THE HERO MOMENT
Andreas Block actually wanted to capture the great kilometre hero moment in a picture for himself and posterity. So he pulled over when the odometer on his Astra G read 699,999. He pointed his mobile phone camera at the electronic display and waited for the big jump – but instead of the “7”, a zero appeared. Later, the 58-year-old asked the Opel workshop manager why that happened. He was at a loss himself, but promised to check with Opel. The research revealed that it was probably a programming error. So the first big anniversary that Andreas Block celebrated with his Opel this year remains undocumented. The second anniversary, however, is documented in black on white in the vehicle papers: in December, his Astra will be 20 years old. And until then, it will continue to tirelessly reel off its kilometres.
THE RELIABLE ONE
Every working day, Andreas Block drives his Astra 85 kilometres from Denzlinger in Baden across the Swiss border to Basel. 90 per cent of the route is on motorways, and the 2.0-litre diesel manages it with a fuel consumption of less than five litres per 100 kilometres. Quirks, major repairs? No such thing. The Astra G is a faithful companion, there have been no bad surprises. “Somehow it seems to be ‘indestructible’,” Block marvels. “Apart from the usual wear-and-tear parts, I’ve never had to have anything replaced, with the exception of the compressor and heat exchanger of the air conditioning system.”
Dass der Astra zum Kilometer-Helden wurde, hat er bei aller „Unkaputtbarkeit“ The fact that the Astra has become a mileage hero even with its “indestructibility” is because it’s so well looked after. Andreas Block describes himself as a person “who takes good care of things”. He also has his Astra serviced regularly at the Opel dealer he trusts. In his hometown of Denzlingen, he felt he was in good hands with the Beurer dealership for many years. When the senior boss retired, Block moved “one town over”, to Emmendingen to Auto Mössinger. “It’s important to warm up to a workshop and feel that you are in good hands.”
His Astra repays the attention with seemingly inexhaustible mileage. The man from Baden is not only loyal to “his” Opel brand, but also to every single car he has bought in his life. He bought his first Opel in 1981, a Kadett D. He mainly drove it for short trips. Ten years later he bought a Kadett E, which also lasted “only” ten years, “probably because I had already bought it used”. He has been driving his current Astra for two decades.
TIME TO SAY GOODBYE?
Its proud owner also knows that the ravages of time cannot be stopped in the long run. Next year, the Astra has to be inspected again by the TÜV – “then we’ll see where we stand”. Andreas Block doesn’t want to have too many expensive repairs done. And after that? “Maybe a new Astra. It could also be a Corsa,” says the 58-year-old. “Because they have become bigger and nicer in recent years.” He has already taken a look around at Auto Mössinger.