Hooniverse Fastback Friday – 1992 Opel Calibra Hank Scorpio Edition

For a change, it’s time to feature a sporty coupe that never was sold in the States. A lot of my sightings have been US-made cars or something that was available there in another guise, but the GM-sourced and sometimes Finnish-built Opel Calibra isn’t something that can be seen sitting by the side of the road in your corner of the earth, dear American readers.

It’s hardly super-exotic, since the powertrain and platform is all A-Generation Opel Vectra. Everything oily on it can probably be traced down to a Saturn near you, but the aerodynamic shape is one that’s to my taste. When it debuted in 1989, the base Calibra had a drag coefficient of 0.26, which made it the most aerodynamic production car until it bettered by the first-generation Honda Insight. Amongst Euroboxes, it’s a slick fish. I really like the rising rear flank meeting the C-pillar arch, too.

But despite being nearly teflon-coated when it came to splitting air, the Calibra had rust stick on it like nobody’s business. Another thing it had was a sometimes-fragile drivetrain, made worse by merciless owners due to the low residual values of used, slightly rusty Opels. It’s rare to see a Calibra these days that hasn’t had a tough life, and this example is pretty much at the end of its road.

This C20NE-engined 1992 Calibra seems to be a rollover victim. There’s not a panel on it that’s straight, the windshield is shattered and there’s not much left of the rear glass; it appears the Opel has spent some time on its roof. It’s probably not due to the Calibra’s rocketship acceleration, the engine in it is the 8-valve 2.0-litre base Ecotec with only 115 hp. It’s only really good for saving fuel, as judging by the black stain on the tarmac it doesn’t like saving oil.

Most Calibras – or old Opels for that matter – seem to leak oil. I’ve driven an 8-valve Calibra briskly, and returned it only to see the leaking camcover gasket having spat a handsome amount of Mobil around the engine.

The Vectra platform must’ve reared its ugly understeering head and sent the Calibra on a field trip; there’s straws and moss still stuck on it and it’s jettisoned a door mirror while the other hangs on cracked.

But while it’s somewhat easy to sherlock what’s caused the damage on the car, it’s harder to fathom what the hell has been the idea behind the arachnid graphics on it. “Scorpio”? It would make more sense on a Ford, even if I’d hate to see a Scorpio Cosworth festooned with anything larger than a trunklid badge.

To make matters stranger, there’s even a wide double black stripe running on the roof and tailgate. But since the hood remains unstriped, it looks like an afterthought. Then again, everything on this example looks like an afterthought.

The flames on the sides somehow reflect the yellow block textures that decorated the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters series commemorating DTM Edition Calibras, also white.

In closing, and to make sense of the choice of title: Everybody remembers the one-episode-only Simpsons supervillain Hank Scorpio, right? Well, in my opinion Hank has the perfect solution to this noticeably ruined and badly battered flame-flanked Calibra:


[Images (gif notwithstanding) Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]

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