Opel GT (1969) – Into the Wild

We wouldn’t be surprised if the somewhat younger car enthusiast had to look twice or even three times to see what he has in front of him when spotting an Opel GT. With its extremely voluptuous lines and sporty appearance, Opel may not be the first brand that comes to mind. The GT was a particularly creative excess of the brand in the late 1960s. It is not for nothing that the Opel GT is also popularly called the ‘poor man’s Corvette’, because it resembles the Chevrolet Corvette C3 that appeared in the same year. Still, it must be said that the GT, drawn by the German Erhard Schnell, mainly elaborated on the Opel Experimental GT from 1965, also drawn by him. So it was already there before the appearance of the Corvette C3. So why the strong resemblance? Well, also in 1965 company mate Chevrolet came up with the Mako Shark II Concept. That study model clearly did not only inspire Chevrolet. Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark II Concept The Opel GT was of course slightly more modest than the Corvette. Not only in terms of lines, but also in terms of size and technique. The GT shared the necessary technology with the Kadett B, hidden under the French firms Chausson and Brissonneau & Lotz built carriage. Like the Corvette, the GT had a very long nose for its size, in which the engine was placed quite far back. So far that it was behind the front axle, which turned the Opel GT into a real sports coupe with mid-engine. One that had to make do with a modest power, because the entry-level model had a 60 hp strong 1.1 four-cylinder engine from the Kadett. However, there was also a Rekord well-known 1.9 available, which sent 90 hp to the rear wheels. The example that we have in front of us thanks to AutoWeek forum member Karmann Ghia is such a GT 1900. You can recognize that it has the larger engine by the bulge in the hood. Without that recess, the block would not fit. With a 0 to 100 km/h time of 11.5 seconds and a top speed of 185 km/h, you had a smooth car for its time, with performance that in any case also matched the appearance better than that of the 1.1. As you can see, this GT doesn’t hide its pop-up headlights even though it’s parked. They therefore do not automatically turn away in the carriage when you turn off the lighting, but must be turned away manually with a lever. Apparently the owner didn’t think that was necessary in this case. Not that we can accuse him or her of being lax, because it is clear that the GT is treated with love. He looks like he’s spot on. Judging by the license plate history, the car hit the road for the first time in a very long time about five years ago, probably after an extensive restoration. There are no MOT inspections known from before 2017, while the car has really had a Dutch registration since 1982. Nice to see that it can be on the road for a while now, because such a GT makes it a bit more fun on the road.

Source: AutoWeek by www.autoweek.nl.

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