OPEL CEO’S HER­ITAGE GEM

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - USED CARS - DAVID BUR­RELL

IN THE long tra­di­tion of se­nior car ex­ec­u­tives own­ing at least one clas­sic car, in or­der to show their her­itage roots, Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neu­mann has re­cently ac­quired a very rare 1967 Diplo­mat V8 two-door hard­top. The coupes were con­structed for

by spe­cial­ist car builder Kar­mann be­tween 1956 and 1967. Only 347 sold Karl’s coupe is the last one ever made.

All of the coupes are pow­ered by a 5.4-litre Chevro­let V8 en­gine (the “327”, in old lan­guage). At the time they were one Ger­many’s most ex­pen­sive cars, re­tail­ing for seven times price a VW Bee­tle.

The four-door sedan version of the Diplo­mat was styled by for­mer Holden de­sign boss Leo Pruneau in March 1962 when he work­ing Gen­eral Mo­tors’ head­quar­ters in Detroit. Im­me­di­ately af­ter fin­ish­ing Opel penned the HD Holden, which is why Opel and Holden have sim­i­lar styling themes.

In­deed, if you ever wanted to know what a HD two-door hard­top coupe would looked like, the Opel Diplo­mat V8 is as close as will come.

Neu­mann was pre­vi­ously with VW and has been given the task of turn­ing around money-los­ing

Vaux­hall com­pa­nies.

David Bur­rell is the ed­i­tor of www.retroau­tos.com.au

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