Spellcheck went crazy with this
Lots of red lines below my copy when I wrote this blog entry about the Open Rekord. It kept wanting to change it to “Record”. You know me and odd ball cars. I was actually running through eBay looking at promo models when I came across a Record, oops, Rekord. More about the promo model in a minute but first I needed to find our more about the real deal since I’d never heard of the car. This car was no one-hit wonder as there were approximately ten million sold between 1953 and 1986. It was produced by GM’s Opel brand and was the second best-selling brand in Europe behind the Volkswagen Beetle. Check out the spot but brush up on your German.
Arriving late to the market
Here in America GM needed a compact car fast since there was a recession on in 1958 making the big cars a tough sell because of crappy fuel mileage and also to compete with the Rambler American. The comparisons are interesting. The Rekord was sold through Buick dealers and rebadged them as Vauxhall Victors for Pontiac dealers. Both cars based about the same but for $60 more, the Opel buyer got some nice upgrades such 13-inch wheels, modern swing pedals, a nicer interior which included a standard heater/defroster, overhead valves and a fully synchronized three-speed manual transmission. But the Rekord came with a four-cylinder engine producing just 56 horsepower vs the Ramblers 90 which came from having a six banger. I was not able to find the number of Rekords that were imported here nor the Rambler sales but can tell you that AMC was the only automaker who saw its sales increase during the recession.
The one thing the Rekord did not have that the Rambler did was a Billboard Top 40 hit when the Playmates recorded “Beep Beep“. The song was about a duel between a Cadillac driver who just cannot shake a “little Nash Rambler” following him. It sold over a million copies and was awarded a gold disc.
Value on the collector market
Prices have been steadily climbing over the past decade and if you can find one according to Hemming’s this is what it will set you back. Not a lot for a unique piece of automotive history.
Let’s say you’d like to own a Rekord but not that much
Well I found this promo model for you from eBay seller kodeblake. There isn’t much history on it except that somebody else had owned it and it looks to be in super great shape with none of the usual warping that might be found if this car were made in 1959. It sort of looks like a reproduction. The seller set the price at $135. Is that worth it? It all depends how much you like Opel Records….err…Rekords.