Opel is the German brand name used by GM since it acquired the Opel manufacturing operation in 1931. The Opel GT owes it’s origins to the 1965 Opel Experimental GT concept car that predates the similar British GM Vauxhall XVR I looked at last week by a full year.
The GT show’s some styling influence from the ’68 Corvette thanks to the work of GM Styist Clare MacKichan. The GT had pop up lights that were hinged on a longitudinal axis so that they opened out from the centre using a leaver in the cockpit. Allegedly this was a difficult manual task to perform.
A choice of either 67 hp or 102 hp motors was available with the GT most of the GT’s were sold with the larger motors which has made those with the smaller motors very much more collectible today.
The steel bodyshell for the GT was manufactured in by French locomotive manufacturer Brissonneau & Lotz, the motors and running gear came from more mundane Opel family models in particular the Kadet ‘B’, the round rear lights came from the Opel Record.
Opel GT’s were distributed by Buick in the USA and when Buick took over sponsorship of the series in 1969 and 1970 Maxwell Smart was issued with a Gold Opel GT to replace his earlier Sunbeam Tiger and Volkswagen Karmann Ghia transport.
Unusually for a company associated with producing family transport the Opel GT was an uncompromising fast back with not boot, the only space for luggage was on the parcel shelf that covered the spare wheel in the back and the only access to it was through the side doors. On the other hand the diminutive design could comfortably accommodate some one 6’ft tall.
This 1971 model seen at Goodwood revival is one of 99,863 models sold between 1968 and 1973 with the larger motor. An additional 3,573 Opel GT’s were sold with the smaller motor. A bargain basement GT/J version was available through the later years of production which had most of the bright work deleted.
Thanks for joining me on this Fastback edition of ‘Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres’ I hope you will join me again tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !
PS Don’t forget …
Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz
Win a set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards
Set 1 Sports & GT Cars
Set 2 Phil Hill World Drivers Championship 50th Anniversary Edition
Set 3 1934 Season
Set 4 Grand Prix Engines of the 1950’s
Set 5 Mike Hawthorn’s Race Cars
The Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will comprise 8 categories.
Overall winner chooses one set of Paul Chenard Greetings Cards from the five sets shown above.
The cards measure 15.24cm x 11.43cm, come in packs of 12 with 3 copies of 4 designs in each set, plus A6 envelopes.
Which set will you choose ?
The free to enter Automobiliart GALPOT Seasonal Quiz will run from December 26th – January 2nd Entries close January 8th 2012, Winner announced January 16th 2012.