The Christmas season is over, the year 2020 already a few days old. So it’s high time for the last part of the Opel Post-Adventsquiz to end. As before, connoisseurs who also look at things from the other side were in demand again. In part 4 you could see from below: Opel Calibra V6 4×4 (see also resolution below).
Every week there was an exclusive invitation to the Opel Classic workshop to win. They are in the process of setting up a new department that is dedicated to the brands racing history. Quiz winners will be among the first people who can take a peek around as soon as everything is set up. The winners will be notified in the coming days.
Calibra V6 4×4
One of the greatest cinema experiences of 2019 was the US film “Le Mans 1966”, which revives how an American manufacturer once broke the dominance of an Italian competitor considered invincible in the legendary 24-hour race. In the end, three of his cars were the first to cross the finish line. Opel once celebrated a similar success in a race that was admittedly less prestigious. On June 9, 1996, at the 4th round of the International Touring Car Championship (ITC) in Helsinki, three Opel Calibra cars crossed the finish line first after 32 laps. At the wheel of the runner-up was a young man from Mainz named Manuel Reuter, who had already won the races at the Hockenheimring and the Nürburgring. At the end of the season, Reuter was to secure victory in the drivers’ championship. A shower gel manufacturer had given his Opel Calibra V6 4×4 a particularly stylish outfit. The memory of the “Cliff Calibra” still makes the eyes of every rally sport nostalgist shine.
It is one of the oldest rallies in the world – and perhaps the most demanding. On the total of 726 kilometres over the narrow pass roads of Monte Carlo the drivers can encounter just about anything: rain, fog, snow, ice. But for the 50th anniversary of the “mother of all rallies” in 1982, the roads remain dry. This is good for Walter Röhrl and Christian Geistdörfer. Because their toughest competitors already rely on weatherproof four-wheel drive, whereas the 275 hp 2.4 litre four-valve engine of their Ascona B 400 only powers the rear axle. On dry tarmac, however, the Opel team manages to keep the strong Audis in particular at a distance in the 34 special stages. Röhrl thus wins the Monte Carlo Rally for the second time and secures his second World Rally Championship title after 1980 at the end of the season. His Ascona B 400 is the last two-wheeled car to achieve this feat.
With the B-generation Rally Kadett, Opel had opened a gate through which thousands of motorsport enthusiasts followed the brand. Expectations for the C-model were correspondingly high, but in professional sport it had to contend with increasingly fierce competition. Rally fans especially appreciate the Kadett GT/E. At the same time it did not even cut such a good figure in the tough international competitions during its active times – although it had an absolute “high-tech” aggregate with 245 hp by the standards of the time. Only an absolute top driver was able to demand top performance from the sports coupé: Walter Röhrl. The challenge was Monte Carlo.
The Opel two-litre followed the pedal commands of the Bavarian driver during its first World Championship race. Röhrl demanded everything from the Kadett GT/E in 1976. He also gave everything and reached the goal without penalty on place 4 behind three overpowering Lancia Stratos, three special models with Ferrari power.
Part 1: 12,3 litre racing car
The great moment of the “Green Monster”: Is a distance of around 200 metres enough to make a car unforgettable for all time? Oh yes – in the 1920s there were automobile speed competitions over a furlong (201.17 metres).
One of the most popular of its kind was the beach race on the Danish island of Fanø, 50 kilometres north of Sylt. The Opel 12.3 litre racing car from 1914, which everyone called the “Green Monster” because of its enormous dimensions for a sports car, gained respect. The “12.3 liters” actually refer to the displacement of the engine.
In 1924 the Opel started in Fanø with the racing legend Carl Jörns at the wheel. He mobilizes the 260 hp of the monster in a matter of seconds, turns the speedometer needle to a previously unimaginable 228 km/h – and surpasses his own world speed record of 194 km/h, which he had set two years earlier in the same place with the same car. Later, Carl Jörns, known as “foolhardy”, admitted that he had not even fully depressed the accelerator: “I simply didn’t dare.”