next owner. These Omegas disappeared quite rapidly after production ceased in 2004. The period reviews had an approving tone, especially with regard to ride quality.

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I have reviews of this that put its ride ahead of the Citroen XM which itself generally was much appreciated. And at one point Car considered the XM better than a Rolls-Royce.

imageMore pertinently, this encounter afforded me the chance to reappraise the Omega and note some details. Below, the door forms part of the wheel arch. Cars don’t feature this solution now. Is there a reason? Is it considered unsightly to have a shutline interrupting a wheel-arch cut out?

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Note the way the glasshouse flows neatly all the way around from front, to side to rear. The gentle flare at the base of the C-pillar is subtly expressive. And there’s no DLO cheating: the graphics and apertures are in accord. The designers added more curvature to the lower body, distinguishing it from the very rational ’86 Omega.

The door handles are flush. There’s no brightwork: this is still sensible Opel design, after all. However, the door handles have a pointed outline, giving a hint of directionality.

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Inside: is that not a vast ashtray? It’s so wide. I may not have seen as large an example in a decade of observations. Note the carpet on the lower door skin.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

8 thoughts on “A Photo For Christmas Day”

  1. It’s interesting you should mention the door-shutline-as-wheelarch solution, since this was always one of the things that drove me nuts about the Omega-derived VT Commodore. The way the metal is stamped means that the arch’s circumference is not consistent – it’s very evident if you see it in person, and looks either dented/damaged or like someone has forgotten to attach a covering trim piece:

  2. That’s a really horrible detail to spoil my Christmas Day. Aren’t there laws in Australia to stop that sort of thing. Absolutely disgraceful.

    Today being one of those days that one ‘takes stock’, it doesn’t seem so long ago that I was considering the idea of a new v6 Omega Estate to replace a previous generation 4 cylinder that I had had part time custody of at work. Now look at it – forlorn and forgotten. If it wasn’t for the party hat on my head, I’d get depressed.

    It is indeed a vast ashtray, but not big enough for its current owner.

    1. Really? The Omega had a new platform while the Frog’s dated back to 1986. The Frog has an entertaing interior while the Omega’s is designed more consistently. It’s another overlooked piece of excellence.

    2. Richard,

      maybe I’d get an Omega if it were in Cadillac Catera shape. I’m not sure about the platforms back-to-back as I can’t really say how much platforms matter (my ignorance), but I’m tempted by the frog’s Cosworth V6 engine.

    3. As a car, there’s no doubt the Omega is superior.

      But, since the question rests on the assumption that at this stage of their lives one is not buying either on the basis of their inherent qualities as driving machines, I have to say I’d go with the Scorp too. Combination of factors at work here – an ingrained anti-GM bias from childhood, densensitisation to the basic shape from ENDLESS exposure to Commodores, and (cover your ears Richard) a preference for the interior styling of the Ford. Look at this piece of craftily-illuminated magnificence below and tell me honestly that you’d prefer the Omega:

      Small details in the scheme of things, but the Ford also has a much nicer airbagged wheel. GM was putting a universal monstrosity with a massive boss in everything they made back then and the initial contempt certainly didn’t lessen with familiarity. Make mine an Ultima 24V estate with Recaros.

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