By Hans-Georg Schmitt
Here are details of four new items from the designer series of diecast models to 1:43 scale made by IXO. The models come with a booklet with the story of the designer and the original car. The booklets also provide a lot of background information on automobile manufacturing.
133 Gordon Brown and Opel Kadett E
This generation of the Kadett was developed in the Opel Design Center under the leadership of the American Gordon Brown, who took over the baton from his predecessor Henry G. Haga, also an American. The appearance was more rounded, the “edge” was replaced by the “radius”. Gordon Brown’s life ended tragically. His hobby was landscape photography and on Pentecost Saturday 1983, he went to Rhine valley and on the top of the Lorelei rock he ignored the crowd barriers, slipped off and fell approximately 100 metres. Another American Wayne Cherry was his successor and he got the production release for the E-Cadet from GM headquarters.
The Kadett E was a three door estate. The model replicates the original well and is finished in the standard metallic silver finish used for this designer series. The black mouldings are well modelled.
134 Chuck Jordan and Opel Kapitan 1952
In December 1938 Opel presented a new big car with an integral body and a six cylinder engine. The new car, named the Kapitan, was available as two or four door saloon and as a cabriolet. The modern design attracted many orders from abroad which brought much needed foreign currency. The outbreak of war ended production suddenly. In October 1948 Kapitan production was started again with a slightly modified car albeit heavily based upon the pre-war design.
The successor was developed by a young Chuck Jordan at the GM design centre in Detroit, a successor was developed. Jordan later had an impressive career within GM. The newly designed Kapitan was launched in March 1951 and was the leasing seller in the 6 cylinder class in Germany for several years.
The 1952 Kapitan appears with a photo of Chuck Jordan in the background. As usual in this series, body is painted in silver metallic paint and fitted with black interior.
135 Hans Mersheimer and Opel Cadet A
The success of the Volkswagen Beetle did not go unnoticed at Opel headquarters. Until then GM was not really interested in building small cars. So it needed much persuasion by Opel to get approval fro the creation of a small car to compete with the Volkswagen Beetle. The Kadett A was the first Opel car since the company was bought by GM, which was developed entirely at Rüsselsheim. Under the supervision of chief engineer Hans Mersheimer a modern small car was developed. Its design was heavily influenced by the contemporary Kapitan.
The model is based upon the coupe version and is again painted in silver metallic with an interior was moulded in black. The radiator grille, bumpers,wheel rims and other small parts are chrome-plated.
136 Erhard Schnell and Opel Calibra
At the end of the 1980s more and more Japanese coupes were launched in the European Market. Opel decided that they need one of their own to compete with the Japanese head on. The “Advanced Design Studio” under leader Erhard Schnell got the order to develop an effective competitor. Modern mechanicals were placed in an exciting body. The Calibra was the car from Erhard Schnell before he went into retirement. Even today at the age of 89, he still visits motor shows and classic car events.
The Calibra appears in the box with a photo of Erhard Schnell. The body is again in silver metallic and fitted with a well detailed black interior.
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