[ Probably c1914 Opel 5'14PS Tourer ] ::
Puzzling enquiry received from Pär Sörliden (Sweden) about a model
identification of an Opel at a Car Museum in Sweden from around 1912.
Museum says that the car is a 1912 Opel 5/12 PS. Previous owner thought
it was a 4/8 PS. Another Swedish vintage car enthusiast thinks it is an
1912 Opel 9/25 PS. Do we have any Opel experts who can say for sure?
The basis of the Enquiry is:
The car is currently owned by the Sparreholm Car Museum in Sweden.
The plate on the torpedo says the following: Fabrikat No. 25822
Motorstärke PS. 18 Gewicht Kg. 800. The car was first registered
in Sweden on March 13, 1916, with the registration number Z48. It was
registered as a four-seater car made by Opel, with a 16 hp 4-cylinder
engine, weighing 800 kg. Currently, the information at the museum says
that the car is an Opel 5/12 PS 1912 with a 1300 cc-engine with 14
horsepowe. Previous owner thought it was a 4/8 PS. Acording to another
Swedish vintage car enthusiast , the car is an Opel 9/25 PS 1912.
Our Response was:
Thanks for your interesting enquiry.
Regretfully we do not have any specific Opel experts so perhaps your
best way is to contact somebody at an Opel club in Germany. I do not
have any detailed information on Opel pre 1920, so I have to rely on
what is available on the internet.
However, - when looking at identifying cars we look for specific
pointers on a specific car to identify the model and separate it from
similar models of the same era. In my opinion this is an Opel 5'14 which
seems to have been made in 1914 as a 1.4L Puppchen, and later as 1.5L at
14.5HP. The photos do not show the front passenger seat so not quite
clear which it may be. The 5'12 and 5'14 seems to be the only ones of
the era which had a single piece windscreen; all other Opels seem to
have had some form of a split windscreen. The mudguard fronts and
rounder profile of the mudguards also match. The bonnet has seven
slanted louvers. The earlier 5'12 cars were smaller with flat mudguards
Of the other models you mentioned, one, the 4/8 was a two-seater, so is
not this car. The other, 9'25, would seem to be a much bigger car at
2332cc 28HP; not a Puppchen, a little doll!! It was a vehicle for the
upper middle class. I think the Wikipedia page has the wrong picture
shown for the 9'25 which was probably taken from museum shots page. I
feel it is possible that a misidentification may have been made at some
point in the past and it has been distributed throughout the web. From
what I can find, the 9'25 was introduced in 1916 and was made to 1922.
It was fitted with a pointed spitzkuhler radiator and had multiple
vertical louvers. I have not been able to find any original pictures of
the very early 9'25 cars.
I had consulted some of our experts for their opinion and thoughts from
our expert in Holland include the following which agrees with some of my
…In the case of Opel that would be rather complicated indeed,
because the number of models they produced is astonishing. Despite this,
according to my Opel book (Opel Fahrzeug Chronik Band 1, 1899-1951 by
Eckhart Bartels and Rainer Manthey) a 9/25 model only existed as
Sportwagen in the 1913-1914 season, and as car with "Spitzkühler"
from 1916 on. A 10/24 did, which was indeed a bigger car. The authority
of the book however is slightly undermined by the fact that somewhere a
Panhard & Levassor is pictured, taken for an Opel.
Anyway, I guess you're correct. I believe this car is fairly identical
to the 1912 5/14 in the Opel museum. By the way, if you read German, you
may notice that the nickname Puppchen was used by Opel only in 1914!
This model was relatively narrow, explaining the half front seat next to
the drivers seat. The original Puppchen, the Wanderer, even didn't have
this half seat, making it a real tandem car. Other makes also made
tandem cars, like Adler, but you could also choose for the sociable
version. Which was in the case of Opel the 5/12 Doktorwagen.
While we are not suggesting this is a definitive identification,
circumstantial evidence suggest it is probably a cca 1914'16 Opel 5'14