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Julie and I have been to Opel Main twice in 1988 with Opel Motorsport Club and ourselves and my sister-in law as Special Guest of Opel Main in 1998.
1988 there was 16 members from all corners of the USA.. Thanks to Gil Wesson we had a great time. We went on the regular tour with our Guide Dieter. Our group had lunch in the Executive Lunchroom and after continued on a special tour through the engineering and testing areas. We were in the engineering area and being that Julie spoke French and understood some German, she poked me. Dieter and one of the older engineer were talking together and Julie said they were talking about us, her and I. As we leaving walking along, the older gentleman gives me his card. '' Are you staying here tonight? I would like to take your wife and you to the Opel test track tomorrow." I knew we were leaving on the Eurorail for Paris that night. I looked at Julie and just couldn't set it up. A miss opportunity. I read his card " Chief of Engineering, Vice President. Opel Main.".
1998, 10 years later we were in Paris again visiting Julie's sister and family.. I have been sending emails to Dieter about our racing for 10 years. We even got an article in the Factory Magazine. In 10 years Dieter had become Chief of Communications at Opel Main. I told him that we would like to come to Opel Main again. No Problem ! He even sent us our Hotel reservations close to Opel Main. A very nice 5 star hotel. He sent a car for us too. We met in the front Lobby at Opel Main and guided us through another tour pointing out updates compared from 10 years ago. Dieter took us to a large wood building and another gentleman greeted us. He was the Team Manager of the Opel Touring Car racing team. He unlocked the large doors and inside was the Opel Touring Car team warehouse and shops. Along the wall was all the retired Opel Calibra Racers and you name it, there was everything for the team effort. All alone there sat the Opel Astra that just won Hockenheim race. We went over to the line of Calibras and he told me where to lift the front nose off with him. All carbon fiber nose.. These cars are like F-! cars with fenders and roof. I was too tall at 5 ft 10 inches to get into the seat and 50 pounds too much. He could have locked me in there, Opel Racing Heaven. 500 HP 24 valve V-6 with cat converters, 6 speeds all wheel drive. I asked if they could load up a container and ship it to me since they weren't using the Calibras, with spares and would race it in Super Production SCCA. If you don't ask, you will never know what would happen, LOL What a great visit and we thanked Dieter for treating us as VIPs. The hotel, open bar and meals were on the Opel Main.
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