It was hard for us to accept when the iconic Polonez was forgotten. We were happy, however, when it was named a classic. What models can join this group from the Opel stable?
The Opel brand has been with us for years. Especially in Poland it enjoys great interest. Numerous fans appreciate the German quality that uses top class solutions at optimal prices. For years, Opel cars have been treated as our homeland – they are an important part of our modern history. However, can we see them as classic vehicles, or is it better to withhold that designation for a few more years?
The 1990s is not as distant a time as it may seem. At least, that’s how we try to explain the fact that we already have some years on our backs. During this time, the Opel stable was filled with many vehicles. However, there was a certain design crisis – these cars did not look as good as the early Opel Kadett or the first Opel Senator. The design of the 1990s Vectra is neither grand nor innovative – it is hard to call this vehicle a classic. We would expect something special from it – low availability, sophisticated design, or some connection with our history. In fact, the classic Polonez is defended only by the latter – although the number of preserved cars with an intact structure is getting smaller and smaller.
In the 90s there were produced, among others, Opel Vectra A, Opel Tigra, Opel Kadett E 2.0i GSi 16V, different variants of Opel Calibra, early versions of Opel Astra, or even Opel Combo. They all differ significantly from each other in terms of design. This is one of the main problems – the lack of consistent aesthetics is something that does not very attract car fans. It is from this period, among others, that all Porsche models that are perceived as classics come. Of course, there are differences here on the level of a luxury brand versus a brand for the average consumer. However, Porsche’s reputation still has a lot to do with very consistent styling – Opel can build excellent bodies, but considering the models mentioned above, you can tell that it wasn’t always so. For example, the Opel Kadett E 2.0i Gsi 16V, which admittedly was built in a slightly different era than the rest of these cars – it’s quite contemporary – has a design that suits the tastes of today’s customers. Therefore, it is he will be more likely to be perceived as a “classic” – a car desirable, worthy of interest. However, before this happens in the case of old Opel Astra, it will still be a long time.
In the case of Opel, popularity can be a problem. And this translates into not very favorable treatment from fans of classics – if everyone can have something, why collect it. Not every product (because this is how we should perceive cars) presents the same value from the perspective of wealthy collectors of the field. In the automotive industry, uniqueness is especially important – and you can’t say that about Opels from the 90s. Perhaps it is also influenced by our Polish perspective – we can perceive it this way, because old Astra or Vectra, which we saw on the streets more than once – were often in a deplorable condition. Probably much more often than classic Polonezes – at least in the last twenty years. If we change this perspective a bit, it may turn out that objectively these are cars that can join the ranks of automotive classics in the short future.
In 20 years, it will turn out that half of the SUVs we can buy today will be seen as semi-classics. And yet these are not vehicles in the style of muscle cars from the USA, which we look at and immediately see that we are dealing with something spectacular. These are simple cars that every one of us drives, and that are shown in TV commercials. They are the backdrop to our lives – just as the classic Opels of the 1990s were in the past thirty years. Their perspective is changing quite rapidly – in a short time it will turn out that they deserve the honorable title of automotive classics – but perhaps not yet. These are models that need to crawl out of the market. After a few years, when the availability of original parts decreases, a lot of old Opels will be taken off the streets (which has already happened in 90%) and we will stop seeing them on our roads. We’ll go out on the street, come across an old Vectra that’s extremely spruced up, and we’ll think back to the days when past Opel models dominated our roads. Then we will be able to say that these cars are by all means classic and nostalgia-inducing.