1967 Opel Kadett 1.1 Liter (dual 1 barrel carbs) from North America
It was a very reliable little car, and although underpowered, it was very economical to operate
At 100,000 miles, a hole burned through one piston in about 1978, resulting in a complete engine overhaul. The engine block was bored out to accommodate the next oversized piston diameter. The car was driven for another 100,000 miles, before I donated it to charity with the engine still running great.
The brake master cylinder and wheel cylinders were repaired multiple times over the years, but nothing abnormal. Same for replacing brake pads.
The left real axle seal was replaced in 1973, to stop the rear-end grease from leaking into the brake area of the real wheel.
At approximately 100,000 miles, when the original mechanical fuel pump failed in about 1980, it was replaced with an electric fuel pump.
The small 1.1 liter 67 HP engine would push the car to about 85 mph at wide open throttle on level ground at sea level. But it would take a while to get there. Its relatively small engine (per USA norms) would deliver about 35 MPG (town or highway) as I recall.
In 1980 driving near Casper WY in a blizzard, the two one barrel carbs froze up and the engine quit. Both carburetors were completely covered with white frost. At the high altitude (I think about 6500 feet) in that area I suppose it was just like the dangerous icing conditions that can down a small aircraft. Anyway, after letting the engine sit for a while the ice/frost melted, I wrapped the carburetors with several rags to hold in more engine heat, and I continued on my way with no further icing problems.
This little four cylinder engine was very easy to work on, with everything being very accessible, unlike working on a V-8. I'm not a professional mechanic, but only had to take the car to a professional mechanic one time to diagnose the strange noise problem (a bolt or two just needed tightening somewhere in the front end suspension).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th June, 2012
27th Jun 2012, 11:26
Thanks for a nostalgic review of a neat little car. I owned an Opel Manta back in 1973. A neighbor had an Opel Kadett, and it seemed to serve him well.
Please excuse my ignorance, but I have never heard of a Chevrolet Kadett. Can you tell us anything about this car?
There was a Chevrolet Kadett, but it was only sold in Brazil.
1967 Opel Kadett 1.1 from North America
Excellent little scooter on flat pavement only
Don't remember all of the maintenance details. Too many years have passed.
I remember minor stuff; hoses, filters belts, brakes, normal maintenance mostly.
This was my first car. It handled very predictably in dry, wet, or snowy conditions. It had lots of empty space in the engine compartment. You could sit on the fender with your feet inside the engine compartment to work on it.
Great gas mileage for its era, easily in the high 30's on long highway trips.
The 1100cc version had one big problem. It was very underpowered. If you ever had to climb a hill or pass anything on the highway, you were out of luck. That little engine struggled miserably. New Jersey has plenty of rolling hills & I remember flooring it at the top of one hill to gain as much speed as possible to make it up the second hill. The 1900cc version had twice the horsepower. That's the model I wish I had owned.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 20th January, 2009
1967 Opel Kadett B fastback 1.1 from North America
Great little putt-putt--wish I had it now!!
NEVER had a problem with this little gem of a car in almost 8 years of hard driving..
This playful little car was bought well used-80,000 miles+... and never let me down even after driving it hard and wild sometimes just for the sheer fun of doing so. It handled sharply, rode well and gave me over 33+ mpg, usually surprising me with the amazing distances it would go on such small amount of fuel. I could make it from downtown L.A. to well past Malibu beach on about a gallon and a half of gas-- over 45 miles! It was my main surf transport during the 1970s-1980s. I swear the little 1100 cc engine gave me 35+ mpg. Wish I had the wonderful little car again!!!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 10th October, 2005
10th Jan 2009, 14:55
I am with you! I had a 1967 Opel Kadett Rallye back in the early 70's with a 1.1 and a 4 speed. Great car until it was rear ended and totaled. Now, after owning many Opel GT's (still have 2) and a few Manta's (down to 1 of those- a 28,000 mile original 1975) we are about to embark on our next Opel adventure! We are buying a 1967 Opel Kadett Rallye (a California car in good solid shape) to add to our collection. It is a 1.1 L 4 speed which needs some TLC, but we can't wait to get it shipped here! 1967's are a little harder to find some parts for simply because fewer were made and imported than the 1968, 69 and 70 models (which were 2nd in import sales only to the VW Beetle in those years. Most mechanical parts are readily available because they are shared with the Opel GT and even some parts retailers (Auto Zone, Napa etc.) carry some common parts.
For an era where most American cars were getting 8 to 12 mpg, the little Opel showed its bloodlines were very much European, where fuel was always much more expensive than here, and they built cars that sipped gas rather than guzzled it. Reliability came standard with every Opel, and after driving the cars for almost 40 years, I wish all cars were built so well!
Anyone thinking of buying a good dependable car who does not mind doing a little searching to find parts for, will certainly love the German Opels.