By European standards, it looked very American, without it being too similar to any of the Chevrolet models. From a distance, the front-end reminds us of the Chevrolet II (picture below). Once again an Opel which is completely different from its predecessor. Due to the fact that the flooring, suspension and the drive-train are not altered with every new Rekord, the breadth and the relatively narrow track-width are particularly obvious (see picture 4). Also the front overhang, in relation to the rear, is very short. All in all, the bodywork is relatively modest and clear and simple. The engine, apart from having 5 HP more, is unchanged. Basically, it still comes from the 1938 model, indeed, at that time it was a very modern construction.
As far as driving it was concerned, the 1963 Opel Rekord was at that time, certainly a modern car. The all round vision was good, it had plenty of room and a certain amount of simplicity were its virtues. In tests comparing it with its competition, it remained inconspicuously in the mid-field. The competition between Ford and Opel was always something special. Thus one could almost assume that the bodywork variations and the extras had been copied from the Taunus 17M. Only with the (!) optional dual-circuit brakes, was it ahead. In the same bodywork, both of them later put a six-cylinder on the market. At that time, at least the Rekord achieved 2nd place in the registration statistics in Germany, only losing out to the VW-Beetle.
The extras (see below) at that time were rather unusual by today's standards. Four speeds instead of only three, also in the smallest models. Then however, one had to waiver the front bench-seat in favour of two single seats. The reversing lights, which were integrated into the tail-lighting, also had to be paid for as an extra. The novelty of the speedometer, was that the tape, depending on the speed, turned a different colour and disappeared off the dial when a speed of over 160km/h was reached, this of course, only downhill and if the engine was in very good shape. At that time, the indicators did not flash simultaneously as warning lights. After all, we're speaking of the last 6-volt Rekord. At least one could have simple safety belts installed.
It was astonishing, that this middle-class Opel could only later be had as a four-door, considering that getting into the back seat, because of the unfavourable front-seat back-rest and it's locking mechanism, was quite difficult at the best of times. Actually a daft set-up, the back seat had plenty of room and the boot was also designed to take on a lot more luggage than for only two people.
Looking at the engine, which although appearing to be a little lost in the large engine compartment, it did its job well enough. Moving towards the rear, the suspension had been changed and the differential-shaft was now divided. The leaf-sprung rear axle however, was a bone of contention, because apparently, the only way they could avoid incalculable driving conditions, was to make the springing pretty hard.
The steering on the other hand, could not be criticized and side-winds had little effect on the Rekord A. As far as the drum-brakes, which were taken over from the predecessor were concerned, one found oneself yearning for the disc-brakes which were installed shortly after the car was introduced. All in all, this Rekord had a pleasing design, indeed the attempts to save money on the construction were obvious, although not always and not necessarily to the disadvantage of the buyers. 03/15