Opel Rekord (1977 – 1982) Review

Opel Rekord (1977 – 1982) At A Glance


+Good driving position, strong petrol engines, tidy handling, huge estate version is a great load carrier

-Laughably slow diesel version - but extinct now

The 1977 Opel Rekord E (which would subsequentlty become known as the E1) was a very important car for its maker. Although the drivetrain and suspension was carried over from the Rekord D, the new square-rigged styling ushered in a brand new body. As before, it was available in a number of variations - three- and five-door estate (only the latter made it to the UK), and two- and four-door saloon (with the latter being sold as a coupe). Engine line-up in the UK was as before, with the 2.0-litre cam-in-head proving the mainstay - and thankfully, we were spared the low-compression 1.7-litre 60bhp unit!

The diesel model was also carried over, and unlike the previous Rekord, was sold in the UK in Rekord E form. The 2260cc engine pumped out 65bhp, and offered leisurely performance, with a 0-60mph time of 22 seconds. But in the context of the market, and its rivals (Ford Granada 2.1D, with 63bhp, and the Mercedes-Benz 300D with 55bhp), this was more than adequate. With the Opel going against its largely similar in-house rival, the Vauxhall Carlton, sales were slow in the UK - and weren't helped by a light facelift in 1980. A much wider-ranging change to E2 specification took place in 1982, but it was at this point, the Rekord was dropped from the UK market. Largely forgotten now.