Opel Rekord 1953_cThere were a number of unexplained events at the Marlinspike hall. Professor Calculus was being shadowed in a Mercedes 180 with an aim to kidnap him. All these events got into public domain thanks to our friends from the police, the respectable Thomson and Thompson. As a result, we saw in my last post that there was a huge gathering of people in front of Marlinspike which was the new place to go and picnic. A number of cars were parked there including the Oldsmobile 88 which was the subject of my last post.

Opel Rekord 1953_2Another car seen in the parking was the Opel Olympia Rekord. The Rekord was manufactured by the German manufacturer Opel from 1953 to 1986 covering eight generations of the car. It was a large family car (by European standards and nothing close in size to the Oldsmobile 88). Initially the name Rekord was used in conjunction with the Olympia model. However, when the Olympia was reinstated as a separate model in 1967, the Rekord became a standalone model.

Opel Rekord 1953_3The Olympia Rekord was a 2-door family car which replaced the Olympia – a prewar model dating back to the 1930s – in 1953. The car was based on the Ponton format which led to design changes like slab sided bodies, integrated fenders and removal of running boards. General Motors followed the annual updates for the car, a policy common in the USA but not in Europe. Every year the car had a new grille, chrome and trim change, thus making it a very popular car. Year on year it was the second most selling car in Germany following the Volkswagen Beetle.

Opel Rekord 1953_1The model shown in Tintin book, “The Calculus Affair” is the first generation car which was manufactured from 1953 to 1957 at Russelsheim. Though initially offered as a 2-door family car, it soon developed into a range covering the following:-

  • 2-door saloon.
  • 3-door station wagon.
  • 3-door van.
  • 2-door convertible.

Opel Rekord 1953_5The Olympia Rekord was powered by a 1,488 cc (90.8 cu-inch) 4 cylinder in-line naturally aspirated petrol engine with over head valves allowing it to breath through 2 valves per cylinder. These engines produced 40 HP at 3,800 rpm. Pulling power was provided by 94 N-m (69 lb-ft) of torque that this engine produced at 1,900 rpm.  The power and torques was transmitted to the rear wheels through a 3 speed manual gearbox. This configuration could push this 936 kg (2063.5 lb) car to a maximum speed of 128 km/h (80 mph).

Opel Rekord 1953_6The monocoque body of this car was suspended using double wish bone with coil springs at the front and a live rigid axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs at the rear. Stopping power was provided by hydraulically operated drum brakes on all four wheels.

These cars were replaced by the Opel Omega in 1986.