1960 Opel Kapitan PL
I am 41 years old and live in Denmark, Europe. Since I was a little kid, I have always been very interested in cars, and especially American-built cars, which unfortunately are rare here due to our huge registration taxes on cars, especially those with a lot of luxury and options. Therefore, most cars here are smaller cars stripped for options. In the 1960s and 1970s the most common cars where Opel, Wauxhall [Vauxhall], Volvo, Saab and Volkswagen. I always thought the Opel Kapitän PL 2600 model (built between 1960 and 1964) was one of the most beautiful European-built cars on the road back then and I told myself many times that I wanted such a car when I grew up and I never forgot that.
In 1985, when I was 18, I got my drivers license and was looking for a Kapitän; but most of the cars left on the road back then were very rusty and in a poor shape due to all the salt that is put on the roads each winter. In 1993, I heard about an old man living in the center of Copenhagen who had this very fine example in his garage, I contacted him and let him know that if he ever thought of selling the car I would be very happy to buy it and take good care of it. Five years later he called me around New Years Eve and told me that he was now past 90 years old and had not driven the car for the past 5 years, so if I wanted it I could give him an offer and we could close the deal. I did not want to cheat an old man nor myself, so after some research we found a good price for both of us and I ended up buying the car.
Just when I thought I was to drive the good old Opel home, he told me that the car had never driven between November and April and the car was to stay at his garage until April, whereafter I could pick up the keys and bring the car home. No need to tell that was an awfully long winter and I finally got the car home in April and I have nursed it ever since – I have only driven it between April and November. It is a real head turner, and I enjoy every drive I take each summer.
The car has a 2.6 liter straight six engine, is 6 volt, has a 3 speed standard shift in the steering column, and has been driven 86.000 km. since new. The car was originally built on GM's assembly factory in Copenhagen back in February, 1960. GM had a giant assembly factory in Copenhagen that was closed in the mid 1960s and was where Opel, Wauxhall [Vauxhall], Cadillac, Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile had been assembled since the 1920s.
Note: GM’s first European assembly plant was established in Copenhagen under the name General Motors International A/S. Chevrolets were for sale in Scandinavian countries, the Baltics, and Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary and Russia. The first GM vehicle assembled outside the U.S. and Canada, a Chevrolet utility truck, comes off the Copenhagen assembly line on January 7, 1924.