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Read this post first, then the first post about the history of C&R... ...

Bob,

Sorry to take you off topic, but as you mentioned Opel supply sources, I was reminded that I had meant to ask you the story of C&R Small Cars. I was "out" of the Opel business for a few years, but back in the '80's I used to buy a few parts from them. I understand from the classicopels postings that you worked there at one time. Who were the main guys, and whatever happened to the business? If it's a tender subject, just tell me to mind my own beeswax. But if C&R went down because of a bit of Opeldom apathy, then there is a related lesson to be learned.

And if it hasn't been said yet, thanks very much for your terrific, detailed, technical and practical responses to some of the questions posed here. It takes a bunch of your time to share what you have learned over the years, and the current Opel group is the richer for it.

Keith Wilford
'71 GT (still being restored from back in those '80's!!)
 
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Not a sore subject Keith, no problem. C & R was created in 1979 by Carl Schneider and Richard *Smitty* Smith, hence the initials in the name. I went to work for them in 1984, essentially stripping about 4-5 Opels per week, cleaning and labeling the used parts and putting the parts into inventory. This continued until 1986, when I went to work for my family's business. I continued part-time as an advisor for the Opel USA newsletter, and various other projects. Carl left C&R a little later on (he and Smitty no longer got along), and in 1990, I bought the company from Smitty. I ran it through 1998 full time, at which point sales were so low I went back to work for the family business, and moved the business to my house. Nothing much came of it after this, it cost me more to maintain my business status than I sold in parts per annum, so as of Dec 31 this past year, I closed it for good.

So yes, in once way I'm bummed it ended, in another way I'm relieved. I never made more than $14k per year working for myself (I never charged enough), I was always in poverty, working side jobs to make ends meet. Now, I actually make a living, and I am starting to get back into racing...Opels naturally. This I had to give up when I ran the business, and I essentially bypassed the prime years of my life in the process. Time to play catch-up!

RallyBob (aka Bob Legere)
 
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