We have no less than three in-depth CCs on the Kadett B, but none of these finds were the base two door sedan, a classic “stripper” if there ever was one. Curtis Perry found this in Monster (yes), a town in the province of South Holland, the Netherlands. And how well suited it is, given the Dutch propensity to thrift. And tidiness; given the great shape it’s in.
This brings back memories, as my older brother’s best friend had access to one exactly like this, in the same beige, which had replaced a very tough but well-worn stripper ’55 Chevy 120 two door sedan. Which, ironically, was nicknamed “The Monster”.
As you undoubtedly have heard many times by now, my father drove its predecessor, a green Kadett A, just like this. And my brother drove that often, so he and his friend would not uncommonly engage in Kadett races. They were quite very well matched, as the Kadett A was lighter (a featherweight 1408 lbs) and had a 46 hp 987 cc engine, while the plumper Kadett B weighed all of 1544 lbs but had a slightly bigger 1077 cc engine making rated at 54 hp. I vividly remember them lining up at side by side by side at stoplights, and hearing the faintest little chirp of the 12″ rear tires as clutches were dumped, with the little ohv four revved up for action.
Of course, if I was along in the A, it then weighed about the same overall as the B, negating its ability to hole shot the B when I wasn’t along. My brother gave it all he could, but the extra horses of the B almost inevitable won the day.
It’s pretty obvious that the B, which arrived in 1966, sat on the same platform as the A, which dated back to 1962. But the B’s body was pushed out in every direction, and it even got curved side glass.
The Kadett had a torque tube rear suspension with leaf springs, which, like the rest of the car was designed to be as cheap as possible to manufacture. There had been complaints about the rough ride and poor handling, including a tendency to roll. So for 1968, the Kadett got a new coil spring rear suspension, which our featured car apparently has, due to the absence of leaf springs behind the rear wheel. The next post will expand on the them of this change in rear suspension, as it’s a humorous story involving Bob Lutz.
Fortunately, my brother and his friend Geoff never rolled either of the two Kadetts. My father’s green A did start losing power after just two years, and required a full valve job. I’m sure my brother’s endless thrashings had nothing to do with it. It was replaced by sturdier stuff: a 1968 Dart slant six.
The Vauxhall Viva was heavily based on the Kadett, and we have an insider’s story on that too.
Here’s our comprehensive Kadett library: