Opel CD (1969)
The Opel CD (Coupé Diplomat) was the star of the IAA in Frankfurt in 1969. A thoroughbred Gran Turismo based on Opel Diplomat technology, the Candy Apple Red Opel CD featured a canopy-like cockpit opening that replaced conventional doors. It was a convincing showcase of the Opel designers’ skill and ambition. A few years later other European competitors also began to develop and present concept vehicles themselves.
The Opel CD was designed under the control of Charles M Jordan and featured a one-piece “greenhouse” windscreen and side windows with integrated doors, which pivoted forward hydraulically to allow access to the cabin. The steering column and steering wheel pivoted up as well. This concept was also further developed and ultimately built in low-volume production.
Built as a styling study, the Opel design team perfected the aerodynamics of the Opel CD in extensive wind tunnel testing. This is the norm in automotive design today, but it was a quite innovative in the late 1960s. The sleek front end with retractable headlamps flows seamlessly into the wrap-around windscreen constructed without the visual blockage of a roof pillar.
A roomy and comfortable two-seater, the Coupé Diplomat featured finely upholstered leather club seats. The steering column with the attached instrument panel and the pedals were fully adjustable and could be re-positioned for optimal ergonomics. Special attention was paid to ergonomics in this study as well as a futuristic car telephone conveniently located in the sleek center console.