In the mid-1950s the German economic miracle was in full swing and industry was booming – and with it automobile production. Exactly half a century ago, in 1957, a new mid-size class model from Opel, the Olympia Rekord P1, made its premiere at the IAA in Frankfurt. It made a splash thanks to its styling and contemporary design combined with comfort and safety elements such as the innovative panorama windshield. Even back then, Opel demonstrated its expertise in developing innovative “panorama view solutions”. Today, around 50 years later, the extraordinary enhanced windshield made its comeback as an exclusive novelty in the Opel Astra GTC.

50 Years of Dream Cars with Panorama View
- image 189960

Olympia Rekord P1 – Safety coupled with elegance and harmony

As much as Opel enhanced the look, there was a lot more under the good-looking cover of the Olympia Rekord P1 than just elegance and harmony. The lower construction, streamlined surfaces and particularly the large panorama windshield that let a lot of light into the interior were defined by functionality and safety. The windshield, for instance, offers a 92 percent panorama view thanks to its dome shape, so drivers have excellent visibility of the traffic situation. Even back then, Opel already partnered a well thought-out shape with practicality and high utility. At the same time, the windshield pulled far around the car’s sides lent the Opel a certain American lifestyle chic that sparked excitement in post-war Germany and made the Olympia Rekord a best-seller at home and abroad. In three years, nearly 800,000 customers chose the model that stood out from the rest of the mid-size class.

Astra GTC Panorama – Only flying is better

As far back as 50 years ago, this panorama view offered a unique, incomparable driving feeling. Today, newly interpreted and with state-of-the-art technology, this innovation is enjoying its revival in the Astra GTC. The current, around 1.8 square meter glass panel extends from the end of the hood over the driver and front passenger’s heads back to the middle of the car’s roof. Unlike conventional glass roof designs, there is no crossbeam to impair visibility so the “pilot”, “co-pilot” and rear seat passengers enjoy an unrestricted view similar to that in the cockpit of a sport airplane. This makes journeys a special experience, be they across country or at night through a brightly-lit city.

50 Years of Dream Cars with Panorama View
- image 189957

Passenger protection also has top priority today: the stable panorama windshield is made of 5.5 mm thick laminated safety glass. Thanks to an additional foil insert, the glass cannot shatter or penetrate into the passenger compartment, even in the event of a severe accident. The same foil in the light green-tinted panorama windshield made of Solar Protect Glass also plays the role of a heat-absorbing layer. A patent for the complementary shading system has been applied for: a turn of a knob operates the steplessly adjustable shade, which disappears under the rear roof section when not in use. This gives Astra GTC passengers a driving experience defined by openness and freedom that is unique in this class.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: