The Opel Admiral was a luxury car made by the German car manufacturer Opel from 1937 to 1939 and again from 1964 to 1977.
The first Admiral was introduced in 1937 as an attempt to challenge large luxury cars from Horch, Mercedes-Benz and Maybach. It was available as a 4-door saloon or cabriolet. The car was equipped with a 3.6 litre straight 6 with a top speed of 132 km/h (82 mph). The production of the Admiral was cancelled in 1939 when the Opel factory started producing war material.
Admiral A (1964–68)
In 1964, Opel introduced its KAD (Kapitän, Admiral, Diplomat) models. The Admiral served as the middle model in this three-car range and was equipped with either a 2.6 litre straight-6 OHV of 100 PS (74 kW; 99 hp) providing a top speed of 158 km/h (98 mph), and, from September 1965, with a 2.8 liter-straight six CIH of 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp), that made the car reach a top speed of 170 km/h (106 mph). The 2.6l straight-six was discontinued in 1965. Additionally, the Admiral could be equipped with the Chevrolet-sourced 4.6 l-V8 also used in the Opel Diplomat. In late 1967, a new two-barrel HL version of the 2.8 l six (140 PS (103 kW; 138 hp)) was introduced. At the same time, all KAD models received rub strips on their flanks, a reworked ZF recirculating ball steering and a collapsible steering column.
From 1964 to 1968, Opel produced a total of 55,876 Admirals (out of a grand total of 89,277 KAD cars, making the Admiral by far the most popular of the three).
Admiral B (1969–77)
The Admiral B was introduced just in time for the Geneva Motor Show in March 1969 together with the new Kapitän and Diplomat. While the Kapitän was discontinued after May 1970, Admiral and Diplomat survived until 1977; they were replaced by the Senator in 1978.
Over the whole production run, the Admiral B was available exclusively with a 2.8 liter-inline six in either 1-bbl (132 PS Opel Admiral) or 2-bbl (145 PS (107 kW; 143 hp) Opel Admiral 2800 S) form or with fuel injection (165 PS (121 kW; 163 hp) Opel Admiral E). This was the first time fuel injection had been offered as an option in an Opel. All engines could be paired with a 4-speed manual or with Opel's own 3-speed automatic transmission. From January 1972 the manual was no longer available with the Admiral E, leaving the automatic as the only choice. For the back axle, the big change for the Admiral B was the fitting of a De Dion tube based suspension.
For the model year 1975, the six was reworked and downrated to 129/140/160 PS in a move to reduce emissions.
Opel built about 33,000 Admiral B models from 1969 to 1977.