By Hans-Georg Schmitt
Here are details of the latest six items in the “designer series” which followed the end of the standard Opel Collection. These are all made in China by Ixo for Eaglemoss to 1:43 scale.
#123 Hans Mersheimer and the Olympia Rekord P1
The Olympia Rekord P1 was the first, and only, Opel Rekord with a wraparound windscreen. The exterior styling and design were carried out in Detroit. Opel design could only design the interior and some body mouldings. The designer responsible for new cars at the time was Chief Engineer Hans Mersheimer who started his career in 1920 as an apprentice at the Opel plant. The model is well detailed and painted metallic silver. Lights and other parts are small inserted mouldings. The magazine gives a full history of Hans Mersheimer and his career.
#124 Herbert Killmer and Omega A
The successor of the Rekord E2 was completed under project number 2300 and work began in Autumn 1981. Herbert Killmer led the team in the design department responsible for big cars. His team created a classic saloon with notchback and rear wheel drive with impressing streamlined body. The model is the version after a face lift. Again it is in metallic silver with many added parts.
#125 Chuck Jordan and the Diplomat A V8 Coupe
Opel’s “Big Three”, the Captain, Admiral and Diplomat, again had a design from Detroit with chief engineer Mersheimer taking a “back seat”. The design was developed under supervision of Charles M. (Chuck) Jordan. In 1967, he was sent to Opel in Rüsselsheim to be director of design, successing Clare MacKichan, who returned to the GM headquarters. Karmann produced the coupe based upon the Diplomat saloon.
Again made in metallic silver this coupe looks impressive even in 1:43 scale. The magazine focuses upon the career of Chuck Jordan.
#126 Giuseppe “Nuccio” Bertone and the Astra F Cabriolet
In the 1980s the cabriolet returned after yeras when open cars were scarce due to heavy handed safety rules. Opel wanted to offer an open car in the Astra class but lacked the development skills and production capacity for small scale output. The solution was to go to Bertone to create and produce the cabriolet which he did on both F and G Astras.
Nuccio Bertone ran design and production facilities. Though he himself was no designer he was always able to employ the best ones in this business. This model of an open Astra again comes in the metallic silver with some neat inserted components like lights. The magazine covers the history of open Opel Astras and tells about Nuccio Bertone and his company.
#127 Erhard Schnell and the Ascona C
The Ascona C was the first car issued as both a Vauxhall and Opel. In England it was sold as a Vauxhall Cavalier in Germany as an Opel Ascona. Only the badging and the location of the steering wheel differed. Erhard Schnell and his team gave a roomy and modestly streamlined car and it was the first mid-range Opel or Vauxhall with front wheel drive. This model is of the Opel version of the notchback saloon which was less often seen as a Cavalier since UK buyers preferred the hatchback. Again in metallic silver. The magazine covers the car, and its designer Erhard Schnell.
#128 George Gallion and the Manta A
George Gallion always was “the deputy”. His career in the GM company was wide ranging before he was sent to Opel in Germany. There he became deputy to the design director and was the link between the design director and the design teams. In this case between Erhard Schnell designing the Manta A and the director of design at that time Chuck Jordan.
The Manta is re-issued here in metallic silver with many separately fixed small parts. Unfortunately quality control issues still seem to be present at Ixo since the exhaust pipe was fixed the wrong way round.
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