1970 Opel GT: A revolutionary car

1970 Opel GT: A revolutionary car

Engine Inline 4 Horsepower 67 BHP (49.312 KW) @ 6000 RPMTorque 62 Ft-Lbs (84 NM) @ 4600 RPM Engine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 1785 lbs | 809.662 kgTransmission 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic

Opel GT was a concept automobile that first appeared as an experimental design, then suddenly became a serial one, in the end turning into a unique record vehicle that opened a new page in the history of the German automaker. 

Source: AutoEvolution

60 years ago, the Opels were not what they are today – neither technologically, which is quite natural, nor in design. By the mid-60s, the Rüsselsheim company stood apart with their dullest design among German car brands. According to the then-famous joke, even the drying paint on the fence was more exciting than studying the model range of the brand of those years. And suddenly in 1965, amid the gray mediocrity, a two-door GT thundered out. Bright, stylish, sporty – a kind of German version of the Chevrolet Corvette. And it was not an accident or a mistake. Detroit was worried about the mediocre state of the German branch. The leadership of General Motors dispatched Anatol Lapin, a Russian-German emigrant and the future chief designer of Porsche, to the rescue operation. It was Lapin who made the shake-up in the Rüsselsheim swamp. The stylish GT proved the German brand could be magnificent.

The origins

Source: Barrett-Jackson

The model was called the “European Corvette” for a reason. Back in 1962, GM chief designer Bill Mitchell sent a team of specialists to Germany, who were tasked to refresh the brand’s dull lineup and save the brand. For the first time, the headquarter and the top management offered Rüsselsheim company to develop a sports vehicle like the Chevrolet Corvette, only in a reduced form. The head of Advanced Design Studio Erhard Schnell took over the project, in 1962-1964, and in 1965, the Experimental GT concept car was built. It was an aerodynamic coupe with a 2 + 2 landing formula, surprisingly similar to Mitchell’s Mako Shark II – a prototype of the third-generation Corvette. From a bright concept car that made a splash at the 1965 Paris Motor Show, it became a real sensation for the brand. The next few years were spent on the various test drives on the brand’s test track at Düdenhofen, and in 1968 the car finally went on sale as the Opel GT. 

The 1970 model year

Source: Catawiki

The body of the 1970 model year was in the shape of a Coca-Cola bottle, with curved fenders and a fastback sloped roof. The long hood rested against a thin front bumper, the radiator grille was replaced by two horizontal holes, and an asymmetrical bulge was made above the air filter. Instead of pop-up rectangular headlights, the model got round ones that turn manually using a lever on the console. Even a joke arose about this, according to which this automobile owner could be recognized by their pumped-up right arm. The model was a unified mixture of two models – Kadett B and Rekord C. It was equipped with an independent front suspension, disc brakes in front, and drum brakes in the rear, a transverse spring, a leading rear axle on leaf springs. The 1078ccs, 60HP inline 4-cylinder OHV engine was the base engine, but most buyers opted for the 1,897ccs, 90HP overhead (CIH) 4-cylinder engine. Both engines were moved behind the front axle for better weight distribution. There were two transmissions to choose from – a 4-speed manual and a 3-speed THM-180 automatic. The list of options included a self-locking differential, anti-roll bars, a heated rear window, and engine compartment lighting. In 1970, the Junior modification with a 1.9-liter engine and simplified trim joined the 1100 and 1900 S modifications. It differed from the rest of the Opel GTs in the presence of horizontal moldings with GT/J inscriptions along the perimeter of the body and special disks. In addition, the interior was redesigned: there were additional devices and velour upholstery on the seats.

Did you know?

Source: BestCarMagz

1970 Junior modification was produced in Germany Bochum city, but the bodies were supplied by the French company Brissonneau & Lotz. When it became part of Renault, the supply of bodies ceased in favor of Renault.

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1970 Opel GT: A revolutionary car

Engine Inline 4 Horsepower 67 BHP (49.312 KW) @ 6000 RPMTorque 62 Ft-Lbs (84 NM) @ 4600 RPM Engine Location FrontDrive Type RWDWeight 1785 lbs | 809.662 kgTransmission 4-speed manual, 3-speed automatic

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