“Striving for competitive advantage”: is the simple dictionary definition of the term rivalry. What do innocent motor vehicles have to do with this very human concept? As pure means of transport: nothing. However, as projection objects for competitive fans, they are stylised into archenemies. “In other words: The rivalry between Ford Capri and Opel Manta fans turns the Ford Capri and the Opel Manta themselves into rivals”, says Frank Ruge. He is the Project Manager of the Bremen Classic Motorshow 2020 who is responsible for presenting seven historical competing pairs under the title “Rivals”. Another Opel vs. Ford duel split fans into two rival camps years ago: The Rekord P2 from Opel against the Taunus 17M from Ford – also called “the bathtub”.
During the “economic miracle” years, the luxury roadsters Mercedes-Benz 300 SL and BMW 507 were revered as epoch-defining dream cars. A good decade later, in around 1970, Italian super sports cars like the Ferrari Daytona and the Lamborghini Miura jostled for pole position on posters on bedroom walls everywhere. And in the late 1980s, the high-tech masterpiece Porsche 959 and the spartan Ferrari F40 competed to be the number-one dream car.
At the other extreme, down-to-earth, economical models such as the VW Beetle and the DKW Junio vied for cult status. Four-stroke engines, air cooling and rear-wheel drives were pitted against two-stroke engines, water cooling and front-wheel drives. It was a battle of concepts whose believers fought with almost religious zeal some 60 years ago. The same happened much later among devotees of the Opel Kadett GT/E and the VW Golf GTI.