Today we’re going to talk about Excess, Speed and Arrogance. And what’s the best era that describes all of this? That’s right, the good old 80s.
In an era where nights begin with the happy hour, Madonna busted the scene, the Internet was just born, Yuppies were jumping in wall street, Aerobics took over the world and fashion was just… you know, too much.
But for us, petrolheads, it was a hell of a time where fire-breathing supercars engines would end up in quiet sedans creating these unique (and senseless) ground-to-air missiles.
So here it is, born straight from the excesses of the 80s - today we’re going to talk about the Lotus Omega Opel and where we found one.
Known as Vauxhal Carlton Lotus for our British fellows, it was probably the most amazing and dangerous sports sedan in history.
Conceived in the late 80s, variant of the Opel Omega and created by the German manufacturer in collaboration with Lotus (at the time both were under General Motors) - exhibited for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show in 1989 and produced a year later, the Lotus Omega Opel was the fastest sedan in the world reaching 283km/h competing with: Ferrari Testarossa, BMW M5 E34, Lamborghini Countach and the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.3.
It was kind of irrational… right? F**k no!
The British dilemma.
It was so fast that the British government tried to banish it… wait what?
Well, during the 80s and in the early 90s there were this Joyriders in UK (a term was even created for them) - for those who don’t know, they were just boys that “borrowed cars” to do all kind of crazy stuff and then destroyed or abandoned those vehicles (RIP to all those fallen beauties).
These cars were used to do robberies, street racing with no purpose other than harm and thrill leading to numerous car crashes and all sort of crimes.
Criminals aside, there was this legendary case regarding a stolen Lotus Omega Opel - license plate 40 RA that was involved in loads of robberies. On 26th November 1993 in the West Midlands, the theft of the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton was reported, and since then, the local police had some troubles.
This group made 20k pounds on small hits and never got caught, but how?
They were too fast. There’s even an urban legend that talks about how these guys could flee from a police helicopter running on the M6 highway, however there’s no solid proof - but I do love to think it’s real, it’s like having 4 stars on GTA.
We caught it.Now back to 2022. We met Fabrizio, a petrolhead like us that, back in 2008, bought this one because of its rarity.
Of course, he got it also for performance you know? It does run like a damn Testarossa. This model specifically was produced in Italy in ’92 - registered in ’96 after 4 years sitting at the dealership (people were weird at the time).
This arrogant bada*s has a 3.6 Lotus with 377Hp, rear wheel drive and it goes from 0 to 60mph in 5,4s - my hands burn writing this.
About Fabrizio, he defines himself as a haphazard collector. He owns many cars (which we will soon discover). He told us that his passion is to drive aimlessly, especially on Sundays. He knows how to treat himself.
Walking with the monster.
So, we went around Monza taking pictures and we went to Milano70, a place built by Luca Manzoni - defined as: “The 360° treat for the engine lover” - If you’re really into cars you have to check it out. It’s a fantastic museum near the Monza racetrack, where you can find memorabilia, events and much more.
Milano70 is a club and it’s named like that because it recalls the ’70s vibes - aimed to preserve the beauty of those years that made Italy great in the automotive world.
If you ever come to Italy, you must visit this fantastic place - trust me, it’s worth a shot.
And that’s all for now Gentlemen.
Peace and love Folks.
Amazing pictures by Valerio Di Domenica @vs_automotive_studio
Milano70 is owned by Luca Manzoni @lucamanzoni_barnfinder