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Opel Kadett

The 1964-1972 Opel Kadett

... was the basic workhorse model imported and sold by GM's Buick dealers, that helped establish the Opel name in North America in the 1960's.

Early 1964-1965 models were small and light, featuring a 1.0 liter engine. Vehicle size and sales increased, from the 1966-1967 model years with a 1.1 liter engine, to the 1968 model year with a choice of the 1.1, 1.5, and 1.9 liter engines, through the 1969-1972 model years (and their choice of the 1.1 and 1.9 liter engines).

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From a 30mpg+ economy sedan targeted to college students in the mid-1960's,  to the "mini-brute" family station wagon of 1968-1972 (some with imitation wood siding), to the fastback "Rallye" model (featuring fog lights, body stripes, gauge panel, chrome rims, and a wood-replica steering wheel) of 1967-1970, the Kadett featured more body style variations than any other Opel model imported to North America.

So many Kadetts were sold in 1969, that in that year the Opel was the #2 import vehicle sold in the USA (second only to VW). The first modern GM all-electric vehicle, was an Opel Kadette prototype of 1969. In their time, Opel Kadetts were also raced successfully in Europe, and several were converted to all-out drag-racers in the US.

Today, the Kadett is rarely seen on the highways of North America (or anywhere else, for that matter) excepting the Opel car shows. The "daily driver" for thousands of Opel buyers in the 1960's and 1970's has now become a classic.

Parts are still available for mechanical applications from specialty Opel vendors (the 1968-1972 Kadett shared the 1.1 SR and 1.9 liter engines, driveline, suspension and brakes, with the Opel GT), and some of the "Tech Tips" for the GT also apply to the Kadett**; however some Kadett body and interior pieces are now quickly becoming collector's items.

**See the "Tech Tips" Section of this website for additional mechanical information.


Copyright 2008: Opel Motorsport Club