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Classic Cars

Opel Allows Classic and Modern Monza Designers to Discuss Design

It posed the 1977 Opel Monza GSE and modern Monza concept as inspiration

The two Monzas posed together to give their designers a spark of conversation

OpelOpelOpelGermany, 1863 > present85 models
5172 photos
8 videos
has brought the designers of the 1977 MonzaMonza 3.0EOpel Monza 3.0EGermany, 1979 > present2 photos
and 2013 MonzaMonza ConceptOpel Monza ConceptGermany, 2013 > 20132 photos
concept together to discuss what inspired them and compare their creations.

George Gallion created the shape of the original 77 Monza, and Friedhelm Engler penned the modern car as Director of Advanced Design at Opel. The two men have another connection; Gallion interviewed Engler when Opel hired him in 1992.

“Show cars are there in order to showcase new design ideas. They don’t necessarily have to result in a product. Rather, they aim to illustrate a trend,” said Gallion.

The first things that the two men compared were the rears of the cars. Gallion says that his focus on creating the original Monza was the shape of the C-pillar as it met the rear.

“That was a tricky thing. It ensures the extremely slender structure is rigid enough, and we wanted this structure at all costs,” said Gallion to describe the meeting point of the pillar and the rear.

Engler says that the meeting of the two points was equally important on his design, and the shape of the meeting on the original Monza inspired him.

Of course, the major point of departure for the two cars is the new Monza’s massive gullwing doors that allow access to the front and rear seats.

While the 1983 MonzaMonza GSEOpel Monza GSEGermany, 1985 > present1 photo
was the first Opel with a digital display, it can barely be compared to the modern Monza that can connect to the Internet to download applications and be used for navigation. Engler says that in the original drawings the infotainment system was smaller; when the team saw how well it fit, it was enlarged.

Engler has worked at Opel long enough to see design change from pen and paper to computers, but he says that it is still same at the beginning. It still starts with a designer sketching ideas.

When he created the latest Monza concept, Engler wanted a design that could stand on its own but have retro cues. Specifically, the rear pillar and copious use of glass were meant to reference the original car.

The two men agree that when creating a design, they never do things that are not technically possible.

“But if the engineers said to me, ‘no, we cannot tilt this component another degree,’ then I’d say, ‘Ok, then just try half a degree more,” said Gallion.

Engler says that the design of the new Monza will inspire future Opels, but there is not likely to be a model that looks just like it. It points to where the brand is going in terms of shapes and ideas.

Monza ConceptMonza Concept




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