(first posted 2/28/2015) I’ve always wished I could shoot more curbside finds with their owners. It adds something…personal, to see who owns and drives a certain older car. decampos posted this and another shot of a Morris Minor Traveler with its owner at the Cohort, shot in Berlin. The Rekord D coupe is a rare car, and a quite finely styled one at that. It was GM designer Chuck Jordan’s work, one of his best during his years as head of Opel’s design, when he woke up what had been a rather sleepy operation in Rüsselsheim.
The Rekord D arrived in 1971, and needs to be seen from other angles than just profile to appreciate what a handsome car this (and its six-cylinder derivative, the Commodore) was. Imagine this a slightly smaller Chevy Nova in 1971, to go along with the smaller Ascona as a Vega-substitute. Oh never mind…GM knew better what Americans wanted.
Chuck Jordan’s work is invariably dynamic, aggressive, handsome and refined. The fact that he was passed over for Irv Rybicki as head of GM Design to replace Bill Mitchell undoubtedly had a not-insignificant effect on GM’s massive market share loss in the 80s. By the time he finally got his shot at the job, it was largely too late, although some fine work ensued. But his years at Opel undoubtedly gave him the European influence that was so lacking at GM at that crucial time.
The Rekord, very much Opel’s Nova (or Chevelle), was powered by Opel’s CIH fours, in 1.7, 1.9 and 2.0 L versions, and by a new 2.1 L diesel four as of 1972, which allowed the Rekord to compete more effectively for the taxi market. The Commodore got the six cylinder engines, and a slightly longer nose to make room for it, as well as higher trim and details.