Friedrich Opel

 In Drivers

Friedrich Franz Opel, who was sometimes referred to as Fritz Opel was one of the five brothers who took over their father’s bicycle factory and developed it into a car company.

He was born 30 April, 1875 in Rüsselsheim.  From 1894 to 1897 he studied mechanical engineering at the Technikum Mittweida. In 1898, Friedrich and his brother Wilhelm brought the company into the automotive era with the purchase of Friedrich Lutzmann’s factory in Dessau. Later he became chief designer at the company. Together with his brother Wilhelm, he introduced the assembly line to the German automobile industry. In 1927 he received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Darmstadt.

During his youth Friedrich Opel was a successful cyclist and alone won around 180 prizes. One of his greatest triumphs was winning the 620-kilometer Basel-Cleve long-distance journey in 1894. He was also an enthusiastic supporter of motorsport and a racing driver.

Opel died on August 30, 1938 at the age of 63. He is buried in the Opel Mausoleum in Rüsselsheim am Main.

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