1997 Opel Corsa Van


Proof that tiny European vans can be great fun.

“Care for a ride?”

—you scream from the kitchen.

“Make that a couple!” I scream back.

The Opel Corsa Van in front of a pink building in Budapest

Keep crunching on your Special K and soon we will be swirling up a summer storm of dust and shards and flowers, crunch away or the milk with bog it down. The speakers say: More than just a leitmotif / More chaotic, no relief

I hammer away on the hardwood floors, tapping go go GO, and off you are with car key twirling, slicing at a ginkgo leaf, you drop the clutch and hit the road and while you steer, I set the stereo to eleven so Karen can shriek: tick tick tick tick tick tick TICKTICKTICK

Time is slipping away. We advance a block. Then another. One may ask what a hundred and twenty cubic inches are enough for. Whether to defeat space and time, one would need a minimum of twelve cylinders to counter the pressure of bare feet stuck to a windscreen.

A satisfactory answer is perhaps provided by the remarkable kinetic energy of air molecules that hit an outstretched palm. Give them time and they will erode the loops off your skin down to the connective tissue.

Time for a corner, is it not?

You are a monster with your brake pads, you know, two drops of oil and cease would their whine like that of a corvette run aground on coral. You enjoy perhaps the wholesale destruction of the auditory cortex? Enjoy perhaps metal grinding on metal?

Anna smokes a cigarette on the hood of her Opel Corsa Van

We do not exit the corner on a tangent but rather continue, the pebble-like Nineties chassis has many a trick up its sleeve, it is not a coupé but is instead a truck with a trip register.

Imagine the vistas afforded by a track suspension! Forged aluminum wishbones, lowered to skin the shards of soda bottles, a KKK turbo could also come in handy—

“Hold on,” you say, “hold on, we are entering a sweeping onramp and this is no Audi Quattro,” you lock the wheels and we are sliding sideways.

Anna watches the sunset over the Danube

If only we could show this to owners of Opel Corsas otherwise disinterested in automotive transport. If only they could see the ebullient hollers produced from unstable hydrocarbons in simple ways.

The Opel Corsa Van exits a car wash

Viewed from the outside, we could see significant flamery erupt from the exhaust pipe, melting pebbles down to glass. Rubber would peel off our tires for miles, but we are not on the outside, we are riding in a truck with a neglected trip register and one has to consider the inertia of a high roofline.

It is about time to head for a port or a thoroughfare and it is also about time to consider the ethereal quality of automotive decadence. If it has wheels, steering and exhaust pipes and it can make you laugh, do you really need a Countach Quattrovalvole? It would certainly come in handy.

But it is basically unnecessary.

Anna sits by her Opel Corsa Van

This was originally written in Hungarian for the Summer 2007 issue of Totalcar Expressz, a printed magazine about second-hand cars.

Published on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008


By Nat:

I was almost to laugh, just under my breath- great!

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

By Hofstatter:

good old ganz street.

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

By omm:


i know that.
it was van-tastic :)

Posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

By rognork:


could you supply some anti-doctolizer to the plebs? it’s more than
complicated to decode your english. hopefully not only to me. i think that’s used to keep out some, but you know, time will come when wide range of people will feel again the hunger for your word. you must prepare yourself. or you will eliminate us. will you?

Posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

By Patrik:


Thought you might enjoy this:


Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008

Thought you might enjoy this:


Awesome, thanks.

Posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008

By Grami:

Hello Peter,

Great post, nice pictures!

By the way.. I’ve found some pictures about people who loves cars, who beleive that a car is much much more than a vechile to move from point A to B.

Please, have a look at Matteo Ferrari’s work:


Posted on Tuesday, July 29th, 2008