[German classics] Opel Speedster : the black sheep

Opel, the german division of General Motors, doesn't have a reputation to produce exiting cars, but with a few exceptions in its history... The Opel GT in 1970 is one of them, but unfortunately i don't have one in diecast... more fortunately, there's a lot more of Opel Speedster's diecasts models, and that will be the subject today.

Where to find inspiration.... how about United Kingdom?
Incisive lines for the original Speedster.

Introduced in 2001, the Opel Speedster has been co-developed with Lotus as a lightweight small roadster with sporty lines. It has also been introduced as the VX220 under the Vauxhall brand (nowadays, all Vauxhalls are Opel copies). The Speedester has been produced until 2005, and hasn't been really popular in these 4 years, mainly because the cars sellers, so used to sedans and wagons, were reluctant to sell this original car.

Vauxhall's version : the VX220.
Initially offered with a central 147 hp engine, it has been modified to offer a 200 hp turbo in 2003. The car was easy to recognize with distinctive lines. A special Scorpions version has been produced in 80 units, and the dealers were giving a special guitar autographied by the musical group. It was an extreme car, with only a few basic options, and not very confortable. It had difficulty to rivalize with more luxuous roadsters such as the BMW Z4 or the Mercedes SLK.

The Speedster will surely become more and more elusive as the years will go, as only 7000 units has been produced on the 4 years.

And the diecasts?

Matchbox first offered the Speedster in the Hero City main range in 2003, with the original silver color. It has been offered in the main lines until 2006, and then until 2009 in the 5 or 10 packs only. I am very fortunate to have the original 2003 one #6. It was a well-made diecast, but tampos were really missing and the wheels were a bit too big. Still, it was one of my favorite as a kid (remember, i was only 13 years old in 2003 :))

I have also one Matchbox blue from the 2009 10-pack. As Matchbox improved the quality of their cars over the years, this one is better with full tampos and wheels more appropriate. It's a nice casting, and such a special car should be present in every collection. Side mirrors would have been appreciated though.

Maisto also produced a Opel Speedster in 2001, with an horrible yellow color. Maisto cars are cheaper, and tampos are clearly missing on this one. It's in plastic, and it does look worse than the Matchbox one. Other Maistos are better made than this one, and the scale is too small. My father gave me this one a long ago so i kept it, but i wouldn't have buy it by myself :)

Enjoy the pics! More infos needed? Leave some comments!

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