Space Kadett: Famoso Speed Shop's Opel | Speedhunters

8 Dec 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Space Kadett: Famoso Speed Shop's Opel | Speedhunters
Opel Kadett

Space Kadett: Famoso Shop#8217;s Opel


One of the most fascinating things working as a Speedhunter is taking a at the way different types of cars are across the world. A car with a following in one part of world be virtually unknown in another – and most certainly the case Famoso Speed Shop’s Opel Kadett, better as Lil’ Mee-Hoe.

If you come Europe or are familiar with its scene, you probably know all the Kadett. The lightweight, rear-drive car has enjoyed a passionate following hillclimbers, vintage racers, and builders across the region. But in the United States, it’s a story.

The Opel Kadett is one of those models you forget was imported to the US. Up until the early the German-built Kadett was actually at certain Buick dealerships the slightly more well Opel GT. Today though, you are more likely to see a Lamborghini on American roads than you are an Kadett.

That’s a big reason we were so to stumble across Lil’ during our recent visit to Speed Shop. Seeing any on American shores is rare but to see one built like this is matter entirely.

This car has a rather long history it and this history is the reason decided to buy the Opel and turn it a shop project. As a youngster up around Ventura, California the ’70s Randy has fond of watching this exact car in on both the street and the drag

Of course back then the car look anything like it today. During the ’70s, the Kadett sat up high, was painted with a vinyl top and was dubbed to the Core”. When the ’80s around, the owner decided to an S10 pickup truck for drag and put the Opel in a garage, where it sat for about 20 years.

Randy had always wanted the and eight years ago he finally the owner to part with it. He had started the Famoso Speed at this point, so it was the perfect to restore the Opel to its former – and then some.

After for such a long time the car plenty of attention, but the plan just to restore the car. wanted to make the car his own, and get it back on the track using contemporary components – but without away from the vintage

One of the first problems Randy ran after he got the car was the roof. The vinyl top had to go, and actually found that a panel from a 1989 Tempo of all things fit right on as a

Other work done the process of the car’s rebuild dropping the whole chassis and installing a more functional suspension system.

The resulting stance is admittedly and more contemporary than you find on many vintage cars, but wide ‘n skinny style ET mags are a perfect nod to the The car also brings to mind from the early ’70s, the class was shrinking and the introduction of slicks negated the necessity of the nose. Four wheel disc brakes all around are nice modern convenience, when hauling up at the end of the strip!

installed during the Opel’s was a new set of ladder bars in the rear…

… with a brand new 12-point cage and other equipment to get the car up to safety standards.

Flipping the Kadett’s trick one-piece front end, you get a nice of Lil’ Mee-Hoe’s American The car is still powered by the proven block Chevy V8 swapped in in the ’70s – this one displacing 406 inches.

Up until recently the car was equipped a blower that made it of eight second passes the quarter mile. It was brutally but the Opel’s extremely short made the car an absolute handful. its first pass with the the car hit the wall at the end of the track, causing body damage and requiring the quarter panel to be rebuilt by

The current naturally aspirated is much more mild. But again when I say that I’m ‘mild’ by Famoso Speed twisted standards. The built is still making a healthy 525 and 520lb/ft of torque, easily the 2,500 pound Opel of 10 second ETs or better.

With the end closed, the scoop affixed to the rise intake manifold and 850 carburetor makes for the perfect without going too far over the

The small block is mated to a GM automatic transmission with a and a narrowed Oldsmobile rear end all the power that Randy and the can throw at it.

Other cool touches in Mee-Hoe’s cockpit include a wheel that’s probably there since the ’70s…

Opel Kadett

with an equally retro gas pedal.

But aside from the goodies and the uniqueness of the Kadett one of Lil’ Mee-Hoe’s coolest is its paint and lettering work. The body color and vintage metal flake lettering matches the colors of Famoso Shop’s Competition Coupe and its Go dragster.

It’s at the same flashy yet simple – and it stands out from the cheesy 1990s’ paintjobs you see on so many drag It also ties into to the sense of aesthetics that Speed Shop puts all of its builds.

Even with the chassis and lower horsepower setup, Randy says the is still quite challenging to It’s a never-ending battle to the car straight and on the ground, and that’s thing that makes Mee-Hoe so damn cool.

Even if the car’s been over with some key components, it still very retains the spirit of drag from the ’60s and ’70s.

It back to the days when racers would take the car they could find, it with the biggest motor and also make it look cool in the process.

This just Famoso Speed take on an old German favorite – is America’s take on an old German – and for that you gotta love it.


Instagram. speedhunters_mike

by Larry Chen

Famoso Shop “Lil’ Mee-Hoe” Opel Kadett

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