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Thread: Maggie the Opel

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2002

    Maggie the Opel

    Back in 1992, we moved to Southern California. Didn't know anybody, didn't know the area or anything. Being from the Midwest, we were amazed by the plethora of old rust-free cars on the street, and I'd spend hours going thru the ads just to see what was available - daydreaming about the 'next' car.

    One day, we were driving down the Pac Coast Hwy just south of Oceanside when I spotted a familiar shape on the back lot of a used-car dealership. When we got closer, it was clear - it was robin's egg blue 2-door Opel 1900. I pulled in for a look...

    The car was rock-sold and clean as could be - but showed some signs of recent neglect. The exhaust was rusted out, and the ARA air conditioner has thrown a rod. Interior was PERFECT, as was most everything else. Odometer read 42,000 miles...

    'Yup - that's original! I have the original bill of sale; bought it off the estate of the original owner!', said the salesman. It was evident by the layer of dust and the car's backlot position this had been quite some time ago. I'd picked a number the car was worth to me, and asked him what he wanted for it...The numbers were only a few hundred dollars apart. I smiled, as I knew then I'd bought Opel #8.

    Driving the car home revealed the pinion bearing was shot, so a weekend run to an import yard in San Berdoo netted a decent unit outta a '74 Manta. I went thru the car from stem to stern, with the intention of using it as my daily driver back and forth to Corona. Alicia, my eldest daughter noted the color was the same as Maggie Simpson's PJ's, so the name stuck - Maggie the Opel.

    I drove Maggie all over the Southwest, with trips to Vegas and Phoenix on more than one occasion. She never complained, even tho I ran her for hours on end at 4000+ RPM. After about two years and nearly 30,000 miles of this sort of thing, I started to worry that the extended hi-RPM running may have had a detrimental effect on the motor...

    About ten days later, she spun her #2 rod bearing.

    No biggie - I'd rebuilt several Opels in my day. The motor was out in about an hour, and I had the crank resurfaced, the rods resized, and hardened seats installed in the head. Motor was perfect otherwise, and went back together without incident.

    Less than a year later, Maggie and the family pulled up stakes and moved back to Michigan. We drove Maggie that summer, but put her away when the weather turned cold. Pop has a great sand floor hip on the back of his barn - you put a car in there and it flat doesn't age.

    Anyway - a full ten years went by before we realized we'd left Maggie in the barn! Pulled her out a few years ago, went thru the carb, the cooling system, electricals, brakes and suspension, and she ran just like she did when we first found her nearly 12 years back - We've aged, she hasn't! Decided to give her to my daughters to drive, but...

    The eldest has already smacked a parked mail truck. Thank GOD it wasn't in Maggie - I'd never forgive myself for hurting such a clean original car.


    The time has come - the deicision is final. Maggie needs to move on to her third home in 33 years on the planet. She's up for adoption on the ad board, needing about a weekend's worth of work to be 100%. The A/C compressor has lost its shaft seal, so it needs to be replaced - along with the rear brake cylinders - I don't trust them. I did the fronts two years ago, so the car stops just fine.

    Anyway, I'm askin' y'all to consider her for your stable of Opels - she's as nice an original 1900 as I've ever seen, and I really want her to go to a home where she'll be appreciated!

    Keep the shiny side up and the headlight cable lubed,


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  3. #2
    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter RallyBob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Spofford, NH
    Real Name
    Bob Legere
    I've been looking since 1998 for a clean, 2-door small-bumper Ascona to replace my '73 that got rear-ended that year. It figures that now that one shows up I have no job and no money

    Ah well, if no one buys it and I come up with some money later on hopefully you're still interested in selling it.


  4. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Please, please don't let my son read your post. He'll lose all sensibility and waste every paycheck on that beauty instead of paying rent and buying food!

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