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The 4Ps was a car of medium-low range produced from 1924 to 1931 by the carmaker German Opel.
Although little known in Italy, the Opel 4PS of a car was extremely important for the House of Rüsselsheim, because it was thanks to it if the same Opel could continue to exist. The production strategies that were behind the design of the 4Ps, as well as its very low costs have allowed Opel to get up on their feet after the massive disruption of the war a few years earlier. Not only that, but thanks to it, the Opel succeeded in the second half of the twenties of the twentieth century to become the first German car manufacturer, as they managed to win a market share equal to 37.5%.
The need for a car like the 4PS occurred shortly after the end of the First World War: in fact, when in 1920 the 5/12 PS, now in its fourth series, was taken out of production is immediately created a great void in the field of Opel lower middle class, the most popular and accessible to the greatest number of customers.
It was urgent then a car that revived the inheritance, but by offering the most modern and content production costs fairly limited: it must be considered that Germany had gone rather battered by the conflict and that the German economic recovery was necessary, but giving priority to reduction of costs. The genesis
The only way to reduce costs was to convert the craftsmanship in the production of the assembly line, which has been active in the United States, thanks to the genius of Henry Ford, but that Europe was still at the embryonic stage. The only European manufacturer who at the time was already producing its cars on the assembly line was the French Citroën, which was depopulated at home since its debut with its cars very competitive costs.
The Opel decided to follow in his footsteps: in fact it can be said that the French company became the muse of Opel in regard to the design and construction of the new small car, and you can tell from many points of view, as when in 1924 it came to the presentation of the final model of the new Opel, painted in an eye-catching lemon yellow, the French company filed a lawsuit to the House of Rüsselsheim, as the car, especially in front, it was all too similar to the Citroën Type C, a model of similar range proposed for the French market, and also the same painting seemed too trivial recovery from the French model.
The Citroën actually did not get any compensation, but the German manufacturer was forced to redesign the grille and repaint the car in any other color except shades of yellow.
The 4/12 PS
So it was that in May 1924, the new car of Opel was finally launched under the name 4/12 PS, with some changes to the grille, as provided by Citroën, and with a new paint color green the new Opel earned him the small nickname "Laubfrosch" (in German means "frog").
Despite the vicissitudes of court, the 4/12 PS he soon obtained a good sales success, mainly due to the very low price, which was initially set at 4,600 marks.
The "Laubfrosch" was the first Opel to have been produced in more than 100 000 copies and was also the first Opel produced on the assembly line . This, in addition to reducing production costs, made in order to meet the many orders in a shorter time. The 4/12 PS was available in only one version torpedo in two places and was built on a U-frame with sleepers steel, from 2,255 m of distance . He rode a motor 4- cylinder in-line 951 cm ³, with distribution side valves and with separable tested. The power maximum was 12 hp at 2400 r / min, enough to the small car, weighing just 570 kg unladen, to reach a maximum speed of 60 km / h, not great, but average age.
The traction was obviously still rear, with rates three-speed gearbox and clutch single disc.
The suspensions were quarter-leaf springs, while the brakes were drum and only on the rear axle: for the first time in the history of Opel was shut down the anachronistic solution band brake on the gearbox. In any case, despite the performance crisp-not, in the automotive German mid- twenties, the 4/12 PS was one of the few popular cars between 750 and 1000 cm ³ and this enabled her to sell a lot.
The 4/12 PS was produced until 1926.
The 4/14 PS
The 4/12 PS was joined soon by 4/14 PS, also launched in 1924 and which was a variant slightly better from the point of view of performance, since its engine was brought to 1018 cm ³, with a maximum power of 14 hp at 2600 rev / min. In this way, the "frog" could reach 70 km / h top speed. Apart from the performance characteristics, another significant difference was that the 4/14 PS could be required as a torpedo in three places (rather than two as in the 4/12 PS) or as a limousine always three places. In addition, the 4/14 PS differed from the 4/12 PS and the wheelbase lengthened by almost 30 cm .
The 4/14 PS was produced for one year, until mid- 1925 .
The 4/16 PS
It was introduced to replace the 4/14 PS, and was produced until 1928 . The 4/14 PS kept the engine, which, however, was brought to 16 hp of maximum power. The chassis was also the same as the previous version, as well as performance. There were many bodies available: you could have as a limousine in three or four places, such as a torpedo or two-seater sedan with two, three or four places.
From 1926, when the 4/12 PS was removed from production, 4/16 PS took his place at the base of the range 4PS and for the occasion were made changes to the range: the most significant was to mount the brakes drum at the front also, which made the car more complete and competitive, if not cutting edge. The range of body was also modified: the 4/16 PS you could have as a torpedo with two or four seats, four-seat limousine as a sedan or as a two-seater.
The 4/18 PS
In 1928, the 4/16 PS was replaced by 4/18 PS, characterized by an inch shorter wheelbase, the maximum power increased to 18 hp at 2500 rev / min and the maximum speed of 80 km / h.
The bodies available were the same as the 4/16 PS, plus the arrival of an unusual version cabriolet .
The 4/18 PS was produced until 1930 .
The 4/20 PS
In 1929 the 4/18 PS was joined by the 4/20 PS, a slightly more powerful, capable of reaching 20 PS of maximum power at 3500 r / min, while maintaining the same engine from 1018 cm ³.
The body variants were almost the same as the 4/18 PS, with the exception of the absence of the sedan versions. Another difference was feeding through carburetor Zenith (previous models were equipped with a Solex).
In 1930, with the release of the production of the 4/18 PS, the 4/20 PS was the only model to represent the range 4PS yet. The 1.1 L
At the beginning of 1931, the 4/20 PS was renamed as 1.1 L, according to the nomenclature of the House in force in the first half of the thirties, with which you indicated the displacement of the model expressed in liters.
Mechanical and general settings did not change.
In the second half of 1931, this model was retired, to be replaced by the 1.2 L .