On this day in 1899, is considered to be the start date for Opel car production. Specifically, on that day, Opel contracted with former carmaker Friedrich Lutzmann, who then began making vehicles for Opel. The first Opel model was named Opel Patentmotorwagen System Lutzmann by its creator. At the time, the cars were still quite similar to horse-free carriages, and the first Opel car was no exception. In fact, the passengers in it sat facing each other. The bench at the front of the car was rear-facing, operated from the rear bench, where passengers were looking forward. Adam Opel, the founder of Opel, was no longer alive at the time of the purchase of Lutzman’s services (he died in 1895) and was run by his successors. Opel Patentmotorwagen System Lutzmann cars had a 3.5hp engine and were produced in only 65 units.