1979 Opel Ascona

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1979
  • Car type 
    Saloon
  • Country VAT 
    IT
  • Lot number 
    43
  • Drive 
    LHD
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Number of seats 
    2
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    White
  • Drivetrain 
    2wd
  • Fuel type 
    Petrol

Description

• Former Miki Biasion car.
• Complete restoration by Tony Lentinu, Opel specialist.
• Race-ready for guaranteed fun in both speed and regularity rallies.
• Owning this Ascona, is owning a piece of rally history.

The model

The Ascona is a mid-range car produced in three series, from 1970 to 1988, by the German carmaker Opel. The name is taken from the Swiss town of Ascona, located on Lake Maggiore in the Canton Ticino. The Ascona B was produced between 1975 and 1981 and corresponds to the second generation of the Opel Ascona. The car was launched on the market in August 1975 to replace the previous generation, although the official public presentation took place the following autumn, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Proposed only with a sedan body (2 and 4-door), the Ascona B was longer and wider than the outgoing model. Even the wheelbase had been increased, to gain internal roominess. From the design point of view, the car was characterized by a significantly more modern style, with more squared lines. The front was with trapezoidal headlights, with a wide grille. The glass surfaces are increased too, maintaining a fairly low belt line. Thanks to the optimization and calibration of the chassis mechanics, the level of safety, both active and passive, was increased. The Ascona B monocoque structure concealed a traditional mechanical layout, with a longitudinal front engine and rear wheel drive. The suspension compartment kept the double wishbone front end and the rear live axle with Panhard rod. The braking system was mixed, with double circuit and servo-assisted, the steering was rack and pinion type. The production of Ascona B took place in the plants of Bochum and Antwerp: the planned settings were three, namely base, L and SR. The 4 in line engines provided, ranged from 1.2 liters to 2 liters, reaching powers from 55 to 110 hp; to these petrol units, a 2-liter diesel engine was added. Over the years there were continuous updates.In April 1979 the i2000 version was launched, with a 2-liter engine revisited by Irmscher, the well-known Opel specialist who brought the previous Ascona A to win the title in the European Rally Championship with Walter Röhrl. After its care, the engine was able to deliver a maximum power of 120 hp thanks to the addition of a second carburetor. In August of the same year there was a slight restyling; it was the occasion to include in the range a new flagship version, even more sporty than the i2000. This version, called Ascona 400, was equipped with a 2.4 liter injection-powered unit with a maximum power of 144 hp. Other peculiar features of this version were the twin-cam distribution, the four-disc braking system and the 5-speed gearbox. Produced in 268 units, the Ascona 400 was the basis for the competition car which in 1982 allowed Walter Röhrl to conquer the drivers' world championship, when the Ascona B was no longer in production. The car driven by Röhrl delivered up to 255 bhp of maximum power and was the last rear-wheel drive car to win a title in the World Rally Championship. In July 1981 the production of the Ascona B ceased to leave the field open to the third generation.

The car

The Opel Ascona B 2000 S Rallye, chassis no. 9192762347, is the only car left of the two specimens used, in 1980, by the famous crew formed by Miki Biasion and Tiziano Siviero, to win the Italian Rally Group 2. After 1979, the year of debut in the national rally trophies, Miki Biasion decided to buy this Ascona to participate in the Italian Rally Championship, making himself noticed from the first race, the 64th Targa Florio Rally, in which he surprised everyone, finishing 5th overall and 2nd in class. The two future world champions surpassed themselves in the third round of the season, when at the Isola d’Elba Rally, they got a fourth overall and a first in class; exceptional result for a “rookie” who, moreover, compared to his rivals, did not enjoy the direct Opel’s support. Unfortunately, during the 5th Rally Il Ciocco e Valle del Serchio, Biasion had a serious accident due to a brake problem and risked having to leave the championship. It was thanks to the friend Massimo Frigo and the help of the Hawk Racing Club, that they put at his disposal a new car, that he managed to finish the championship and win the title.It is therefore with this car and with these results that the ascent to success for the Venetian champion began. Biasion himself, even today, has words of respect for this car: Getting from the almost standard Kadett Gr.1 to a competition car like the Ascona Gr.2, it was a nice leap forward. Undoubtedly the remarkable ease of driving of the Ascona allowed me to achieve great results, even of absolute value.” It must be said that the mastery of the driver in counter steering was an equally important factor.After the Ciocco accident in 1980, the Ascona B 2000 S Rallye, chassis no. 9192762347, it remained in workshop until the 90s, when it was restored in body and chassis. But it was only after 34 years and a careful restoration of the Opel specialist, Tony Lentinu, in 2014 that mechanics, including engine, gearbox and various outfits, was also overhauled in order to participate in historic rallies. We could see it in its white/yellow livery, with which it raced in 1980, both at Campagnolo and at the 2015 Bassano Rally, brought by the Bassotto Team's Vallotto-Cracco crew. Before its reappearance on the competition fields it was exhibited for a long time at the Bonfanti-Vimar museum, testifying as a piece of history of the Italian rally.

State of the Art

Completely restored by Racing Garage, Opel specialist. The car is race-ready, with a mild tune-up, which makes it suitable for participating in both speed and regularity rallies. The car has a new engine with zero km.

Litterature
• Etzold, So wird's gemacht, Opel Ascona A und B, Opel Manta A und B, Delius Klasing, D 2012.
• Jan-henrik Muche, Axel Lengert, Albert Konigshausen, Friedbert Weber, Opel, Motorsport mit tradition, Heel.
• Klaus Von Bulhmann, Die Opel Rallye Story, Motorbuch Verlag, D 1983.

Certifications and statements

National (Italian) HTP

Documents

Italian registration and plates, in order and up to date.

Elegibility

• Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
• Targa Florio. Eligible.
• Goodwood Revival. Eligible
• Goodwood Festival of Speed. Eleggibile
• Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Eligible.
• Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
• Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
• Tour De Corse Historique. Eligible.
• Campionato Rally Europeo Storico. Eligible.
• Campionato Rally Storico Italiano. Eligible.

Certifications and statements

National (Italian) HTP

Documents

Italian registration and plates, in order and up to date.

Elegibility

• Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
• Targa Florio. Eligible.
• Goodwood Revival. Eligible
• Goodwood Festival of Speed. Eleggibile
• Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique. Eligible.
• Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
• Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
• Tour De Corse Historique. Eligible.
• Campionato Rally Europeo Storico. Eligible.
• Campionato Rally Storico Italiano. Eligible.