Son of Stingray: The 1969-1973 Opel GT – Page 6 of 6 – Ate Up With Motor

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Opel GT

Son of Stingray: The 1969-1973 Opel GT

The original Opel GT has often dismissed as a Kadett in a Corvette but it wouldn#8217;t have taken to make the GT a credible sports Most of the pieces were and in some respects (aerodynamics, fit and finish) the GT was actually superior to the C3 With more power and chassis development work, the GT have given sports like the Datsun 240Z a run for money.

Admittedly, getting power out of the CIH engine while it emissions-compliant for the U.S. market have been tricky injection was only a partial even with injection, the U.S.-market Asconas and Mantas had 81 net horsepower (60 kW)) and exchange would have remained a point, but neither problem was insuperable.

We suspect the real would have been Opel management that the low-volume GT into Europe#8217;s to the Corvette was worth the investment. As the of mooted successors indicates, was not oblivious the GT#8217;s value as a builder, but with the possible of the GT/W, Rüsselsheim#8217;s thinking to have focused on greater (e.g. 2+2 seating, greater space), rather than performance.

In some respects, made sense: the GT sold by Triumph or MG standards, but it was nothing to the almost 2.7 million Kadetts sold between 1965 and However, it also weakened the for the GT as a separate product: Opel had an attractive and perfectly competent sporty coupe in the form of the

The fate of the original GT suggests might have happened to the had the #8216;Vette not enjoyed continuing from staunch defenders Zora Arkus-Duntov and Bill The original Corvette was on very ground for the first decade of its and at several points it came to either being canceled or into a Camaro -like

While the Corvette eventually one of GM#8217;s most profitable the GT didn#8217;t last long to reach that point, in part because by the time its began to falter, many of the who had originally championed it had moved on. Schnell was still running Advanced Design studio, but Clare MacKichan and Chuck had returned to the U.S. replaced by Holls and later Hank Bunkie Knudsen had left GM in Bob Lutz had gone to BMW, and in Tony Lapine had gone to where he would design the 928 and 924 .

We think the original Opel GT was off as a two-seater, but buyers probably have appreciated it if Opel had the fuel filler to allow a opening decklid.

The 1969-73 GT now has a fair collector following, many cars have to rust or collisions over the The GT#8217;s body was well by the standards of its time, but it was not easy to and it was years before resale were high enough to full restorations worthwhile. a few survivors have been as well, with everything later CIH engines (which in use through the 1990s) to Weber and even small block V8s.

If the Opel GT never got the to become a great car, it was an interesting one, and in some it was remarkable that it was built at The Monza GT never got past the stage, nor did a contemporary sports car from Vauxhall, the 1966 The GT remains an attractive little but we can#8217;t help thinking it could have been more than a pretty

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author would to thank Bob Nichols, Pat McLaughlin, and from Flickr for the use of their and Kathy Adelson and Larry of the GM Media Archive for their assistance in locating historical

NOTES ON SOURCES

Opel GT

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2007), pp. 60-63; Opel GT,#8221; Sports Car . n.d. www.sportscarmarket. com/ affordable-classics/ 1001-1969-73-opel-gt, accessed 8 2012); #8220;A Rare World#8217;s Fastest Sports 1968, reprinted in Opel GT Portfolio 1968-1973 . pp.

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16, No. 2 (August 1970); reprinted in GT Ultimate Portfolio 1968-1973 . pp. Ican Coomber, #8220;From to Monza #8211; Opel in the Kingdom,#8221; Vauxhall Bedford Association, 2006, www.vboa. toplevel.php?p=h8, accessed 7 April Mike Covello, Standard of Imported Cars 1946-2002 . Ed. (Iola, WI: Krause Publications, Eric Dahlquist, #8220;The Factor,#8221; Motor Trend 21, No. 8 (August 1969), pp.

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20, No. 4 (December 1968), reprinted in pp. 20-21; #8220;Motor Road No. 24/70: Opel GT: For sporting a price,#8221; The Motor 20 June reprinted in ibid, pp.

107- #8220;New Cars for 1970: Kadett and GT,#8221; World Car February 1970, reprinted in pp. 92-93; Eric Nielssen, Gee-Whizzers: Exciting Things GM#8217;s Brains Abroad,#8221; Car December 1967, reprinted in pp. 6-10; #8220;Opel Experimental www.medial.com/opel/expgt.htm, accessed 8 April #8220;Opel GT,#8221; Imported 1971, reprinted in Opel GT Portfolio 1968-1973 . pp.

122-126; GT,#8221; Road Test 1970, reprinted in ibid, pp. #8220;Opel GT,#8221; Road January 1971, reprinted in pp. 132-133; #8220;Opel GT,#8221; no date, www.netcarshow. com/opel/1968-gt/, 8 April 2012; #8220;Opel GT Car and Driver Vol.

15, No. 3 (September pp. 66-69, 82; #8220;Opel GT: Big Surprise#8230;at friendly Buick dealers,#8221; Car June 1969, reprinted in GT Ultimate Portfolio 1968-1973 . pp. #8220;Opel GT: throughout the years,#8221; 1 October 2006, www.syl. opelgtthroughouttheyears.html, accessed 8 April Opel Motorsport Club, GT + FAQs,#8221; OpelClub.com, 2008, com/html/ opel_gt___faqs.html, accessed 8 2012; #8220;Opels with on Their Chests,#8221; CAR May 1971, in Opel GT Ultimate Portfolio . pp.

162-163; Herman Pelgrom, I Shrunk the #8216;Vette: The Opel GT Motor Authority, 30 May 2010, com/news/ 1045628_honey-i-shrunk-the-vette- the-opel-gt-story, 8 April 2012; Sylvia #8220;Marking the French Social of #8217;68,#8221; NPR, 13 May 2008, org/templates/ story/story.php?storyId=90330162, accessed 22 2012; #8220;Road Test: GT: #8216;Mini-Brute#8217; Stage 11,#8221; June 1969, reprinted in GT Ultimate Portfolio 1968-1973 . pp. L.J.K.

Setright, #8220;Opel CAR August 1970, reprinted in pp. 104-106; Mike Siegel, GT: Story of a Dreamcar . Eldorado 11 December 2008, www.youtube.com/ (trailer), accessed 8 April Jerry Sloniger, #8220;3000 and Two #8216;Small#8217; Rallies in an Opel World Car Guide November reprinted in Opel GT Ultimate 1968-1973 . pp. 84-88, #8220;Opel Foreign Car Guide February reprinted in ibid, pp.

22-25 and Test: Opel GT,#8221; Car and Vol. 14, No. 6 (December 1968), pp. Daniel Strohl, #8220;Might The diminutive, but sporty, 1969 GT 1.1L,#8221; Hemmings Sports Car #7 (March 2006); #8220;The of the development of the Opel CIH engine, Customs #8216;n Classics, www.customs-n-classics. dk/Artikler/ CIHHistorieUK.html, 7 April 2012; #8220;The GT: Comparing the Datsun 240Z, 124 Sports, Opel GT, MGB GT and Triumph closer contest than we Road Track Vol.

22, No. 11 (July 1971), reprinted in GT Ultimate Portfolio 1968-1973 . pp. #8220;Three Ways to Approach a Sports Car Graphic March reprinted in ibid, pp.

94-100; Titus, #8220;Corvair Monza GT: Forward-Look Exercise is in the right Sports Car Graphic August reprinted in Corvair Performance 1959-1969 . ed. R.M. Clarke Surrey: Brooklands Books

1998), pp. 58-61; #8220;Tuning Opel GT: More power GM#8217;s German coupe,#8221; CAR May reprinted in Opel GT Ultimate 1968-1973 . pp. 164-165; Bart van #8220;Manufacturing prices, productivity, and costs in five economies,#8221; Labor Review July pp.

56-72; Bruno von Rotz, GT 1100 und 1900 #8211; nur war schooner,#8221; Zwischengas.com, 31 October www.zwischengas. com/de/FT/ fahrzeugberichte/ nur-Fliegen-war-schoener.html, accessed 8 April Glenn Waddington, #8220;Opel Classic Cars August reprinted in Opel GT Ultimate 1968-1973 . pp. 43-47; Sydnie A. ed.

Opel GT • Kadett • 1900 • 1966-1975 Shop Manual . 5th ed. CA: Clymer Publications, 1986); the Excitement at Buick-Opel Dealers: GT is a new, honest to goodness car for highway or race course,#8221; Test July 1969, in Opel GT Ultimate Portfolio . pp. 64-70; #8220;Wklopf,#8221; www.opelgt.com/ 28343-i-think-im-love-again.html, accessed 8 April Michael Wood, #8220;Opel-escent,#8221; Classic . January 1994, in ibid, pp. 188-191; the brochure GT – Das klassicsche Sport-Coupé,#8221; published by in 1998; the Wikipedia® entries for Get (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Smart, accessed 1 May 2012); the Gemini (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isuzu_Gemini, accessed 7 May Opel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel, accessed 8 2012), the Opel Rekord C (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_Rekord_Series_C, accessed 20 April the Opel GT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_GT, accessed 7 2012), the Opel Kadett accessed 30 April 2012); the Manta (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opel_Manta, accessed 27 2012); and Opel#8217;s OHV engine accessed 30 April 2012); and the Wikipedia entry for the Opel GT accessed 8 April 2012).

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1 (1st Quarter 1972), pp. Studio Futuro, Conrero Site,www.conrero. com/en/ the_company.htm, 8 April 2012; and #8220;World Championship,#8221; Racing Cars Numbers Database Races 2000, wspr-racing. com/wspr/results/ accessed 10 April 2012.

on the Opel GT/2 came Syed, #8220;1975 Opel GT2 IEDEI, 16 March 2012, com/ 2012/03/16/opel-gt2/, accessed 8 2012; #8220;Tomorrow#8217;s Car Today: Car for the #8217;80s,#8221; Asian Auto 1976, reprinted in Opel GT Portfolio 1968-1973 ), pp. 186-187; and Ron #8220;Opel GT-2: Stylish and sports car of tomorrow,#8221; Road Vol. 27, No.

4 (December 1975), in ibid, pp. 183-185.

Additional on Opel design and other vehicles of this period from #8220;Bochum Plant, and Figures,#8221; Opel Media/GM no date, media.opel. com/media/ plants/bochum.brand_opel.html, accessed 10 April Bill Bowman, #8220;Corvette Generations of GM, GM Heritage Center, com/wiki/ index.php/Corvette_2-Rotor, accessed 27 2012; #8220;Brissonneau Lotz: Floride Caravelle Club de 2011, fccdf.free. fr/ article.php3?id_article=13, 7 April 2012; #8220;Car and Road Test: Opel L Station Wagon,#8221; Car and Driver 13, No.

8 (February 1968), pp. 53-54, 92; Museum, #8220;2011 Corvette of Fame Clare MacKichan,#8221; 17 2011, www.youtube. com/ (video recording), accessed 8 2012; David R. Crippen, of Irwin W. Rybicki,#8221; 27 June [interview], Automotive Design History Project, Benson Research Center, Accession www.autolife.umd.umich. edu/Design/ Rybicki_interview.htm last accessed 8 April and #8220;Reminiscences of William L. Mitchell,#8221; 1984 [interview], Automotive Oral History Project, Ford Research Center, 1673, www.autolife.umd.umich. edu/Design/ [transcript], last accessed 9 2012; Mike Fordham, Car Crush #21: Opel #8216;Geneve#8217;#8221; (28 October 2011, http://www.influx.co.uk/wordpress/blog/friday-car-crush-21-opel-gtw-geneve/, accessed 27 April #8220;Group Test: Ford 2000GT, Opel Manta Vauxhall Firenza 2000, Marina 1.8TC Coupe, Celica,#8221; The Motor 23 October pp.

74-79; #8220;Johann #8216;Hans#8217; Mersheimer,#8221; Opel History 1 July 2011, www.cokebottle-design. doku.php?id=personen:hans_mersheimer, accessed 12 April #8220;Jordan, Charles M.,#8221; of GM History, GM Heritage Center, com/wiki/index.php/ Jordan,_Charles_M. accessed 8 2012; #8220;Knudsen, Semon Generations of GM History, GM Heritage history.gmheritagecenter. com/wiki/ index.php/Knudsen,_Semon_E. 13 April 2012; Michael and David R. Holls, Century of Style: 100 Years of American Car (Stockton, CA: Lamm-Morada Publishing Co.

1997); #8220;Lapine, Tony,#8221; of GM History, GM Heritage Center, com/wiki/index.php/ Lapine,_Tony, accessed 8 2012; Randy Leffingwell, America#8217;s Sports Car (Osceola, WI: International, 1997) and Porsche Perfection By Design (Osceola, WI: International, 2005), p. 65; Paul #8220;Automotive History: How The 1960 Started A Global Design Curbside Classic, 15 August www.curbsideclassic. com/automotive-histories/ automotive-history- started-a- global-design-revolution/, last 21 April 2012, #8220;Curbside 1966-1973 Opel Kadett (B) – It the Volkswagen,#8221; Curbside Classic, 9 2012, www.curbsideclassic. com/ curbside-classic- 1966-1973-opel-kadett-b- it-dethroned-the-volkswagen/, accessed 14 April 2012, and Story Behind the Best Bob Photo Ever,#8221; The Truth Cars, 4 October 2010, com/2010/10/ the-story-behind-the-best-bob-lutz-photo-ever/, last 14 April 2012; #8220;Obituary: L. Mitchell, Auto Executive, New York Times 15 September www.nytimes.com/ 1988/09/15/ obituaries/ accessed 13 April 2012; Design: The Story,#8221; GM Europe, planer-motorshow. gmeuropearchive.info/shows/ designcenter2006/downloads/gm/en/pdf/ accessed 8 April 2012; Ken #8220;Chronology of Chevrolet Corvettes,#8221; 4 2012, kpolsson.com/vettehis/, accessed 18 2012; #8220;Rybicki, Irvin W. of GM History, GM Heritage Center, com/wiki/ index.php/Rybicki,_Irvin_W. accessed 21 2012; Michael Scarlett, Car Test: Sunbeam Rapier – Manta,#8221; Autocar 10 December pp. 57-61; and Mark Theobald, MacMinn: A Man of Wit and Genius,#8221; Coachbuilt.com, www.coachbuilt. com/des/m/ macminn/macminn.htm, 12 April 2012.

Background on the Corvair Monza GT from #8220;2 Magnificent General Motors Styling the gap between dream and reality,#8221; Track Vol. 14, No. 12 (August pp. 16-18; the Auto Editors of Guide, #8220;1962 and 1963 Corvair Concept Cars,#8221; 13 November 2007, auto.howstuffworks. chevrolet-corvair-concept-cars1.htm, accessed 8 April and #8220;Sweet Dreams: Those Corvair Specials,#8221; Cars Never Were: The Prototypes IL: Publications International, 1981), pp.

Gerry Aubé, #8220;Corvair Studies: General Motors#8217; Corvairs,#8221; CorvairCorsa.com, n.d. com/ monzapro.html, accessed 8 2012; Bill Bowman, Chevrolet Corvair Monza GT Generations of GM History, history.gmheritagecenter. 1962_Chevrolet_Corvair_Monza_GT_Concept, accessed 8 April Richard M. Langworth and the Auto of Consumer Guide, The Complete of Corvette (New York: House, 1987); Randy and David Newhardt, Mustang: Years (St. Paul, MN: Publishing/Barnes Noble Publishing 2006); and the Wikipedia entry for the Monza GT (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corvair_Monza_GT, accessed 8 2012).

Some exchange for the dollar, the sterling, and the Deutschmark estimated based on Lawrence H. #8220;Exchange Rates Between the States Dollar and Forty-one Measuring Worth, 2011-2012, used with permission. rate values cited in the represent the approximate equivalency of and British or German currencies at the not contemporary U.S. suggested prices, which are cited Please note that all rate equivalencies are approximate, solely for general reference; is an automotive history, not a treatise on trading or the value of money!

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