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FEATURE

The Opel Rekord Series D Coupe has certainly come of age

Published Tue, Dec 8, 2020 1:00 PM

Everyone loves a dash of retro, subtle or not, right? Dennis Jensen’s stunning Opel Rekord is one old-school ride that you can’t exactly miss, thanks to its Signal Yellow hue. But once you get a decent look at it, you’ll be glad you didn’t. 

WHO?

Dennis Jensen is one of those lucky swines whose job is also his hobby. A car painter by trade, Dennis is a master of restoration and applying liberal coats of the colour of his choice to any of his projects. The 40-year-old perfectionist hails from Holstebro, in Denmark, and is rightfully proud of the fact that he starts all of his projects from scratch-you won’t find any half-built projects picked up cheap in Dennis’ automotive history. 

WHAT?

The Opel Rekord is a cool car. Period. When it was new it probably wasn’t as lusted after, but nowadays it’s become the car of fancy if you want to build something European and a bit off the wall. We never officially saw the Rekord D, which Dennis’ example is, over in the UK, although it did provide the basis for the slightly less sexy Vauxhall Victor FE, which, whilst rare nowadays, is never going to win any beauty contests. 

Dennis Rekord was born in 1974, although it wouldn’t come into his possession until 2005 when he bagged the unloved Opel for a bargain-basement £2500. On first inspection, it all seemed pretty dandy, and Dennis was all set for taking it home, giving it a bit of a tickle in its original 445 Signal Yellow hue, and having some fun with it. Alas, as you’d expect, it wasn’t going to be as simple as that. 

Once he got it stripped, it became obvious that the somewhat brutish-looking coupe wasn’t in quite as good a condition as he first thought. In fact, he came perilously close to scrapping it, but in the end, heart ruled overhead, and it was decreed that the Rekord would live again. At the cost of new arches, rear panel, quarters, and wings. No biggie for someone as talented with the old bodywork wand as Dennis.  

Well, the project took a little longer than Dennis originally thought, because halfway through the resto, he decided to buy a house. A consummate petrolhead though, his first task was to get the garage up to scratch, so that his beloved yellow protegee could come home, and he could set to work in the evenings putting it back together. 

A few months later, with its fresh coat of paint as smooth as glass, and the car back together, Dennis had some decisions to make on how he wanted it to look. With the original chequered interior all but perfect, it was an absolute no-brainer to keep that in there, but he knew he needed a little more go under the bonnet. 
A Rekord E 2.2 8 valve was sourced, painted, and polished, and found itself a new home in the Rekord’s welded and smoothed engine bay. A pair of DellOrto 40s ended up giving the bigger powerplant a bit more poke, although the custom manifold that Dennis had to have made was somewhat interesting, though it provides a nice focal point for the stunningly simple engine bay. 

Dennis knew all along he didn’t want to go crazy on the “stance” front-you won’t find any expensive air ride setups here. Simply a set of Koni Yellow gas dampers, matched with a set of Mercedes W124 springs on the front, and Opel Ascona B 40mm lowering springs on the back, all held up with the classic BBS RS001s, in 8.5 & 9x15” flavour. 

If you check out Dennis Insta (@dengse80), you’ll see that he’s spent the last few months bare metalling his beloved Rekord, and it now wears a stunning dark green finish, together with a full nut and bolt resto of the whole car. We can’t wait for summer to see it back out, and nor can he. Dennis’ car may not have the spec list of some cars we’ve featured, but it’s elegant in its simplicity and flawless in its execution. We love it. 

HOW?

Despite being a rare find now, picking up a Rekord D won’t break the bank. Good examples go anywhere from £5-10k, although a Coupe like Dennis’s, in this condition, will set you back closer to £18k. If you can find one. 

WHERE?

Dennis’ car was shot by Mike Crawat-one of Europe’s foremost photographers of incredible cars. You can check out his work over at www.mikecrawat.com 

SPECS

Manufacturer: Opel 
Model: Rekord D 1900 
Powertrain: 2.2 8v, Twin 40 DellOrtos, custom manifold and exhaust, 5-speed manual 
Suspension: Koni Yellow gas shocks, Mercedes W124 front springs, Opel Ascona B 40mm lowering springs rear 
Brakes: Rekord E twin pot calipers & vented discs front, standard drums rear 
Wheels: BBS RS001, 8.5x15” front, 9x15” rear, Toyo Proxes 195/45 15 tyres 
Outside: Completely standard and resprayed Opel Signal Yellow (445) 
Inside: Standard Rekord 1900 seats and trim