Works on a sports car started at Opel’s styling centre as early as 1962. The design concept was based on two principles: low-mounted and comfortable seats and a streamlined car body. The first concept was shown at the 1965 Frankfurt motor show. The car was named Experimental GT and featured the floor plate of the Kadett B. Still, before the future Opel GT could be greenlit for production, the company’s management had to find an appropriate contractor for the car body. Karmann could not accept that task as it was too busy with other contracts. The French company Brissonneau & Lotz, which had been a contractor for Opel earlier, was contacted. Brissonneau & Lotz selected Chausson, another French car body manufacturer, as a subcontractor.
The car was first shown to the general public at the 1968 Frankfurt motor show. The car’s most interesting feature was, of course, its original styling. The two most distinguishing features were the thin chrome bumper and two air intake slits. The classy rear featured a slanted rear window and a central fuel inlet.
The car was sold in two engine versions, both with horizontally mounted gasoline engines. The 1100 GT was powered by the 4-engine OHV engine displacing 1078cc and developing 60 BHP and the 1900 GT featured an engine with the displacement of 1897cc and 102 BHP.
A targa body designed by the Italian company Fissore never went into serial production. In spring 1970, the production of the 1100 GT model ended and the GT/J version was introduced, featuring the engine from the 1900 version but fewer standard features. In 1971, as a result of more stringent US emission regulations, Opel reduced the compression ratio of the 1.9l engine, which reduced its power to 83 BHP. Exports to the United States accounted for 70% of sales. Also as a result of more stringent US car safety regulations, which would require major redesign of the chassis, in August 1973 the production of the Opel GT was discontinued. The total production run was 103 463 units.
The Opel GT offered by Ardor Auctions was imported into Poland from the United States several years ago. The third Polish owner had the car restored. Full body and paint works were performed, with documents available. Suspension and brakes were also replaced. The interior is original, after some cleanup and refreshment. The engine had an overhaul and minor repairs, as had the electrical installation.
The car was produced at the very end of the production run, in 1973. It features the engine with a reduced compression ratio and 83 BHP. The five-digit odometer reads 70 000. The very high quality body renovation works make the Opel’s light silhouette look particularly amazing, in particular in its original bright red paint job. The Opel GT is a rare and very good-looking coupe, reasonably priced, which, in addition to the joy of driving, can bring some profit if resold in the future.