- The extreme
- The low-key
Passion for a certain car brand is something infectious. It sometimes starts during childhood, or upon a long-awaited purchase and it stays forever, passing on to others, such as friends, but foremost, family members.
This is the case for the following feature, involving two very special Opel models, plus Benny and Andreea, husband and wife. Add some cameras, a cool location and a windy autumn day and we got ourselves a story to tell. A very special one, for that matter.
Astras and Corsas were some of the most sought-after cars of the 1990s and 2000s, on the European tuning scene. Reliable, easy to buy, easy to keep, offering a huge potential for modifications, they were a statement of younger generations who were just getting in the scene. Romania was no stranger to this trend, but what happens when the passion sticks around in 2020?
2. The extreme
We begin with the Astra GTC, a highly modified hot-hatch, turned into way more than the OPC variant could offer. The GTC is a very fun car to begin with, I should know, I also had one, around 12 years ago.
Fitted only with OEM materials, the exterior elements include a MaxtonDesign body kit, front bumper MaxtonDesign lip, a very bold rear wing made from a blend of pieces brought from a Mercedes A Klasse and a Honda Civic, a custom diffuser, custom headlights, and aftermarket rear lights. The very, very unique outside body wrap is a touch of passion, hinting at Benny’s favorite cartoon show.
Inside, as expected, we found a custom steering wheel, a fully reconditioned interior, Rockford & Fosgate audio elements, Avatar speakers, and a Ground Zero subwoofer, for a hi-fi experience to be jealous of.
For the wheels, the GTC sits on Etabeta Avior J9/J10 rims, fitted with a camber kit, while the AirRide suspension with custom coilovers gives its the low stance. Needless to say, the car benefits from enlarged brakes and custom wheel-arms.
Under the bonnet, we have a custom turbo, and underneath, a downpipe, plus a middle exhaust from an M4. All this brings the power to 260 hp, more than enough for such a light car. Oh, and did I mention this is a daily town-car for Benny? Something quite interesting, right?
3. The low-key
Unlike her husband, Andreea went for a clean look, choosing to impress with the rarity of her vehicle. She also loves Opel, so she went for a Corsa OPC Nurburgring Edition, one of the most powerful stock pocket-rockets that money can buy. This small beast was produced for only 4 years and it still looks and sounds fresh.
Delivering 207 hp and 280 Nm at 5850 rpm, from its in-line 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, the small Corsa has front-wheel drive, with a limited-slip differential, 18” wheels, sport seats, and of course, a 6-speed manual gearbox, to make it even more fun.
Whether this little rocket will receive a future treatment, remains to be seen. But if Andreea decides to fine-tune it and make it as special as possible, we’ll make sure we’ll cover that project, too.
Apart from the fact that we got to cover two very different cars, what is the main take after meeting with their owners? Well, first of all, as I stated at the beginning of the article, brand loyalty is something long-lasting and quite obsessive.
However, there’s nothing wrong with this. While some invest in homes, clothes, or travel, others invest in cars. And, apart from investing money, they’re investing themselves.
And, probably, the most important thing is the fact that whether you want a special and unique car, or just a sporty one, whether you want to tune it in your own way or leave it stock, it’s yours and you should enjoy it. Driving is meant to be a pleasure, and looks should not have anything to do with that.