Oldtimer gallery. Cars. Opel Kapitän (Belgium).
?-1939-?, (General Motors Corp.)?, Antwerpen, Belgium.
All the data on this page are from Franklin Moquette (Rijswijk, the Netherlands), owner of pre-war Antwerpen built (or should I better say assembled?) Opel Kapitän.
Franklin provided the following interesting information (© F. Moquette) about his car and about Antwerpen factory:
"I still own the Opel Super Six (Modell Kapitän) my father bought new in 1939.
The car survived the bombing of Rotterdam in 1940 and was hidden from the Germans during the war.
When my father returned as a prisoner of war from Germany in 1945 he still was the proud owner of an Opel Kapitän!
I was born in 1946, so my cradle really stood in that car!
My Opel Kapitän was built in Antwerp (Belgium) and because in 1939 Germany was under Nazi-rule and German military names like "Kapitän" were not very popular in certain West-European countries, the American (General Motors!) management of Opel decided to use the English name "Super Six" of the previous model in certain countries.
There was already a General Motors assembly line in Antwerp (Belgium) before the war. Antwerp has a big seaport, so exporting the cars by ship is easy.
Almost all the parts came from Germany, and they were assembled into cars on the production line in Antwerp. After the war also other GM-cars were assembled in Antwerp, like some Chevrolet models.
Almost all the Opel Kapitäns that left the assembly line in Antwerp bore the name "Super Six". These cars were chiefly destined for France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Some may have gone as far as Argentine and South Africa!
I have some interesting information about the designer of the Opel Kapitän of 1938-1940.
The designer of the Opel Kapitän was the wellknown American car designer Franklin (Frank) Hershey.
Franklin Hershey worked during the twenties and early thirties for the prestigious Murphy Coachbuilders of Pasadena, California.
Since 1932 he worked for General Motors, designing many Pontiac models from 1933 through 1940.
In 1936 Franklin Heshey got the assignment to design the "new unit-body Kapitän for Opel in Germany". He worked closely together with Karl Mersheimer of Opel who had more experience with unitary body designs (self supporting body) in wich Opel was one of the pioneers (with Lancia and Citroën) in Europe.
In 1938 Franklin Hershey at Opel helped to make the Opel Kapitän production-ready and at the same time redesigned the new Opel Kadett (after the war built as Moskvitch 400 series in Russia!).
After the war Franklin Hershey designed many cars for the Ford Motor Company, a.o. the famous Ford Thunderbird of 1955, before turning to industrial designing exclusively."
You are welcome to write me by E-mail Contact. Andrei Bogomolov.
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Last updated 27 X 2002.