TIME WARP The pop-up exhibition links the first Opel model, the carriage-like Opel System Lutzmann, to the Manta from 1974 right up to the current Mokka Electric.

Everything That Makes the Brand Special

The Astra in ‘Kult Yellow’, the ‘Green Monster’, the ‘Black Widow’ – in the pop-up exhibition, the many thousands of visitors to the ‘Open Day’ can get up close to iconic models. It’s a wonderfully colourful exhibition in which the Rüsselsheim-based brand shows which legendary Opel models have dominated the street scene over the past 125 years but are also currently shaping it – true to the motto “Forever forward since 1899”.

In addition to two dozen automobiles, there is also a bicycle on display – the yellow ZR III racing bike. This bicycle enabled the Rüsselsheim factory riders to dominate the cycling scene in the 1930s. “Yellow became the company’s first corporate colour back then – and it still stands for the brand with the Blitz today,” says brand designer Daniele Martini, who organised the pop-up exhibition together with the team around the head of Opel Classic Leif Rohwedder.

“The starting point was an Opel racing bike: the colour yellow still stands for the brand with the Blitz today.”

– Brand Designer Daniele Martini –

THE YELLOW BRAND “It has been the company’s corporate colour for almost a hundred years,” says brand designer Danielle Martini.
WHITE DELIGHT The Astra Plug-in Hybrid and the new Grandland Electric shine in the pop-up exhibition.
MOVING TIMES From the rocket-powered RAK 2 to the all-electric Opel Experimental brand study – alternative drives are the focus on the first floor of the exhibition.
YOU ARE GOLD This Kapitän rolled off the production line in November 1956 as the two millionth automobile made by Opel. To celebrate this milestone it was decorated with 100 grams of the precious metal.
BACK IN BLACK The ‘Black Widow’ also makes an appearance: For Opel Classic employee Jens Cooper, the Rekord C in factory racing trim is “the most exciting Opel ever built.”
YES, OF CORSA The small car has been one of the most popular Opel models for over 40 years – and is now also available as a battery-electric vehicle or with hybrid drive. 
GREENOVATION The Lutzmann was the first Opel, the Mokka Electric ushered in the age of future-oriented mobility with a clear focus on sustainability.

Emil Kaufmann has just celebrated a special debut. He drove electrically for the first time – in an Opel Rocks Electric. The 11-year-old sits in the passenger seat, with dad Kai behind the wheel. It won’t be long before he can take the steering wheel himself. Because the electric quadricycle can be driven from the age of 15 in Germany. “Just four more years – then I can finally drive myself,” Emil announces confidently.

Clever addition to the portfolio

The smallest vehicle in Opel’s portfolio is not only well received by the kids, the grown-ups love it too: “What I would have given when I was 15 years old to be able to whiz around in this.” Björn did two laps in the quadricycle with Jessica and was thrilled. “The smart Rocks is a clever addition to our portfolio,” says the Opel employee. And he is not alone in this opinion – the queue of people patiently waiting for a test drive is still long even in the late afternoon.

“Just four more years – then I can finally drive the Rocks Electric myself.”

– Emil Kaufmann, 11 years old –

MOBILE FREEDOM The Rocks Electric is available for test drives and not only makes young people aged 15 and over mobile.
CLEVER QUADRICYCLE “It definitely enriches our portfolio,” says the colleague.
HUGE ATTRACTION The Design Center – celebrating its 60th birthday – opened its doors to the public for the first time ever.
FRUITFUL DISCUSSIONS Opel CEO Florian Huettl mingles with the visitors in the afternoon.
MINI TO MAXI From the Rocks Electric Kargo to the Movano Electric – Opel’s fully electric light commercial vehicle range.

Daniel Beck circles the new Opel Grandland for the umpteenth time and slides behind the steering wheel. His conclusion: “This will be my next Opel!” He travelled from the Harz Mountains to see the flagship SUV live. Beck was at Opel for over 13 years, most recently in prototype construction, before moving back to his native Saxony-Anhalt. The love for the brand has remained. “I thought the Grandland was great in the photos – but I like it even better live!”

Two public premieres

Meanwhile, Oliver Bücking and his son Daniel set their sights on the new Opel Frontera. They disagree. Son Daniel “clearly” leans towards the Grandland, father Oliver points out that “the price-performance ratio of the Frontera is unbeatable”. “And it looks good too,” he adds. They agree to keep an eye on both models once they become available for employees.

“The price-performance ratio of the Frontera is unbeatable.”

– Visitor Oliver Bücking –

PUBLIC PREMIERE Visitors could see the all-new Opel Frontera for the first time.
FAMILY AFFAIR Christoph Jahn came with his wife Katharina, daughter Lotte and son Fritz Wilhelm – named after two of the five Opel brothers.
CALLING CAR The new Grandland shines with bold and pure design combined with German engineering.
ANTICIPATION “This will be my next Opel” – Daniel Beck has made the trip from Saxony-Anhalt to see the new Grandland live.
WALKING ON SUNSHINE More than 7,000 visitors flocked to the Opel headquarters in glorious weather.
IDEAL FOR FAMILIES The visitors agree – the new Frontera offers a lot or car for the money.

With a helmet on his head and a harness on his shoulders, Michael Kuhn sits tightly strapped into the passenger seat. “I only see a jumble of pylons, but Calle will know where to go,” says the Opel colleague confidently. And Calle Carlberg does. The electric sound swells, 260 Newton meters of torque catapult the Opel Rally Electric forward from a standstill. The Opel works driver drifts across the parking lot.

Unleashed emotions on asphalt

“We offer pure emotions,” says Jörg Schrott. Since the ADAC Opel Electric Rally Cup and the Junior European Rally Championship are conveniently taking a break on the anniversary weekend, it is “of course a matter of honour” for the team around the Opel Motorsport Director to be present at the “Open Day” in Rüsselsheim. Schrott: “You just have to take a quick look around: We are here for these many smiling faces – to show people firsthand the fascination of electric rallying.”

“I only see a jumble of pylons, but Calle will know where to go.”

– Michael Kuhn, winner of a co-drive in the Corsa Rally Electric–

READY TO GO Michael Kuhn won a ride in the Corsa Rally Electric with Calle Carlberg behind the wheel in the Opel Post competition.
UNIQUE INTERPRETATION The Rocks e-XTREME with cross tires is the result of a design competition launched by Opel.
„IT’S SO MUCH FUN!“ It’s not just the passengers who are thrilled, Calle Carlberg also can’t get enough.
FAST LAPS Opel works driver Timo Schulz drives visitors around the course at speeds of up to 80 km/h.
OPEL AND MOTORSPORT “They just belong together,” says Jörg Schrott. The many smiling faces prove him right.

And of course, the plant also opens its doors for the celebrations. After all, the reason for the festivities is 125 years of automotive production in Rüsselsheim. Over a hundred colleagues from production, maintenance, logistics and the quality department are ready to present the production of the Astra to the guests. Whether it’s quality control, the assembly line or the marriage – the employees explain the various stages that are necessary until a model that meets the customer’s wishes rolls off the assembly line in the highest quality.

EXCITING INSIGHTS In the final assembly alone, the factory employees carry out hundreds of meticulously rehearsed work steps.
HIGHEST QUALITY Willi Wittmann, launch manager for quality control, presents his department’s activities.
MADE IN RÜSSELSHEIM Matthias Fenzl, planner in the final assembly, presents the final step when a vehicle leaves the production line.
MARRIAGE Hans-Jürgen Walther, launch manager in final assembly, presents the step in which the chassis and body are joined together.
FLEXIBLE PRODUCTION On the assembly line, Amjad Hamza prepares the underbody – depending on requirements for the combustion engine, hybrid or electric variant.

Peter Leuser found out about the idea of an open-air pop-up exhibition to celebrate the day, in which owners of classic Opel cars can take part, on the Internet. And he likes it. So on Saturday morning he gets into his GT and sets off from his home town of Röttingen in the Würzburg district to Rüsselsheim. He is happy to embark on the 160-kilometre route to present his GT, which he bought as a US re-import in 1990.

 “The fact that I can be part of the anniversary with my GT – a great idea!”

– GT owner Peter Leuser –

The exhibition in the parking lot offers an unexpected reunion with an Opel Rekord A Coupé for Karl Labus. “This model was the first one that I was allowed to work on as an apprentice,” says the pensioner. It was at Auto Hübner, an Opel dealer in Kaiserslautern. Soon afterwards, Labus moved to the Kaiserslautern plant, where, among other things, he worked on the engine test benches. “A lot of memories come back on a day like today,” he says, sticking his nose through the open window. “Wonderful – it smells like a lot of patina.”

ONLY FLYING IS MORE BEAUTIFUL Peter Leuser’s ochre Opel GT (middle) is a US re-import.
PURE NOSTALGIA The open-air pop-up exhibition holds an unexpected reunion for Karl Labus.
ROAD CRUISER The Rekord A Coupé, built in 1965, belongs to Albert Heckwolf.
RADIANT TURQUOISE Harald Nägele has come in his Opel Rekord P1.
MANTA, MANTA The iconic model is still hugely popular – and is represented several times.

June 2024

Photos: Opel/Andreas Liebschner, Thorsten Weigl