I haven't seen one of these cars since at least the late 80's, so when I had the chance to snap one up on eBay I did so.
Up until the early 80's most of the Opel range was sold in the UK side-by-side with the Vauxhall range, however once the cars became duplicates of each other the Opel models offered were slimmed down to just the Manta and Monza. This particular model of Rekord was used as the basis of the first Vauxhall Carlton.
Amazingly for a 26-year old car, it wears its original Amber Gold paintwork. There are some very minor surface rust marks on the front valence and wheelarch lips, and a bigger blob at the base of the driver's side front wing, but the overall condition of the bodywork is incredible. Even the door bottoms are good. Just goes to show what looking after a car can do. It has had one owner, had done 51,000 miles when I bought it and had been garaged every night.
The interior features gold velvet seats. Yes, really. Very comfortable and oh-so-seventies. The dashboard is quite spartan, but well laid-out in the Germanic manner. Only one column stalk though which is rather overloaded with functions, Mercedes-style.
A quarter-century ago, executive cars were not luxurious like today - no electric windows, central locking or air conditioning - not even a nearside door mirror, 5th gear, power steering or tachometer in this car. It does have a Pioneer manual-tune FM stereo/cassette though. However, all the fixtures and fittings are of good quality. Lots of room in the back - better than my 1999 Accord, which is the same size, more-or-less, externally.
The 2.0-litre "cam-in-head" engine (used until quite recently in the Frontera) is a willing if prehistoric unit. It allegedly puts out 100bhp, but the steering and suspension won't allow you to make best use of it. The steering is exceptionally heavy and vague - that's a recirculating ball setup for you. The live rear axle transmits a lot of road imperfections - it especially dislikes the grooves worn into the inside lane of our motorways by the 38-ton trucks.
Having said that, if you exit a junction with some verve, the lightly-loaded inside rear wheel will light up quite well. Just as Bodie and Doyle would have done!
Only 4 gears (slickest gearchange I've encountered though) and bluff aerodynamics add up to less than 30mpg, but who cares? It's my pleasure to keep this example on the road. Long may it continue!