Opel, not Opal

In the most recent episode of Wheeler Dealers, Mike and Ant restored a car like this:

See the source image

From bestcarmag.com a picture of a 1969 Opel GT. Until 2017, Opel had been part of General Motors since 1929 when GM acquired 80% of the company. (In 1931, GM purchased the remaining 20%.) GM sold its European operations in 2017; Opel is a German company.

In my opinion the car is quite fetching with its long hood, short deck and curvy body. Those hidden headlights do not operate by electricity or vacuum, but by mechanical linkage. The car was powered by an inline 4-cylinder engine and certainly was not a muscle car. I believe the more powerful of two engine options produced 102 HP and 155 LB-FT of torque. However, the car was very light at only 1,800 pounds. At that weight and with a lack of modern safety equipment like airbags, the Opel GT is, unfortunately, probably not the safest car to drive today. Can airbags be retro-fitted to a car?

About 103,000 of these were produced between the 1969 and 1973 model years, inclusive, and most were sold in the US by Buick dealers. A quick search of Hemmings produced just two Opel GTs available in the US not at auction, both offered by the same dealer, with asking prices of $3,950 for a project car and $8,250 for a car in better condition.

According to Wikipedia, a Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky-based version of the Opel GT was produced for model years 2007-2010 although only two 2010 cars were made. Also, and as I had mentioned in my previous blog, Opel showed a prototype for a new GT in 2016 that paid homage to its past:

2016-03-01 Geneva Motor Show G215.JPG

Picture from Wikipedia…it’s not clear if this car will be produced and if the sale of Opel to PSA Groupe has changed the trajectory of the project.

To borrow the motto of Automobile Magazine, No Boring Cars!

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2 thoughts on “Opel, not Opal

    1. Distressingly, word has been scarce. The car was not introduced at the Detroit Auto Show; nor was it introduced in Geneva or New York. I don’t know for sure, of course, but I think some of the decline in Corvette sales is due to people waiting for the C8.

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