Opel Olympia, Malente, Germany, 1948

1948 – An Opel Olympia car with a British number plate for Schleswig-Holstein stands has been parked on an untarred street in Malente-Gremsmühlen, Germany. © Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

The story behind the image

Here’s an interesting shot from the family archives: An Opel Olympia car. It has been launched in 1935 and went into production in 1936. Wikipedia has all the details for you auto enthusiasts (in German.)

The car seemed to be in a bad condition but it was good to have a car – any car, really – back then, especially in the outback of the large cities Kiel, Lübeck and Flensburg.

As always, it’s the details that interest me. First, the car carries a number plate issued by the British local government in Scheswig-Holstein (indicated by the letters “BS” on the number plate) which was introduced in 1948. I could not find a reference for the first number (42), but in general this indicated the area where the car had been registered.

The original print itself is pretty sharp and looks good. Except for a minimal camera shake that is visible in the high resolution scan. So, it seems that it was shot from hand and not mounted to a tripod. Note the absence of an electric direction indicator and rear mirror. It could well be that the vertical object at the front of the drivers door is a mechanical indicator, but I can’t say, sadly. Recent images of the Olympia show electrical indicators and rear mirrors, but it could well be that these have been installed way later to comply with modern laws.

Anyway, I like this image.

The high resolution image

Capture Date1948
LocationMalente-Gremsmühlen, Germany
Image Source6 x 6 cm Print
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions5200 x 5278 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/zanzig.com

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