Motoring Memories: Opel GT, 1968 – 1973 –

8 Sep 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on Motoring Memories: Opel GT, 1968 – 1973 –
Opel GT

January 16, 2009

Article and by Bill Vance

The Opel GT was one of the little sports coupes of the a product of General Motors’ Adam Opel AG, of Russelsheim, Germany.

The five Opel had begun making bicycles and machines in the 19th Century, and getting involved in manufacturing in 1898 with a single rear-engined model based on the German Lutzmann.

This very successful so they to a two-cylinder model, which failed to impress them. In a deal was struck with the Darracq company; Opel produce Opel-Darracqs under until 1906 while its own model line.

The Opel offered a wide range of and like many other manufacturers competed actively in to prove their durability and

In 1924, Opel became the German auto manufacturer to the moving assembly line had been pioneered by the Ford Company in Highland Park, in 1913. By 1928 it was Germany#8217;s automobile maker, and coincidentally, the bicycle builder in the world.

An downturn in the 1920s forced the family to become a publicly company, allowing General to acquire enough stock to controlling interest in 1929.

In of its early sporting activities had become a builder of fairly reliable sedans. It was, a bit of a surprise when a concept sports car appeared at the Frankfurt Show in 1965.

It was the Opel GT, a low, fashionable two-seater coupe that the styling of the 1968 Chevrolet This was not surprising because it was the of GM stylist Clare MacKichan, now in who had played a major role in the of the very successful 1955 and other GM models.

Opel it had no plans to put the GT into production, but response was so positive they their minds. The production GT appeared in 1968.

Although it attractive in a bobtailed kind of the production version lost of the sleekness of the concept car. The to the Corvette was unmistakable with its lines and lack of a trunk

The GT rode on a 2,431 mm (95.7 wheelbase, was 4,112 mm (161.9 long, 1,580 mm (62.2 wide, and only 1,224 mm in.) high. To aid entry and the doors extended into the low It weighed 955 kg (2,105 lb).

The GT was on Opel Kadett sedan components, which were but not outstanding for a sports car. The was moved back 406 mm (16 in.) for balance and handling. Unlike the Corvette, the GT had a steel body the body/chassis unit built by body builder Brissonneau and

Front suspension was by A-arms and a multi-leaf spring while the was a solid axle, trailing and coil springs. Brakes discs front and drums

Opel GT

As in the Corvette the headlamps disappeared, a operation via a lever on the centre The headlamps rolled 180 degrees on a axis.

The GT was to have either a (65.8 cubic in.) valve four-cylinder engine or a 102 1.9-litre (115.8 cubic single overhead cam four. only 67 horsepower, the smaller would have been anaemic and it#8217;s doubtful any reached North America. went to the rear wheels a four-speed manual transmission, a three-speed automatic available.

The GT#8217;s performance was respectable. #038; Track (6/69) zero to 96 km/h (60 mph) in seconds and a top speed of 182 km/h mph). In comparison, the MGB roadster 12.1 seconds to reach 96 and had a top speed of 167 km/h (104 the closed MGB GT was slightly faster.

R T found its handling only with a strong tendency to They considered the 165 x 13 tires too for the job although the testers praised the ride.

In spite of being a stylish little sports with ample performance, the GT only six years and remained unchanged for its entire life. The styling change was the fitting of steel wheels in 1973, the it was announced that it was being

Among the reasons for ending was the formidable new competition from cars as the Datsun 240Z; to competitive the GT would have a redesigned. Also, Brissonneau and wished to terminate their building


The Opel GT was a popular car with more 100,000 built from to 1973. It combined attractive with reasonable comfort and performance. Some cars offered less soldiered on longer.

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