Opel was founded in 1898, and initially built Lutzman and Darracq cars before introducing its own cars. Opel established itself as a respected carmaker, but didn't make enough profit to sustain the company during the 1920s - and the end result was General Motors took over in 1928 in order to take a share in the European market.
Under GM's ownership, Opel became the European market leader by the end of the 1930s. After the war, the Kapitan and Rekord ranges were the mainstay of Opel’s catalogues, joined by the smaller Kadett A in 1962. Gradually Opel’s range combined with that of GM’s British arm, Vauxhall. The two marques are separated by their badging, although Opel carries out the engineering, simply handing the results over to Vauxhall.