After some fine coupe launches in the lower reaches of the market (the GT Manta0, Opel decided to go right upmarket with the Monza. Based on the Senator executive saloon, the Monza was a large car, spacious enough for four adults and benefiting from a huge boot, which was hidden away under a massive tailgate. It was an audacious proposition, taking the sporty coupe layout and launching it as an expensive businessman’s car. It arrived on the market just behind the similarly laid out Porsche 928, demonstrating how far sighted stylist Henry Haga had been with this confidently chunky creation. Indeed, Opel didn’t modify the Monza, aside from the grille, headlights and dashboard, during the car’s nine year production run. Looks weren’t everything with the Monza. It had a very fine chassis. It was described at the time as well balanced, combining fine road holding and handling with a superb ride. The straight engine also endowed the Monza with surprisingly performance for such a heavy car. The car’s German origins were obvious with each slam of its hefty doors, the build quality was excellent. Yet it was not a great success at first, despite clearly being a quality car and massively undercutting the established Porsche, BMW and Mercedes badges competition.
Revisions in 1982 rid the car if its down market dashboard and instrument, and add much to refine all aspects of the running gear. It remained something of a small production cult car until it was phased out after the Senator was replaced by the Carlton saloon, Opel didn’t care to repeat the exercise at this level, which was pity. The company had proven that it was more than capable of knocking on BMW’s door.