Thursday, August 27, 2009
Opel dipped a toe into the lucrative image-making "Hot Hatch" market with the SR model but although well received and sharply styled it didn't really have the power and performance to compete with the rival Escort XR3i and the Golf GTI or offerings from many other manufacturers.
That changed with the introduction of the GTE model. The 1800cc engine finally gave the Kadett/Astra the power it needed (0-60 in 8.5 seconds, almost equal to the 1800cc Mk1 Golf GTI), and the aggressive body kit consisting of spoilers and side skirts looked the part (especially in white with colour-keyed alloy wheels and bumpers) and gave massive road presence.
The GTE didn't last long, it was introduced towards the end of the production run for the car, shortly replaced by the radical aero-shape of the Kadett E/Mk2 Astra.
I spotted this one near to Imst, Austria. The extra stripes and bodykit really complete the back-to-the-1980s look!
The Steyr Type 50, known as "Steyr Baby", was very much the Austrian "People's Car".
Working at the Steyr factories, Karl Jenschke designed the car in 1934. The appearance was similar to the subsequent "Volkswagen" (despite rumours Porsche was not involved in any way) but the car was based on an independent concept with a 4-cylinder front boxer engine, water cooling, rear wheel drive and a lightweight body reminiscent of the Chrysler Airflow. The car offered seats for four people and was shorter than the Volkswagen. Hydraulic brakes and a sliding metal sun roof were notable features. With a top speed of 90Km/h it had a high cruising speed in relation to other contemporary cars. The high price of 4500 Austrian Schilling, however, wasn't cheap although around 13,000 were sold.
From the Deutsches Museum Verkehrszentrum.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009