Solid Project: 1964 Opel Kadett Sports Coupe

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The Opel Kadett is one of those cars that could so easily have slipped from public consciousness if it hadn’t been for Top Gear UK. In the show’s 2007 Botswana Special, presenter Richard Hammond chose a 1963 Kadett 2-Door Saloon (called Oliver) as his vehicle to cross the country, and the little car proved to be an admirable choice that acquitted itself well. Suddenly, 300 million viewers across the globe were reminded that this little car not only existed, but there were still some good ones out there as potential project cars. This Kadett is a 1964 Sports Coupe, and would certainly make an interesting project car for someone. Located in Anthony, Texas, it is listed for sale here on Craigslist. I have to thank Barn Finder Roger for bringing the little Opel to our attention.

Unfortunately, the owner is short on both photos and description when it comes to information on the car. Produced between 1962 and 1965, this series was known as the Opel Kadett A. It was available as either a 2-Door Saloon, a 2-Door Sports Coupe, or a 3-Door Station Wagon. This car is the Sports Coupe, and the body looks to be in decent condition. It is hard to detect any obvious rust, and while the paint may be a bit faded in some areas, I think that if it were to receive a buff and polish, it might actually look okay. There is some minor damage to the rear bumper, and it also appears that the trunk lock is missing.

The interior of a Kadett is not a place of sophistication and luxury. The car represents basic motoring, with few luxuries present. One of the few optional items was a radio, and that is missing from this car. There is some restoration work to be completed inside, as the dash pad is severely cracked, while the steering wheel has both wear and cracks. We don’t get a look at the rest of the interior, or the engine. This is the 993cc 4-cylinder engine, which is backed by a 4-speed manual transmission. If the engine is original, it would be the “1.0 S-Motor,” which has a slightly higher compression ratio than the standard engine and is also fitted with a slightly larger carburetor. This blessed the Sports Coupe with marginally more power than the standard car, but the horsepower increase was only a single digit increase. This Kadett has had recent work on the brakes and is said to run well.

The Opel Kadett A was not a particularly rare car, and during its 4-year production run, around 650,000 rolled off the production line. However, the Saloon and Estate made up the vast majority of this figure, while the Sports Coupe only accounted for around 23,000 cars. These are a simple and robust little car, and owning one of these is to own something a bit different to the norm. The owner has set a price of $4,000 for this one, and that price appears to be about right for a Sports Coupe in this condition.

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  1. Little_Cars Little Cars

    Me like. This car would clean up nice with a hose and a few hours detailing. Please — sellers — lose the cardboard boxes and bins of crap sitting atop and around your valuable treasures! It’ll market the car better! Those wheels look like a rarity…probably worth selling for the restoration fund on the rest of the car.

    Like 5
    • JM

      The wheels are “Drag” brand knockoff replicas of Work Equip wheels, produced about 10 years ago. They might fetch a few hundred from a Honda guy if they’re 4×100 bolt pattern, but not much more. I actually think they suit the car, be a nice look if the original wheels and covers aren’t there.

      Like 5
  2. LAB3

    Sport Coupe? Which sport, Ice Fishing? Being small and light it probably would be good for that, especially if the floor boards are rusted out.

    Like 7
    • David

      Nope, the floors are completely rust free , very solid, and actually had only 2 dollar coin size rust spots in the whole car. I know because we own it now.

      Like 0
  3. angliagt angliagtMember

    That’s a rare Kadett body style.I saw one parked for a few days
    in our neighborhood,& regretted not trying to find the owner.

    Like 3
  4. Howard A. Howard AMember

    I had a ’67 Kadette wagon, so it was the Kadette B, but had the same mechanicals. It had a small motor like this, may have had dual carbs, but at a light, wind ‘er up, dump the clutch, power shift to 2nd, not much could beat it. It was when the other car hit 2nd, and you were going for 3rd,( or 4th, depending what the other car was) the show was over. It had a hard time on the highway, but like all the Opels I had, it was a good car. Looking at this car, wheels aside, I’m wondering what part is the “Sport”?

    Like 2
    • David

      The beautiful look of this car is enough to call it Sport

      Like 0
  5. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Recent brake work? LOL!

    Like 1
  6. Rick Glesner


    Like 0
  7. scottymac

    I’m surprised a German hasn’t already scooped this up. Not sure I’ve ever seen an early Opel body this clean. I suppose a later Manta/GT 1.9 would slot in, make it a lot more fun.

    Like 2
  8. Martin Horrocks

    I´ve only ever seen one example of this body, very rare. That car was prepared for historic rally and looked good. $4000 is not a lot to be unique!

    Like 2
  9. Edward

    Later Opel Kadetts were so bad that they did not last but a couple years in the states. Opel tried to sell an entry level car, at an entry level price, unsuccessfully.

    Like 0
  10. Tricky

    Opel Kadett and ‘Sports’ is an oxymoron!

    Like 1
  11. Jim ZMember

    My first car in 1972 was a bright yellow ’67 Opel Kadett with a whopping 1100 cc motor. Looking back, a poor choice for one just learning to drive, IMHO.
    Car was so light that any other vehicle’s slipstream would cause severe wobble. sigh!
    Traded it not long after for a ’68 Chevy Caprice….another story for another day!

    Like 1
  12. Little_Cars Alexander

    I learned to drive a stick on a yellow Kadett with 1100. It was a 1970 given to me by my music teacher. I never took it very far to find out about the wobble from others’ slipstream. I remember the shift lever was the size of a full size pickup!

    Like 1
    • Jim ZMember

      Alexander, I remember practice driving with my dad, and where we lived there were stop signs every block. I was fully shifting up through all the gears and down again every block. My dad was like, “Uhhh, not sure you have to do all that shifting…”.

      Like 2

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