Revival: The 2021 White Fleet consists of the Opel Mokka, Zafira Life and Corsa.

The “White Fleet” is Back

He knew all about cars even before he learned to read and write. After all, Günther Irmscher practically grew up in a car workshop. When he had just started school, he saw four Opels rolling across the yard of his father’s workshop. They were all white. He thought that was remarkable, because at that time only ambulances were painted that way. When he asked his father why he had chosen that colour, his father replied: “There are so many black cars on the road now that people will get tired of them. Soon white will be in demand.”

– Günther Irmscher –

The „White Fleet“ that Günther Irmscher senior launched more than 40 years ago at the end of the 1970s caused quite a stir thanks to its expressive sportiness. The Opel master tuner from Remshalden was simply ahead of his time with his prophecy regarding the choice of colour. It still took quite a while for it to catch on.

Automotive triumvirate: In addition to the common base colour, the „White Fleet“ consists of connecting elements and individualisations from Irmscher.

Irmscher: The “I” stands
for individuality

In the meantime, Günther Irmscher junior, who at the time was surprised by the white Opels, runs the business. And yes: the colour white is now extremely popular. In 2020, over 20 per cent of all car buyers in Germany opted for the colour of innocence. Only black is still a bit more popular. So Günther Irmscher junior therefore decided it is time to put together a new “White Fleet”. “Especially since the current Opel portfolio offers exciting models with which we can showcase what distinguishes us in the 21st century besides sporty dynamics: individuality,” emphasises the company owner. This individuality can be expressed in terms of sportiness, but also functionality – or cool and stylishly, he explains.

“Our brand essence is individuality.”

The first White Fleet

More power, more individuality: the original White Fleet at the end of the 1970s consisted of the Opel Rekord E, Ascona B, Manta B and Kadett C City. The colour scheme white on top and grey below – which showed off the white aluminium rims particularly well – united the fleet, as did individual tyres and wheels as well as front and rear spoilers in Irmscher design. The tuners from Remshalden gave the Kadett City C (left) a carburettor kit that boosted its 1.6 litre engine to 90 hp. At the time, the Manta 2800i (right) was available ex-works with up to

110 hp four-cylinder engines. But in his favourite Opel, Irmscher went one step further and had a 150 hp six-cylinder purring in the Manta of his White Fleet, which could give even expensive Italian sports cars a run for their money. The name given to the Manta 2800i by the trade press at the time: the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Irmscher offered the Ascona B (second from left) with a carburettor kit that boosted the standard 1.9 litre engine from 90 to 110 hp. The Rekord B (second from right) received a completely new engine.

White is in –
and the fleet is back

The new 2021 White Fleet consists of the Opel Mokka, Zafira Life and Corsa. “We wanted to underline the new Opel design language once again and set additional accents,” says the boss, describing his team’s goals. Which, by the way, set to work in the same hall as the crew four decades earlier. The basic colour: white, of course, complemented by eye-catchers in red and black. And Irmscher customers also have a choice: the electric variants – the Corsa-e, Mokka-e and Zafira-e Life – are also available in the sporty, individual White Fleet outfit.

Irmscher underlines
the Mokka’s sporty side

The Irmscher crew loves the Opel Vizor: “The new Opel face looks exceptionally good on the most dynamic SUV Opel has ever built,” says Günther Irmscher. The added front spoiler lip, side skirts, rear apron and roof spoiler with red accents further emphasise this expressive sportiness. It was clear that the Irmscher Mokka would keep its black bonnet and black roof: “These elements suit Opel and Irmscher equally well,” says the company owner. The Irmscher crew has got an additional 20 hp out of the 1.2-litre turbo three-cylinder, which is available ex works with 130 hp. The Swabian specialists have also mounted the Mokka on a completely newly developed 19-inch rim with twisted spokes.

“The new Opel face looks exceptionally good.

The “i-Box” turns the Zafira Life
into a part-time camper

In addition to the visually striking elements, a special individualisation package is available for the Opel van: the “multifunction i-Box”. It gets the Zafira Life ready for a weekend camping trip in just a few minutes. The “i-Box” is equipped with a sleeping area, a removable cooking unit, a sink as well as pockets and storage compartments. Günther Irmscher: “You can easily install and remove the box. So the Zafira Life can be driven around in everyday life without the camping equipment taking up space.” The Irmscher team has also upgraded the van’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine from 177 to around 200 hp.

Corsa joins the fleet with 150 hp 

The White Fleet Corsa has a black roof and its red lines are more discreet. In addition, the chassis has been adjusted and, like the other members of the fleet, is lowered by 30 millimetres. The three-cylinder turbo is tuned up to 150 hp. As on the Zafira Life and Mokka, the wheels are adorned with red Irmscher iRS hubcaps with central locking. And inside, too, all three models show that they belong to the 2021 Irmscher White Fleet with specially manufactured floor mats and entry strips.

November 2021

Text: Eric Scherer, Photos: Irmscher