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Opel Kapitan Turns 80, Still Alive and Kicking

Back in 1938, only one year before the onset of the biggest war in world history, the German automotive industry, heavily supported by Adolf Hitler and his NSDAP for all the wrong reasons, was booming.
1938 Opel Kapitan 9 photos
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The '30s were great years including for Opel, one of the oldest carmakers in the world. By the end of the decade, the company was confident enough to roll out model after model, including a car capable of fitting the gap between the popular Kadett and the upper-class Admiral: the Kapitan.

The model, built with integral all-steel body, came as a two and four-door limousine as well as a four-seat convertible. It was powered by a 2.5-liter, six-cylinder in-line overhead-valve engine that developed 55 hp and quickly became the hallmark of the Kapitan.

The model quickly became popular and Opel kept production of the model running, except for the war years, until 1970.

Six years before production ceased, the Kapitan formed the basis of a revamped lineup of three Opel models that came to be known as KAD: Kapitan, Admiral and Diplomat.

This year, the German brand owned by French PSA is naturally celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Kapitan. On Saturday, at the company's headquarters in Rüsselsheim, 25 Kapitan vehicles still in top condition came together for a jubilee tour.

The cars set out from Rüsselsheim and traveled to the Darmstadt-Kranichstein Railway Museum accompanied by three new Opel Insignia models. Unfortunately, that was all there was to the celebration of one of the brand's iconic cars.

“Opel already presented advanced, comfortable and powerful cars that were affordable back with the successful Kapitän models,” said the German carmaker in a statement.

“The Rüsselsheim-based manufacturer remains true to this principle today. In the 1950s and 60s the Kapitän took on the role of a real flagship; today this is the current Opel Insignia.”


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