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Old 23rd January 2015, 19:54   #1
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Default 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30,000 kms of smiles

The year was 2005 when my Alto 800cc was ready to retire, and I decided to scout for an Petrol Sedan and I was very inclined to have an European car.
I scanned the limited options in those days when only 2 names came up :
1.Fiat Petra, which was just launched in June 2005 on the Palio platform as a mid market sedan, which had all the good features and comfort of driving. It was priced around 6.6lacs on road, which was a bit high for my budget.

2.Opel Corsa, which just on the verge of discontinuing under the patronage of General Motors in India. I was told that the last lot of Opel Corsa were being manufactured in GM's Halol plant in Gujarat. I was immediately worried about A.S.S but the local dealer Kun Automobiles assured that there would be no issue with the after sales service.

I didn't insist on Test rides of any of the above cars and soon i decided to bring home the German pedigree car into my life.
The on road price worked out to 6.2 lacs and GM offered me a 1 Lakh corporate discount on Opel Corsa 1.4 GSi model(as i was GM at that time in Satyam Computers) and a load of freebies as GM wanted to cleat Opel stock real fast. There was also a 1.6 litre engine variant which was costing about 7 lacs +..

Mid July 2005, i took the delivery of my Opel Corsa GSi 1.4 from Kun Automobiles in Hyderabad with smile on my face. GM offered me the following freebies along with the delivery of the car :
- Fog Lights
- Spoiler
- Keyless Entry
- Opel branded Floor Carpets
- Blaupunkt CD Music System

Opel Corsa 1.4 GSi carried the below specifications:

Dimensions
Boot Space : 390 Litres
Fuel Tank Capacity : 46 Litres
Kerb Weight : 1030 Kgs
Overall Height : 1420 mm
Overall Length : 4056mm
Overall Width : 1608mm
Wheel Base : 2443mm

Engine
Displacement : 1389 cc Petrol
Ignition: Multi Point Fuel Injection
No.of Cylinders : 4 Cylinder In line front
Type : e-TEC x 14 NE MPFi

Performance
Max Power : 88PS / 6600rpm
Max Torque : 110 Nm / 3200 rpm

Steering : Rack & Pinion Power Assisted

Suspension

Front : Mcpherson Strut with Anti-Dive Geometry
Rear : Crank Compound Suspension with Torsional Stabilizer Bars

Tyres
Size : 175/70 R13
Make : Bridgestone S 322 Tube Tyres
------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was a sentimental moment to let go my first earned showroom car, i.e Maruti Alto to its successor my new Opel Corsa: Hatchback to Sedan switch was done !!!
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10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30,000 kms of smiles-1.jpg  


Last edited by hillram : 25th January 2015 at 23:04.
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Old 25th January 2015, 23:13   #2
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Default re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

Founded in 1899 by Adam Opel, in Russelsheim, Germany, this is a part of General Motors group currently, but perceived as a German car always.
The logo itself was very german representing a lightning blitz from First and Second World War, as a motif which adorns every Opel car now.
Two of my German World War Heros from World War I & II created this blitz - Manfred Von Richtofen, World War I Fighter pilot created havoc with his Fokker Dr.1.As a tribute a model of this WWI machine sits in my Opel. Erwin Rommel a.k.a Desert Fox who lead the Afrika Korps in World War II, dubiously committed suicide in an Opel in 1944 for a conspiracy against Adolf Hitler.
Hence my Opel would go on to be named as "Red Baron"
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Last edited by hillram : 25th January 2015 at 23:50.
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Old 25th January 2015, 23:47   #3
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Default re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

Well my Opel Corsa had all the gadgets that were in vogue in 2005, but it lacked good alloys. with in a month of driving, I installed a 13" Neo Alloy Wheels to give it a different look. I added a rather large dose of decalling to give it a distinctive look and there it was turning heads in those days.
An assorted repertoire of photo shoot around Hussain Sagar lake in 2005.
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Last edited by hillram : 26th January 2015 at 00:06.
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Old 26th January 2015, 17:12   #4
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Default re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

A Decade with German Engineering
Opel Corsa is a true car of German Engineering from every nut and bolt that you can find.In the last 10 years of owning this perfect german steed, i have noticed, how defect free it has been. I just replaced only a Alternator in this whole decade, in my Opel Corsa and literally nothing else.Of course I have done a meager 30000 km, but still a normal decent wear and tear is always seen in Automobiles..but not for this 100 year old brand. Can you imagine, Power Steering oil is sealed for life !!!

Positive Aspects

Engaging compact sedan looks, enhanced with wrap around curves and tall stance. Staunch european looks with global presence of this model with Vauxhall , Holden and Chevrolet.
Solid built with sturdy looks and robust structure. Its a 1 Ton car that plants well on the roads with a steady drive.
Good features for a early 2000 model car with all 4 power windows, central locking, leather seats. 1.6 Litre versions has a limited OBD baked into the feature list.
Peppy and silent engine with good power and torque. 1.6 Litre engine gives amazing power and acceleration.
Amazing boot space (500 odd litres capacity) that lets you packs many large items for a long travel.
Fool proof electricals and electronics will give a hassle free run and longer duration of error free service. I have observed certain Bosch parts, which are of high quality.
OVRMs and Rear view mirror offer a good rear vision for the driver and gives the feel of safety to gauge traffic behind the car.
Rich plastic finish on dashboard , door handles , door boards etc.
Opel launched 3 versions of Corsa - GSi (Sedan),Sail (Hatchback) and Swing(Station Wagon). Sail and Swing fared pretty badly and GSi is still seen in numbers on road today.

Negative Aspects
I would categorize this car as a gas guzzler as average FE is between 8-9 kmpl, with AC it drops a little more.
Opel was a lesser known brand in India, hence resale value is extremely poor. A 2005 1.4 liter probably will be available in the used car market for 50k.
1 ton + weight makes it a heavier car, in comparison to others in its league.
Very poor promotion by GM lead to the death of Opel in India, in just 5 odd years. I dont think anyone remembers Opel now as a brand from GM.
Headlights are a bit small and the throw is not too far for low beam. Sometimes im forced to switch to High Beam to get a good vision of the road.
Central Locking has a strange feature called "Dead Locking" which overrides the remote locking system and can be only opened with the key.This system locks the boot too.
Tow hook is exposed in the bumper leaving a poor taste of aesthetics, but it is an useful and practical place to be in when the need arises.
Spare parts are available in grey market but Chevrolet charges a bomb for these spare parts..an easy 50% difference in prices can be observed.
As an European brand, Opel did not have a marquee status as compared to Japanese cars of the 2000 era, which dominated on mileage factor.
Opel just faded away into history in India before the world realised.


Having penned my good and bad observations let me highlight the key features of Opel Corsa
Drive Comfort : Being a 1 ton car, Opel Corsa is planted very well and sticks to the road and higher speeds too. Driving comfort is amazing with good steering control and a stability is inherent. Suspension over the years has been smooth and speed breakers and pot holes are no issue for this amazingly engineered car. In 10 years, I have never had a situation of a break down or even a small glitch that could give me a chance to get disappointed.
Apart from seat belts, there are no safety features such as ABS , not even a driver side Air bag , which is a bit of a disappointment.
Bridgestone 13" tyres were the most common OE those days with Tubeless tyre concept being absent. I wanted to upgrade to a wider tyre but never felt a compelling need, although.

Exterior Looks :
A good practical design of German Engineering with Jell bean wrap around body, not too many curves, give Opel a distinctive look. It may not be considered a hot design, but gives also a executive sedan looks.
Ground clearance is just enough to avoid any speed braker ruptures and 13" wheels provide a good drive. With my addition of alloy wheels and decaling,a sporty look was guaranteed.
Paint quality has been top notch and the sheen has survived all these 10 years, hats off to the outstanding paint job on my car.Panel gaps are literally absent in the car.

Interior Ambiance
Opel Corsa is quite spacious for 5 passengers to begin with. Light beige dashboard tone interspersed with black lining makes the interior ambiance very soothing.
Plastic quality is very high and finish is absolutely wonderful in every corner. In these 10 years i have not observed any deterioration of color on plastics or any damage what so ever.
Seats are comfortable from ergonomics point of view, with head rests (only for front seats) and back adjustment.
Instrument cluster has a dimming option to reduce the glare. Headlight leveling, Fog light switch are easy to operate.
Air Conditoning is another hallmark piece in Opel Corsa, where the cooling so effective,even in Indian summer at 40 Degress, the cooling is amazing with an excellent blower speeds to make your hair stand !!! In last 10 years I must have topped up AC gas hardly thrice !!
Roof lighting is at the front and back which gives enough light inside the car, to find something if you have lost in the car.
Legroom in ample for front and rear seats, to give comfort over long drives.

Engine Performance & Mechanical Excellence
Opel's 1.4 MPFi Engine provides a very good power train to give that adrenaline rush. I have reached 100+ speeds comfortably with out any lag. There is absolute steering control at high speeds and the car is planted steadily to the road.
Gear system is very smooth combined with a soft clutch operation. Braking has never been an issue, despite absence of ABS and ofcourse secured with strong seat belts. Pedals spacing in the foot well is ample to give a hassle free drive, though a dead pedal would have enhanced comfort during long drives.
I was told once by a engineer from Opel AG that cars with german technology will take you long enough that you will die in them !!!
Such is the impeccable german excellence in automobile engineering.
Electricals and Electronics never failed even once in my Opel Corsa. from lighting to AC Controls to Power Windows operation, everything is flawless till date.
Now the crucial indian question:MILEAGE. Over the years i stopped checking mileage for my cars and bikes in my collection, but however some analytics are in order. when i purchased Opel Corsa, I was promised a 14kmpl, but honestly i knew this would be farcical as European cars are not known for mileage and Opel was a gas guzzler.
Over years mileage of my Opel Corsa dropped even to 6kmpl, but an average of 8-9kmpl was promising. After all this was a heavy car in its segment !!!

After Service Aspects
Buying experience was quite delightful, I must say as GM India was trying to clear away the last lot of Opel in India and there I was, waiting to be delivered by Sedan.
Back then 2005 , discounts rules and freebies were flowing as every car manufacturer was desperately trying to sell their cars. GM India was no exception.
Kun Automobiles has been servicing my Opel Corsa for last 10 years. There are more smiles here that anywhere as they have showed me the essence of customer service in all these 10 years. every year there is a prompt reminder through email, sms and a phone call to bring my car for annual servicing. Each service is complimented with a free interior cleaning and polishing (interiors and exteriors).
If i would roughly recollect, Annual maintenance and servicing costed me an average of Rs.2500 per year on my Corsa.
In 2012, I was told that GM India was stopping officially all the servicing support to Opel Brand as the mandatory 7 years was completed from discontinuation of this brand. But Kun Automobiles till date continue to service my Opel sans cesse and i have been assured by their staff that the support will go on for few more years ahead .
In the end, a decade of smiles with my Opel Corsa. My dream is to visit Opel Headquarters in Germany one day.
Few shots of my Opel Corsa caught in motion by Team Bhpian mobike008 in 2009.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by hillram : 3rd February 2015 at 23:00.
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Old 27th January 2015, 02:50   #5
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Default re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

Cynosure in 2015
In its present form my Opel Corsa in 2015 stands as a symbol of perfect german engineering and a testimony to quality.
Needless to say, I will never part with this car in my life as it stood like a companion to me both in my successes and failures.
I will let some 2015 pictures talk the rest.
Danke (Thank You)
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Last edited by hillram : 27th January 2015 at 02:51.
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Old 4th February 2015, 14:59   #6
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Default Re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Reviews Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th February 2015, 15:36   #7
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Default Re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

hillram mate your post brought me back some old memories of my beloved Opel Astra 1.6 petrol (The Big Brother of Opel Corsa). It was my first car bought as a second hand in 2005 (coincidentally same years as yours). I drove it for close to 8 years and I can vouch every km of the drive was delightful. My car ran for about 85 K odd kms and was relatively trouble free apart from some electrical issues (thanks to rats). I can relate to most of the points you have made with regards to Opel's engineering prowess and the features in their cars which were unheard of during those days.

I remember the tagline for Opel Astra was, "The Flight of German Engineering" and the tagline for Opel Corsa was, "The Difference is the German Engineering". I too am a huge world war 1 and 2 buff and have read tons of materials on those two wars. I was in awe of Germans and their products, partly maybe due to my dad being employed with Siemens. When I had to buy my first car Opel Astra was the ultimate choice. Nice to know some people in India still remember Opel.
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Old 5th February 2015, 08:14   #8
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Default Re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

That is one well-maintained car Sir. I thought Opel Corsa always looked ugly (No offences to the owners), unbalanced and unrefined. But the thread changed my perception. The car looks attractive. Hope it becomes your daily run apart from your FIATs. 30,000 kms on ODO is too low for a car of that age.
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Old 22nd March 2015, 14:58   #9
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Default Re: 10 years with my Opel Corsa (Red Baron) - 30000 kms of smiles

CORSA Owners,
My friend is also having a 2003 model 1.4 L Corsa. The vehicle has covered 60k kms.

Recently vehicle has gone through clutch replacement through a local mechanic. After this there is a strange problem cropped. The engine dies randomly, when throttle is released in traffic, speed barkers etc.

We returned back to mechanic, he took the test ride in every manner but nothing happened and when we came back the again engine died on first turn.

1. Is there any typical connection between clutch and engine tuning in CORSA?
2. Vehicle is also due for suspension work. Are the suspension set up is available in market for Corsa, if not what are the alternates?

Thanks
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