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Opel celebrates 50 years of Ascona

In the 1970's with the Ascona, Opel came in the sedan segment of the middle class, a sports model, by the short overhangs, easy to handle and fun to drive, which stood between the Kadett and the Rekord of which he portrayed the various components.

The car, in fact, adopted by the Kadett a large part of the mechanical parts and the Ascona, the engine reduced to 1,584 cc in the normal version with 68 Hp and S-80 Hp, to which was joined in an engine 4-cylinder 1.897 cc, 90 Hp. In addition, in march 1972, these engines are added, a more economical engine entry-level 1.2-liter 60 Hp.

To the version with bodywork sedan 2 and 4 door, available in the fitting base and the luxury, in march of 1974, added by the elegant station wagon Voyage with exterior finishes such as wood, which he proposed as a vehicle for the free time with space for dinghy and bike.

In the spring of 1971, the range was further expanded with the versions of the Ascona 1.9 S and the Ascona SR, with engine of 1.6-liter 80 Hp or 1.9 l, 90 Hp, while in combination with the more powerful engines you could take, as an optional, the automatic transmission 3-speed. The first series of the Ascona was produced until the summer of 1975 in 691.438 specimens of which 75.570 were related to the Voyage.

According to the house, the success of Ascona, in addition to the attractive design, it was due to the fact that the car did not reserve surprises, that did not stop almost never, was free from technical problems and had a road behavior sincere.

For this reason, the second generation Ascona-B, it was a natural evolution based more on the aesthetics than on the technique by proposing a changed front and a body lengthened by 20 cm to the advantage of the interior space.

The range of engines is enriched with the unity 1.196 cc, which developed 60 horsepower, in 1978, engine 1.998 cc, 100 Hp, and a 2.100 diesel 58 Hp and up to 1981, they were sold 1.512.971 specimens.

on September 18, 1981, at the Frankfurt motor show, made its debut in the third series, Ascona-C, which is characterized above all for the adoption of front-wheel drive that, among other things, had allowed the increase of the step up from 2.518 mm 2.574 mm without changing the external dimensions. The McPherson strut suspension, the new rear axle, and the engines of 1,300 cc and 1,600 cc, completed the framework of the new model.

In 1982, the range of engines was expanded with a 1,600 diesel with 54 Hp and a 1,800 to injection 115 Hp. Subsequently, the Ascona C 1.8 i, was the first model of the brand of the flash to take the catalyst and of the third generation were sold 1.721.649 specimens in total.

To report, then, that on the basis of the second series of the Opel Ascona, were built some versions for the sport competitions to expand the prize of the German house in the field of the popular rally.
At the wheel of the Ascona, Walter Röhrl and Jochen Berger conquered as well in the European Rally Championship 1974, winning six of eight races in 1975, and shortly before the Ascona-was replaced by generation B, the pair won the Acropolis Rally, winning the first victory of Opel in the world Rally championship.

In 1976, the racing division, Opel began to develop a “super-Ascona” in the 400 specimens required for obtaining the approval of the sports taking advantage of the technical advice of the Cosworth.
The home of british, on the basis of the 4-cylinder Rekord diesel, he made a 4-cylinder twin-cam 16-valves 2.410 cc with two double carburetors Weber 48 Dcoe capable of 240 Hp.

The debut at Rallye monte-carlo 1980, the Opel Ascona 400 won the fourth place with Anders Kullang, while the first victory came the next Rally of Sweden with the crew of Kullang-Berglund.
Finally, with this car rear-wheel drive, Walter Rohrl and Christian Geisdorfer conquered then the drivers ' world Championship in 1982.

Today, the Opel Ascona are sought after by collectors and reach assessments-substantially higher than their original sale price.
This year the German company celebrates 50 years of the popular model with the participation of all its fans, and the celebration will begin with the season opening rally and the Bodensee Klassik (7-9 may) that will see the presence of six Ascona and six Manta of the first generation.

Subsequently, on 28 June, is planning a rally with a hundred copies of the Ascona and Manta In the Klassikertreffen of Rüsselsheim.
Finally, in the days from 25 to 27 September, is scheduled a meeting organized by the collector and expert on the Manta, Manfred Henning in Timmendorfer Strand on the baltic coast, where the Opel Manta was presented to the press 50 years ago. (m.r.)

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