01 Mar 2012
Rüsselsheim. At the 1937 Berlin Car and Motorcycle Exhibition Opel presents two new models with groundbreaking technology: the Super 6 and the Admiral. Both are equipped with advanced technology. Originally designed as an mid-luxury segment car, the Super 6 has a quiet inline six-cylinder engine with a 2.5 liter displacement and 55 hp output. However, the luxury segment vehicle Admiral has a 3.6 liter six-cylinder power unit with lots of torque and 75 hp of power. Both engines have one feature in common: they are equipped with overhead valves. In the case of the Super 6 and the Admiral, the valves are operated by a camshaft driven by spur gears.
The launch of the new models is just in time for Opel’s 75th anniversary with a bright future ahead of them. The Super 6 vehicle paves the path for the popular Opel “Kapitän” of 1938 which possesses a modern 2.5 liter engine. With the debut of the large Admiral, Opel returns to the luxury vehicle segment and lays the foundation for luxury cars made in Rüsselsheim.
With the Super 6, the company for the first time introduces overhead valves in a production vehicle. The valves are operated by a spur gear driven camshaft, pushrods and rocker arms. The short stroke 2.5 liter in-line six-cylinder engine delivers 55 hp and achieves a top speed of 117 k m/h. However, of greater importance is its cruising speed of 100 km/h because “highway suitability” is a key quality feature in the age of modern vehicle production. The engine is geared towards stability in the high rpm range and shines with its high amount of torque, its silky smooth running and its exemplary stability true to Opel’s principle of reliability. The catalogue of that time sums up the strengths of the Super 6 as follows: “Features that had previously been the exclusive preserve of expensive high performance or sporty cars, have now been made available in the mid-segment with the debut of the Super 6”. The powerful engine makes the Super 6 a natural choice for motor sports. Using the Super 6 as the basis, a sporty off-road vehicle with 65 hp is developed which will dominate off-road and long distance racing with many prizes such as the “International German Alpine Course”.
Customers can choose from a four-door sedan or a cabriolet version ex works. From 1938 onwards, a two-door limousine is also available. In contrast to the Opel Olympia which was first shown in 1935 with its self-supporting body work, the Super 6 continues to be built with the classic box frame and a separate construction. This suits independent coach builders such as Hebmüller, Autenrieth, Buhne or Gläser who design tailor-made roadster or cabriolet body work for the Super 6. The advertising slogan for the new Super 6 at the time is “powerful engines, attractive contours”.
Opel continues its leadership role in the six-cylinder segment with the Super 6 and consolidates its dominant role as the biggest car maker in Europe. Until its successor, the “Kapitän”, is unveiled in 1938, 46,453 units of the Super 6 are made.
The new luxury car of Opel, the Admiral, is launched at the same time as the mid-size Super 6. The new flagship makes quite an impression with its opulent design and stylish cabin. Its design is streamlined and takes some of its inspiration from the art deco period. Opel tops off its vehicle spectrum with the new luxury segment model which for the first time carries the “Admiral” name. Apart from the elegant sedan version worth 6,500 reichsmarks, a four-door cabriolet is offered at a list price of 7,000 marks. As with the Super 6, a warp resistant frame is used in the body. This allows the coach builders to implement their own designs.
Ride comfort is at a high level thanks to “independently sprung” individual suspensions on the front wheels. The so called “synchronized Opel suspension” is accompanied by hydraulic shock absorbers and stabilizers. The Banjo rear axle comes complete with a semi-elliptical suspension. It also possesses hydraulic shock absorbers. The vehicle is powered by a six-cylinder in-line engine with 3.6 liters displacement and 75 hp of output. The overhead valve system of the Admiral is able to withstand tough pressures. Opel states that the top speed of the vehicle is 132 km/h and its cruising speed on highways is between 110 and 115 km/h. As a colorful Opel catalogues of that era says: “a high degree of perfection is achieved by combining beauty with power.
Not only does the engine of the Admiral set new standards in terms of its quietness and reliability but it is also used in the Opel Blitz. This makes the three ton Opel Blitz, the truck with the most sophisticated propulsion of its time. It is also the only Opel vehicle with a large overhead valve in-line six-cylinder engine. After 6404 vehicles rolled of the assembly, production of the Admiral is ceased because of the outbreak of hostilities in 1939.
Opel’s foray into the luxury segment continues after the war when the brand resumes production of the “Kapitän” and Admiral models. In 1948, the first post-war “Kapitän” leaves the assembly line. As late as spring 1970, production of the popular successor to the Super 6, the “Kapitän” B, is finally ceased. The new Admiral which makes its post-war debut in 1964 is sold until 1977 and stands in the tradition of its large predecessor.
Images may show optional equipment.