The Opel Corsa B, once found in multiple on every street corner, is now officially a rarity.
Anyone who already lived in the 90s knows it, the good old second generation Opel Corsa. This Corsa B was a typical ’90s A-segmenter built according to the adage fun and frugal. Where the first Corsa was a rectangular 80s thing, Opel went with the second generation for round and friendly looks.
With success, because in many countries, including the Netherlands, the car was a huge sales hit. Another good move was the fact that the unsightly sedan version was no longer available on the European market. It would only return in 2019, in the form of the BMW 2-Series Gran Coupe. Buyers who wanted a little more space could opt for the five-door with an even more convex carriage.
The bowler hat was available with petrol engines ranging from 1.0 to 1.6 liters. Because the Corsa weighed nothing (that still existed then), a 1.4-tje was already fairly smooth in the city. With a 1.6 GSi on thick three-spoke jetsers you were completely the man.
In 1997, the sporting aspirations were even greater, because the chassis of the Corsa B was tackled by none other than Lotus for the facelift of that year. Lotus was no longer from General Motors at the time, but the ties between Opel and the British sports car manufacturer were apparently still close. Unfortunately, 1997 was actually also the year in which things went completely wrong for the Corsa B.
In crash tests of EuroNCAP the bowler hat of the lightning bolt fell through the basket very hard. The car received only two stars for occupant safety and one star for pedestrian safety. Apparently the car was not as soft as it looked …
Despite the fact that with the facelift of 1997 the car was as good and bad as it was with some upgrades in terms of safety features, both scores were only improved by one star. Not enough at a time when EuroNCAP scores suddenly mattered very much. Other brands such as Renault have now shown off four and five star results.
The popularity of the Corsa B in Europe thus suffered a dent. In 2000, the curtain fell for the car, although it would be built in other forms in other parts of the world until 2016. Even after 2000, however, the Corsa B remained a frequently seen appearance. Cheap transport for people who are not afraid of crashing …
Today, however, there is a message on the mat that a Corsa B will be included in the collection of the Lakeland Motor Museums in England. And then you start thinking when you have seen another such thing or who you know who has another… But then in my case nothing comes up. According to Chris Williams, the museum’s manager, the Corsa B will have completely disappeared from the streets within five years from now. Still a bit #sad. What other cars can you name that are slowly disappearing from the streets? Let us know, in the comments!
Maybe it’s because I’m an Alfista, maybe because it was a distinctive car, but rarely have I seen a car that seemed so ubiquitous in the street scene almost completely disappear as quickly as the Alfa 156.1
Doesn’t surprise me, with cars like the Astra and the Escort / Focus you see the same. The next generation (s) are generally better and meanwhile just as cheap, so why buy another crumpled can? In addition, these types of cars rust away before your eyes without proper maintenance. They are just starting to run out and no one is going to put good money into such a car.
Actually, I still see them driving quite a bit!
Various shawarma farmers do the delivery here.
By the way, does the nickname bowler hat not belong to that strange Mazda 2, which also had bear rims as an option?1
The first thing that comes to mind is not so much a make or model, but a kind of car. The MPV.
After a cautious initial success of the Renault Espace, Chrysler Voyoger and Nissan Prairie, there was suddenly a whole invasion of MPVs of all shapes and sizes in the late 1990s.
And as soon as the MPV was to conquer the market, so quickly its popularity was over when the Koreans came up with affordable compact SUVs and Kia moved up the SUV ladder with the hugely successful Sorento. The rest of the brands followed naturally.
And just as that MPV almost completely disappeared from the street, so sooner or later the SUV will end.
@moveyourmind: Older full-size MPVs are indeed becoming rare, but you’re still breaking your neck about the Scenics and the like. I also see a striking number of those difficult ugly Xsara Picassos driving.
I don’t often say this about young timers, but in this case I don’t mind. There are only a few Opel cars in the entire Opel history that can charm me. Seen enough Opel’s and accompanying headaches in my circle of friends and family and we’ve had two at the case. Never understood why people keep buying Opel. Are they qualitatively much better now than maybe? There is only one person in my life that I know who was happy with her Opel, which happened to be a Corsa of the above with a 1.4i engine, which were still fairly smooth. 90hp I thought? And it weighed nothing.