Opel Monza (1978 – 1986) Review

Opel Monza (1978 – 1986) At A Glance


+Big, brutishly stylish, surprisingly capable high-speed cruiser

-GS/E is an all-time great marred only by its digital dashboard, rust gets them especially on the sills and inner wings

The Opel Monza was launched in 1978 and as far of the UK is concerned, it helped transform the image of its maker almost overnight - all of a sudden was an expensive and desirable coupe that went as well as it looked. But it was mirrored in the UK by what GM partner Vauxhall was selling. Because what the Royale Coupé was to Vauxhall, so the Monza was to Opel.

Based on the Opel Senator, this full-sized 1978-86 ‘Autobahnstormer’ was a good-looking and well-equipped three-door coupé which proved agile despite its bulk. In its top-of-the-range 3.0-litre injected form the Monza offered dramatic straight line ability – 0-60mph in 8.5 seconds, a top speed of 133mph. Variations on the theme included the ES, with a limited-slip differential to better cope with the power. 

In 1982, the range was facelifted, and the GSE with Recaro seats, digital instrumentation and a prominent rear spoiler was introduced in the UK. This became a bit of a cult car - helped in no part by Vauxhall dropped its slightly more staid Royale Coupe from the line-up and rebranding its saloon as the Senator - which meant - for a short while, dealers sold the Opel Monza alongside the Vauxhall Senator.

Ask Honest John

Where would I find an Opel Monza in need of restoration?

"I'm looking for an Opel Monza in need of restoration. I have a budget of £1500. Where do you suggest I look?"
Opel Monza are very striking cars and have a bit of a cult following - especially the 3.0-litre models. Might be worth giving one of the club's a shout. You could try Autobahnstormers (www.autobahnstormers.org.uk/). But also keep an eye on the classifieds (https://classics.honestjohn.co.uk/cars-for-sale/search/Opel/Monza). You should be able to pick up a project within your budget, although not all parts are easily available so do your homework before you buy.
Answered by Keith Moody
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