12.3-litre displacement and 191 kW/260 hp output – in 1914, Opel presented the so-called “Green Monster”, the most formidable vehicle in the company’s history.
This coming weekend, this legendary automobile will be back in action for the first time after a long break. The record-breaking racing car will take part in theRømø Motor Festival on Saturday, September 1. The powerhouse from Rüsselsheim is in good company there: the Motor Festival on the Danish North Sea coast revives the tradition of the legendary beach races of the 1920s. More than 100 vehicles and motorcycles from the first half of the 20th century and around 15,000 spectators are expected to attend the third year of the Motor Festival – many of them in authentic, period-style dress. Of course, Opel Classic is also there and presents a highlight of this year’s festival with the “Green Monster”.
260 hp, 12.3-litre displacement: Record-breaking eye-catcher then and today
Opel already sparked wide-spread enthusiasm with the 12.3-litre racing car in the 1920s at beach races on the Danish island of Fanø. On Saturday, the “Green Monster” is literally back on the slopes. The races start at Lakolk beach at 10 a.m. – just like almost 100 years ago over one-eighth of a mile. The venue is perfect for a revival of the legendary races with a wide, flat surface directly on the coast consisting of almost rock-hard sand and spectators that also live the “Golden Twenties” with their clothing and accessories.
This is exactly the right atmosphere for the “Green Displacement Monster” from Rüsselsheim, which is a reminder of the past beach race victories here and has returned to continue them. The 12.3-litre racing car was already best equipped for this in 1914 with advanced four-valve technology, vertical drive shaft and overhead camshaft. Due to the enormous height of the engine, the valve springs protrude through 16 holes into the open. The pistons charge through the combustion chambers at a full 24 metres per second – equivalent to 86 km/h – at Formula 1 levels. The engine delivers 260 hp, allowing the racing car to reach speeds of up to 230 km/h – and in the 1920s even left the later speed record holder Malcolm Campbell behind.
Retro style: Live bands keep the party going before and after the races
The “Green Monster” will cause a sensation on Saturday with these features alone. But the Rømø Motor Festival is a huge attraction not only because of the exciting heats with historic racing cars and motorcycles; the whole weekend on the island brings “Back to the 20s to 40s” alive. The party starts on Friday with live bands like “The Greyhounds”, “JC Hawkins & His Model A Playboys” and “Marv & the Anvils”. On Saturday the “Wild Wax Combo”, “Rockin’ Bones” and Paul Ansell continue the musical journey through time. While the party ticket costs €40, admission to the races on Saturday is free. For an even more authentic atmosphere, the organisers ask visitors to take part in the events in period-style clothing; this is mandatory for access to some areas.
More information about the Rømø Motor Festival can be found here