Captive Carrier: 1974 Buick Opel 1900 Sport Wagon – STILL $6,850
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September 22, 2023 Update – Typically, when a seller deletes their Craigslist ad, it’s usually a sign that they sold their ride. Almost one month after deleting their last Craigslist ad, the seller of this ’74 Opel 1900 posted a fresh listing. The pictures, description, and already-lowered $6,850 asking price remain the same.
August 29, 2023, Update – We confirmed that the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we can now call this “SOLD!” unless we come across a replacement ad.
August 12, 2023 Update – Less than two weeks after we first came across this ’74 Opel 1900 Sportwagon for sale, the seller deleted that listing and replaced it with a slightly revised Craigslist ad. The main difference was the price reduction from the original ask of $8,500 to the current $6,850.
In the 1970s, American Car manufacturers relied heavily on their European subsidiaries to provide more competitive compact cars to compete against the growing onslaught of Japanese imports. These business alliances became known as “Captive Imports.” For General Motors (“GM”), its German Opel brand was called upon to provide several models. With GM’s Buick division not allowed to share the domestic compacts from sister divisions, General Motors decided to let Buick sell domestic versions of Opel cars.
One of these was the Opel Ascona, available in coupe, sedan, and two-door wagons. Buick dealers marketed the Ascona as the Buick Opel 1900 Sport Wagon in the U.S. This Bronze 1974 Buick Opel 1900 Sportwagon for sale, first spotted for sale in July 2023 on Craigslist in Rocklin, California, is a rare rust-free find that with only 97K miles and just two owners, appears to be a nice survivor-quality example with several nice upgrades over stock.
Currently offered for $6,850 (the original was $8,500), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask is right in line with this guide’s five-year results summary. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for in the past five years:
As a second data point, the downloadable Cars.com 2023 Big Book reveals the seller’s ask falls above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $7,500.
During the first half of the 1970s, GM imported three Opel-designed, Ascona-based cars to North America: the Manta, 1900, and the Sportwagon. Opel developed Ascona as a replacement for the Kadett, but late in the car’s development, Opel chose to develop a new, smaller Kadett instead and instead positioned the Ascona as a competitor to the successful Ford mid-sized Taunus range.
The 1974 Opel Ascona Wagon was a compact station wagon produced by Opel, the German subsidiary of General Motors. The Ascona was a part of the Opel Ascona series, which also included sedan and coupe models. The wagon variant, officially known as the Opel Ascona Voyage, was designed to provide additional cargo space and versatility while retaining the same platform and mechanical components as the other Ascona models.
The 1974 Opel Ascona Wagon had a clean and unpretentious design, typical of European cars from that era. It featured a boxy shape with straight lines and a relatively large glass area to enhance visibility. The front end incorporated a horizontal grille, rectangular headlights, and a simple bumper design. At the rear, the wagon’s body extended to accommodate the larger cargo area, and it had a rear hatch or tailgate for easy access to the cargo space.
The interior of the Opel Ascona Wagon offered a practical and functional layout. The cabin could comfortably seat five passengers with ample legroom and headroom, providing a comfortable ride experience. The rear seats could be folded down or flipped forward to increase the cargo space, making it suitable for carrying larger items.
The Opel Ascona Wagon was available with various engine options, depending on the market. These engines included four-cylinder petrol engines with displacements ranging from 1.2 to 1.9 liters. In the United States, it was equipped with a 1.9-liter inline-four engine producing around 90 horsepower. The engine could be paired with a manual or optional automatic transmission, offering a smooth and efficient driving experience.
The Opel Ascona Wagon featured a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout, providing a balanced and stable driving experience. It had an independent front suspension and a rear solid axle with coil springs, which contributed to its comfortable ride and handling characteristics. Safety features were relatively basic by today’s standards but included standard safety equipment such as seat belts and padded dashboards.
The Opel Ascona series, including the wagon variant, was well-received in various markets around the world. The Ascona Wagon’s combination of practicality, efficient engines, and solid build quality appealed to families and individuals seeking a reliable and economical compact car with extra cargo capacity.
The Opel Ascona series continued to be successful throughout the 1970s and 1980s, with later iterations receiving various updates and improvements. The Ascona nameplate eventually evolved into the Opel Vectra in the 1990s. The Opel Ascona A stayed in production until 1975. By that time, almost 692,000 first-series vehicles had been produced.
The Motorland Classic Cars YouTube Channel provides a nice overview of what it’s like to start and drive a Willys Jeepster:
Based on the pictures and the second owner’s detailed description, this Bronze 1974 Opel 1900 Sportwagon for sale appears to be a nice survivor quality example you rarely see on American roads anymore. We would not be surprised to learn that a German enthusiast imports this car back to its homeland.
If you are serious about buying this 1900 Sport Wagon, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad. When you connect, please mention that you saw their Opel featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!
Here’s the seller’s description:
It has only 97K original miles And I am the second owner. I purchased it from the grandson of the original owner About 2 years ago. It has the original 1.9L , 4 cylinder engine And automatic transmission. It has many new parts including water pump, fuel pump, And brake components including front disk brake calipers, And aluminum valve cover from an Opel GT. The body is very straight, with only a few small dings, and decent original paint, no bondo or body damage ever. The interior is also in excellent original condition, no cracks in the dashpad, driver seat shows wear. It starts easily, hot or cold, no smoke or clatter, and cruises at freeway speeds with no problem. I recently added the custom wheels and tires, but I have the original wheels and hubcaps with good tires, as well as a set of Opel GT Wheels . Parts are readily available from Opel GT source , right here in Northern California,usually come the next day! I have CLEAN CA TITLE and current registration, NO SMOG REQUIRED! It’s guaranteed to be the only one at any Car Show. Asking $8500, drive home or will cooperate with shipping companies.
Show or go: What would you do with this 1974 Buick Opel 1900 Sport Wagon for sale? Please comment below and let us know!