Here’s Why My Opel Kadett Road Trip Is Decades In The Making
Photography by Máté Boér
Cars were made to be driven, and I fully agree with this: it’s why I took a childhood friend and my classic Opel on a drive from Budapest (“B”) to Å (“A”), on the Lofoten Islands in Norway.
The Moroccan-Muslim traveller and scholar Ibn Battuta once said: “Travelling leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller”. I love to experience these stories and tell them, too, it’s in my blood. My family always loved to travel, we drove abroad recently, and I believe that’s why I love to go anywhere on the globe so much.
I bought the 1979 Opel Kadett C 2-door sedan in January 2015, because I already wanted to have my own classic with its own soul—and to start writing our story together. It didn’t help that I’m writing and shooting for Petrolicious, gaining a wider view and a more interesting picture about classic car culture all the time. So, I joined the “club” of classic car owners, and the journey began with weekend drives and some regularity races with various results.
Sadly, I don’t remember the exact lunatic moment I decided to drive my Kadett up to the North Cape of Norway. I played with the idea for a while, and then the planning and the car’s preparation began half a year ago. The engine has been completely rebuilt a year ago, so it was fine, but the Solex carburetor had to be adjusted correctly. The electrical parts sometimes had unexpected jitters in unexpected moments, and we had to get rid of them, because neither I nor my companion knows electricity…and towing between Norway and Hungary would cost us a lot.
We have installed a new starter, renewed the generator, and inspected the entire system. The cooler and the water pipes are also new, just like the suspension and the brakes. I asked many friends what will they bring with them on a ~4,000 mile (6,500 km) journey, with advice that ranged from, “the only good luck is on the passenger seat,” to actually helpful made my own set of spares and tools.
Hopefully, good luck will join us.
At the end, we’re not driving to the North Cape, the number of days off from work are limited and we want to get the most out of the trip—and this is why our final destination is a small town actually called Å on the beautiful Lofoten archipelago. In the first leg, we’ll drive up to Gdansk, Poland and then take the ferry to Stockholm. From there, it is only ~1,000 miles (1,600 km) through Sweden and Norway…and we’re there.
We have only two weeks for the round trip, please wish us good luck…and wave your hands when you see a yellow Kadett C drive by. What could possibly go wrong?