At this year’s Opel Post-Adventsquiz, connoisseurs who also look at things from the other side are in demand. In part 3 you could see from below: Opel Ascona 400 (see also resolution below). The race history continues with vehicle number 4.
Every week you can win an exclusive invitation to the Opel Classic workshop. They are in the process of setting up a new department that is dedicated to the brand’s racing history. Quiz winners will be among the first people who can take a peek around as soon as everything is set up (February/March). Click here (German) for the terms and conditions of participation. Have fun trying to figure it out.
Which Opel racing car is pictured here?
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.”