Opel’s Ascona could be seen as a Manta with 4 doors, sharing its underpinnings and (in the North American market) the 1900 CIH engine. When new, the Ascona and Manta were pretty competitive in sedan racing, so at this point they should be seen as a rarer alternative to the popular BMWs, Alfas, and Datsuns. They were also successful in rallying, and Steinmetz built a twin-Solex version good for 125hp. So, with all the noise around increasing prices of fun classic cars, even previously overlooked ones like Alfa Berlinas and BMW Bavarias, this site tries to be a counterpoint in exposing some of the better values in the collector car world. Even then, it’s not easy to find something interesting for the low, low price of free. Occasionally it does happen, so let’s take a look at this this 1970 Opel Ascona for free in Longview, WA.
With a free car, you’re bound to have to sacrifice something since you’re not giving up money. In this case, a front wheel is off, hinting at a seized brake or worse. However, the body looks straight from here, with no visible significant rust, and all glass and trim seems to be present. It’s dirty, faded, and the tires are flat, but it’s a rare-for-here four-door chrome bumper version. The seller says he wants more driveway space, and it sounds like he’s just lost interest in getting it back on the road, even though he’s a likely Opel enthusiast – see the GT that is in two of the pictures.
Things look a bit jumbled on the inside too, but hopefully everything is present, and if you’re lucky, there won’t be a crazy amount of floor pan rust. The car was actually sold as the “1900” here, via Buick dealerships – something GM is doing again with the Astra convertible (known here as the Buick Cascada). The 4-door sedan was only offered from 1970-72 here, and survivors aren’t exactly plentiful.
The car is said to run, though the seller wants to keep the carburetor. In this shot you can see an aftermarket air filter, so perhaps this car has been upgraded to a Weber – if so, you might want to offer a little cash to keep it on the car. Aside from having to tow the car home, the other catch is you’ll have to get it titled as the seller doesn’t offer one; however, the procedure in its home state seems pretty straightforward. Failing that, how about bring this back to life in one of the budget racing series?