The Opel Rekord P1 (branded for its first two years as the Opel Olympia Rekord P) was an executive car introduced in August 1957, in time for the Frankfurt Motor Show, by Opel as a replacement for the previous year’s Opel Olympia Rekord. It was larger than its predecessor and featured an eye-catching US-style wrap-around windscreen and rear window, reminiscent of its General Motors Luton-built cousin, the Vauxhall Victor F, which had appeared in England a few months earlier.

The Opel Rekord P1 sold very well, consistently achieving second place in the West German sales charts, beaten to the top slot only by the smaller and cheaper Volkswagen Beetle. The manufacturer departed from the habit established with the predecessor model of facelifting the front grill and other trim details every year, but the P1 nevertheless experienced a relatively short production run. The P1 was replaced in mid-1960 by the Opel Rekord P2, although the body of the Rekord P1 continued to be offered on the Opel 1200, itself a reduced specification version of the Rekord P1, until 1962.

Unlike the modern bodywork, the 1,488 cc OHV four-cylinder water-cooled engine was very little changed since it had first been offered in the Opel Olympia back in 1937. Claimed power output at launch was unchanged from the previous model’s 45 hp (33 kW) at 3900 rpm. However, from July 1959 the compression ratio was increased, so that the 1,488 cc engine offered a claimed 50 hp (37 kW) of maximum power: also, customers could specify a larger 1,680 cc engine, for which the published maximum power output was 55 hp (40 kW) at 4,000 rpm.

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