Opel Kadett (1973 – 1979) Review

Opel Kadett (1973 – 1979) At A Glance


+Offered in a bewildering array of version, all of which are economical and great to drive

-Rust is an ever-present issue, smaller engines are rough

The Opel Kadett C was the first of many General Motors world cars - in this case, known as the T-Car. It was launched in August 1973 and was built in Opel's Bochum plant until July 1979. As far as Brits are concerned it's best known for sharing its platform, and most of its external panels with the 1975 Vauxhall Chevette. It was originally launched in two- and four-door saloon form, with the three-door Caravan estate version and two-door coupe adding extra dimension to the range, as before.

In May 1975, the Kadett became a hatchback with the introduction of the Luton-designed three-door City model. This clever hatchback conversion sat on the same wheelbase as the standard car, but thanks to much shortened rear end and its re-sited fuel tank, it wasn't much larger than its more space efficient front-wheel drive supermini rivals, such as the Volkswagen Polo and Renault 5. Unlike its Vauxhall equivalent, the Kadett was offered with a number of engine options - 1.0- and 1.2-litre overhead valves for the standard model, and 1.6-, 1.9- and, later, 2.0-litre cam-in-head units for the sporting models. The Kadett C was a huge hit for Opel, and one that ended up being sold across the world, wearing badges as diverse as Vauxhall, Chevrolet, Daewoo, Isuzu and Holden.