Just because a given model is rare, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily sought after. And just because it isn’t universally sought after, doesn’t mean it isn’t amazingly cool. Need proof? Look no further.
Only earlier this year, I mourned the death of the two-door saloon in Who Killed the Two-Door Saloon?. They used to be on every street corner. The everyday workhorses of families all around the globe. Now they’re extinct, and I miss them. I also confessed to wanting one in my garage, and look what I’ve just come across here…
Would you just look at all that crisp seventies three-box loveliness. And it get’s even better, as this isn’t just another Opel Rekord E, but rather a very rare last-generation Commodore. From 1967 to 1982 the Commodore represented Opel’s upmarket and more luxurious model, based of course on the Rekord but sporting a few minor styling differences and more importantly, a straight-6 engine in place of the Rekord’s more mundane 4-cylinder lump. The last generation – the Commodore C – was offered in Europe from 1977 with the same old 115hp carburettor-fed 2.5-litre engine as found in both the Commodore A and B which came before it. The Commodore C however no longer had the option of a coupé body, and with the vast majority of them being four-door saloons, even the two-door saloon version which had been so popular in both the A and B, was now produced in quite scarce numbers. So scarce in fact that it’s practically impossible to find any pictures of it. Instead you’ll have to settle with pictures of the four-door saloon while dreaming with me of two-door versions.
But when Opel introduced the slightly bigger, but still Rekord-based, Opel Senator A in 1978 – only a year after the Commodore C – they effectively managed to squeeze their own Commodore into a very narrow niche market. The Senator also excelled by having a much better and newly developed 3.0-litre fuel-injected straight-6 producing a rather more impressive 180hp, much better low down torque, and to add insult to injury, it even had better fuel economy too. As such, it’s perhaps no big surprise that the days were counted for Opel’s once so popular luxury car for the upper middleclass.
While they were never a common sight in period, the 36 years which have passed since production ceased, have certainly only made them even rarer. Yet currently for sale from a private vendor in the Netherlands is not just a Commodore C, but one of the very rarest – and in my eyes, most interesting and tasty – versions of the model. It’s the Commodore C 2.5S, but it’s also the ultra-rare two-door version which just looks so sharp and well-balanced. Not just that, but it in fact represents a whole breed of saloons which have now become extinct – the two-door everyday workhorses. Furthermore, this one has a rare manual 4-speed transmission, and it’s even the best thinkable of seventies colours – a delicious golden bronze metallic – with a fabulous contrasting tan deep velour interior. Here are some pictures we’ve borrowed from the advert:
The vendor explains that the Commodore presents in very clean and tidy condition both inside, outside and not least mechanically. It’s been treated with Dinitrol and is claimed to be totally rustfree. Except for one small spot of wear on the driver’s seat, the interior is in equally impressive condition – still totally original with even the factory radio and original Opel rubber floor mats still in place. It’s covered only 129,000 km – equating to 80,000 miles – and the 2.5-litre straight-6 has recently been thoroughly serviced with new gaskets, new ignition parts, an electronic ignition conversion, a new water pump, new belts, hardened valve seats and new fluids.
Currently, the big two-door saloon sits on period and handsome five-spoke Opel alloys from the Senator / Monza range, however the original steel wheels with chrome trim rings also come with the car. The suspension has been lowered and the vendor describes the drive as “pretty stiff / sporty”. Each to their own of course, but personally I would want to put the luxury Opel back on its more comfort-orientated stock suspension. There’s also a period rear window louvre which comes with the Commodore – again each to his own, but personally I think this groovy piece of seventies add-on accessory perfectly sums up the whole era and should therefore stay.
For the full advert, here’s a link for you: 1979 Opel Commodore C 2.5S Berlina
– Rare? Most certainly!
– Coveted? Not particularly.
– Amazingly cool? Absolutely!
With our Saturday instalment of Prime Find of the Week, we’re offering our services to the classic car community, by passing on our favourite classic car for sale from the week that passed. This top-tip might help a first-time-buyer to own his first classic, or it could even be the perfect motivation for a multiple-classic-car-owner to expand his garage with something different. We’ll let us inspire by anything from a cheap project to a stunning concours exotic, and hope that you will do the same.
Just remember – Any Classic is Better than No Classic! We obviously invite our readers to help prospective buyers with your views and maybe even experiences of any given model we feature. Further to that, if you stumble across a classic which you feel we ought to feature as Prime Find of the Week, then please send us a link to firstname.lastname@example.org