Friday, September 2, 2011

Car Of The Day: September 2, 2011

Today's car of the day is Siku's 1980 Opel Senator.

The Opel Senator was a large automobile, two generations of which were sold in Europe by Opel, from 1978 until 1993. A saloon, its first incarnation was also available with a fastback coupé body as the Opel Monza and Vauxhall Royale Coupe.

Through the international divisions of General Motors, it was also known in various markets as the Chevrolet Senator, Daewoo Imperial (in South Korea), Vauxhall Royale (until 1983) and Vauxhall Senator (which took the place of the Royale on Vauxhall models when the Opel brand was phased out from 1983).
The original Senator shared its platform with the smaller Opel Rekord, the latter being lengthened to make the Senator.

The later car, from 1987, shared its base with the Opel Omega, which was again lengthened to produce the Senator.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Opel Senator

And finally the last car from the five pack I picked up at a recent train show.  Talk about saving the best for last- this is the car that made this set an instant purchase.  On a completely different note, does anyone know of an Opel Monza coupe in small scale?  It's based on the Senator and can be seen in the linked Wikipedia article.

The Senator A (the "A" being used for differentiation here, but not a marketed name) was a lengthened version of the Opel Rekord E, complemented by a three-door fastback coupé version on the same platform called the Opel Monza, which was planned as a successor for the Opel Commodore coupé.
The Senator A and Monza were initially sold in the United Kingdom as the Vauxhall Royale (and Vauxhall Royale Coupé), because the Opel marque was not so well established, but they were also under their Opel names. The vehicle was also available in South Africa as the Chevrolet Senator until 1982, when it was re-badged as an Opel. All year models were available in Australia, as the Holden Commodore in Sedan and Wagon variants, though the Monza Coupe was not available. Local racing legend, Peter Brock, had plans to import, modify and market the Opel Monza Coupe as Holden Monza Coupe with the Holden 5 Litre V8 fitted, through his own HDT (Holden Dealer Team) business, but the plans eventually fell through. The Holden models, which were built locally, had different front, rear and interior treatments, with local drivetrain options, including Holden's 3.3 Inline 6 cyl, 4.2 Litre and 5.0 Litre V8 engine options. Holden still markets the Commodore, but on their own Zeta Platform, which the new Camaro is also based upon. Commodore has been Australia's best selling car for the past 16 years.

The engine range for the first phase of the model's life included the 2.0E, 2.5S (and later the fuel-injected E), the 2.8S and the new developed 3.0E, which had 180 PS (132 kW; 178 hp) and 248 N·m (183 lb·ft) with fuel injection. The 3-speed BorgWarner automatic transmission from the Commodore range needed to be modified to cope with the new and improved power outputs. Opel's own 4-speed manual transmission was not up to the job and, instead of putting in a more modern 5-speed manual gearbox, Opel turned to transmission producer Getrag, and installed their 264 4-speed manual gearbox in the early Monzas. This was soon replaced with the Getrag 240 for the 2.5 and 2.8 engines, and the Getrag 265 for the 3.0E; both 5-speed manual gearboxes.

The straight-six engines were all of the CIH (camshaft in head) same design earlier used in the Commodore models. The CIH configuration is originated from the 1,7 and 1,9 litre straight 4 engines that was first used in the Opel Kadett and Rekord models in 1966, and subsequently was an engine layout that stayed in the Opel cars up until 1993 (the last CIH engine factory mounted was a 2,4 litre straight 4 CIH used in the Opel Frontera).

With the 3.0 litre engine, the Monza was the fastest car Opel had built up until then, capable of speeds of 215 km/h (134 mph), and 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) in 9.5 seconds.

The original Senator and Monza were face-lifted in the end of 1982. In the UK, the Senator "A2" (as it is sometimes referred to) initially sold only as an Opel, before being re-badged for the UK (as a Vauxhall) in 1984. The A2 Monza was only sold as an Opel.

The facelifted car looked similar to its predecessor, with relatively minor changes: headlights increased in size, and chrome parts were changed to a matt black or colour-coded finish.

Interiors were improved, and engines changed. Now, straight-4 CIH 2.0E and 2.2E engines from the Rekord E2 were available. The 2.5E was given a new Bosch fuel injection system. The 2.8S was taken out of production, and the 3.0E and a new 3.0H engines were at the top of the range. The 3.0E received upgraded Bosch fuel injection. A 2.3-litre turbodiesel (shared with the Rekord) became available in 1984, and the next year a rare supercharged version (Comprex) was made available. These were officially built by Irmscher rather than Opel. From September 1985 until the end of production in late summer 1987 a catalyzed version of the 3.0E was available, with power down to 156 PS (115 kW).

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