Sunday, April 29, 2018

Opel to Celebrate 50th Birthday of the Opel GT at the Bodensee Klassik Rally in May

Three Opel GTs in mint condition
Photo: Opel Pressroom—Poland.
Remember the Opel GT?—the German-import sports coupe with hot looks and unremarkable power that was brought to the U.S. through a partnership with GM and affectionately known here in the States as the "Baby 'Vette?"

Well, the Opel GT, which was actually manufactured in two generations (1968-1973 and 2000-2010), has its 50th birthday this year.

To celebrate, Opel will send five Opel GTs to join a lineup of 180 classic cars for the Bodensee Klassik (May 3-5). The rally starts and ends on the picturesque shores of Lake Constance in Bregenz, Voralberg, Austria, and features a challenging stretch through the mighty summits of the Tyrolean Alps. 

The rally's prologue begins in Bregenz on May 3, proceeding through Allgäu to Lindau. The next day takes participants to Upper Swabia, an area surrounding Ravensburg in southern Germany.  Drivers will meet the challenge of the Apline passage through Eastern Allgäu, Tyrol and Vorarlberg in Austria on Saturday, May 5.

The Opel GT, built as a collaboration between French and German manufacturers, first rolled off the assembly line in 1968, with body components created by French companies Chausson and Brissoneau & Lotz. These manufacturers had the roles of stamping, welding and painting body components, as well as assembling interior fittings. The bodies then traveled to Germany, where they they were fitted to a chassis equipped with suspension and driveline components.

The Opel GT was marketed with a choice of two four-cylinder engines: a 1.1 liter unit making 60 hp, and a 90-hp 1.9  originally created for the Opel Rekord.

The GT 1900 stood out as the more popular choice from the get-go, clocking a top speed of 185 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.5 seconds.

A standard four-speed manual transmission was highly favored in Europe, while the optional three-speed automatic was successful in the U.S.

Enjoying what may be best described as a cult following in the United States, the first-generation Opel GT gave youthful aspirants access to an affordable sports coupe that, though underpowered even for its time, had head-turning looks.

In the mid- to-late 1970s, a young enthusiast on a limited automotive budget could get hold of an Opel GT fixer-upper for a song.

Especially for a youngster who wasn't afraid of a little wrench-twisting, Opel GTs would sometimes even show up dirt cheap at venues like impound auctions.

Sadly, however, it wasn't very far into the 1980s before the Baby 'Vette became a rare sight on American roads.


  1. When the next car exhibition or any competition is expected? I need first Automotive Detailing before applying for the coupons.I am just so much excited for this.Thanks.