O P E L   M O T O R S P O R T    C L U B

bullitt_tribute

When Our Opel's Were New


When our beloved Opel's were new (late 60's - middle 70's), they were a shinny new product that added fun, beauty, and freedom in a troubling time. In the 21st century historians have increasingly portrayed the decade as a "pivot of change" in world history focusing especially on the economic upheavals

Oil crisis:

Line_at_a_gas_station_1979Line at a gas station in Maryland, June 15, 1979.

Economically, the 1970s were marked by the energy crisis which peaked in 1973 and 1979 (see 1973 oil crisis and 1979 oil crisis). After the first oil shock in 1973, gasoline was rationed in many countries. Europe particularly depended on the Middle East for oil; the United States was also affected even though it had its own oil reserves. Many European countries introduced car-free days and weekends. In the United States, customers with a license plate ending in an odd number were only allowed to buy gasoline on odd-numbered days, while even-numbered plate-holders could only purchase gasoline on even-numbered days. The realization that oil reserves were not endless and technological development was not without potentially harming the environment ended the belief in limitless progress that had existed since the 19th century. As a result, ecological awareness rose substantially, which had a major effect on the economy.

Automobiles:

The 1970s was an era of fuel price increases, rising insurance rates, safety concerns, and emissions controls. The 1973 oil crisis caused a move towards smaller, fuel-efficient vehicles. Attempts were made to produce electric cars, but they were largely unsuccessful. In the United States, imported cars became a significant factor for the first time, and several domestic-built subcompact models entered the market. American-made cars such as the "quirky" AMC Gremlin, the jelly bean shaped AMC Pacer, and Pontiac Firebird's powerful Trans Am "sum up" the decade. Muscle cars and convertible models faded from favor during the early-1970s. It was believed that the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado would be the last American-built convertible; ending the open body style that once dominated the auto industry.

Cars in the U.S. from the early 1970s are noted more for their power than their styling, but they even lost their power by the late-1970s. Styling on American cars became progressively more boxy and rectilinear during the 1970s, with coupes being the most popular body style. Wood paneling and shag carpets dominated the interiors. Many automobiles began to lose their character and looked the same across brands and automakers, as well as featuring "luxury" enhancements such as vinyl roofs and opera windows. Only a few had "real personalities" such as the AMC Gremlin, which was America's first modern subcompact, and the AMC Pacer. "These two cars embody a sense of artful desperation that made them stand out from the crowd and epitomize at once the best and worst of the seventies. Click here for more 1970's info:

[Opel Motorsports Club] [Club News] [Join OMC] [Opel GT + FAQs] [Opel Events] [The Blitz] [Tech Tips] [Opel Fun!] [Opel History] [Links] [Opel Racing] [70's Culture] [Opel Nationals and OMC 35th Anniversary]

Copyright 2016: Opel Motorsport Club