Opel GT: Europe’s ‘Corvette’ – Car News

Opel GT: Europe’s ‘Corvette’ – Car News



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Opel GT

“Opel GT. Nur fliegen ist schoener!” This was the slogan created for the campaign to launch the new car of the German division of General Motors whose translation is: “Opel GT. Just flying is better”.

Coincidence or not, the truth is that with this advertising message, the Opel AG . revolutionized the sports market by launching GT the first fruits of one of the most successful projects ever seen in the automotive industry.

It all started in 1862 when Adam Opel, then 24 years old, founded Opel AG, in the German city of Rüsselheim. Considering the business trend, Adam was looking for new markets to expand his business worldwide.

Opel GT
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Opel GT

Initially it concentrated its production only on sewing machines in a small converted barn. A visionary, Adam also started manufacturing bicycles reaching the production of 2000 units per year.

In 1895, the founder of Opel he died and left the empire in the hands of brothers Ludwig, Fritz, Heinrich, Wilhem and Carl who later decided to bet on the emerging automobile industry.

Opel GT
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Opel GT

Due to the economic crisis of the New York Stock Exchange in 1929, the Opel brothers had to find a partner who could strengthen the stability of the company, associating that year with an international company. General Motors Corporation. However, Opel maintained complete independence over the business.

In the 60s, with the influence of great economic development in the market of North America and Europe, the Opel decided to invest for the first time in the production of a classic sports car.

Test GT
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Test GT

The project was the result of a group of two, presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1963, still as a concept car called. Experimental GT.

It was a prototype that probably wouldn’t make it into production, at least for now. However, it would be nothing more than a simple project if not for the great success of the public Opel. In this way, in 1968 the legend was born. Opel GT.

Opel GT
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Opel GT

On the production line, each assembly process was carefully separated. For the development of the body and design of the new sports coupe, for example, Opel AG calculated in collaboration with the famous constructor “Chausson”, known for the production of trailers and bus bodies in France.

Technicians, on the other hand, gathered at the company’s German headquarters. Opel in the city of Bochum. The studio “Brissoneau & Lotz”, also of French origin, was responsible for the final assembly of the car.

Opel GT
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Opel GT

O Opel GT it is based on a group of two people with attractive lines and excellent sportsmanship and its target group is young and high-income singers. It is 4.11 meters tall and weighs less than 900 kg.

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At that time, two engine options were available, both with four cylinders: the 1.1 liters now in GT 1100 SR and above the line 1900 S in 1.9 liters (1897 cm³) and 102 hp , with an overhead camshaft (OHC) and a Solex two-body only carburetor. Unfortunately, this unit is the same used in Opel Rekord (Brazilian Opal) whose performance deserves praise even today.

Opel GT facts

In the United States, GT competed in the same price range as Porsche 914 , Saab Sonett and VW Karmann Ghia , costing about $3,500. According to a test published in the July 1973 issue of the American magazine Road & Track, a representative of Opel scored the best in comparison, in performance and comfort.

Opel GT
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Opel GT

The style of the revolution was another of the forces praised by the American press. In the United States, Opel GT received the nickname of “European Corvette” and the back design later served as inspiration for Corvette Sting Ray from 1972.

success of Opel GT it was so big that it led to the appearance on the main screens of cinema and television as the famous series “Get Smart” starring the clumsy agent Maxwell Smart, who answered with the number: 86. Here in Brazil the series “Agente 86” was. broadcast by Rede Record (Saturday night).

Aero GT
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Aero GT

THE Opel it even featured a version of the Targa in 1969 (called the Aero GT ) at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but the project unfortunately did not go ahead. As far as we know, there were only three copies of the model. Suggest two commands for the GT series, but it was nothing more than just studies.

In 1971, Opel AG launched the model GT/J (J=Junior) of the simplest suggestions. The main difference was noted by the absence of chrome in relation to other full versions of the coupe.

Opel GT/J
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Opel GT/J

O “J” it also did not have hubcaps and other inappropriate accessories. Despite the “economy” in the equipment used, it was not bad. The engine was fine GT 1,900 and get a more prominent spoiler in front and two lights under the bumper.

On the tracks, the coupe was a winner in competitions, namely in international meetings such as Portugal, Monte Carlo, Targa Florio, etc. In addition to the victory, GT appeared in six world records at the Hockenheim circuit in 1970 with an electric version, Electric GT.

Electric GT
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Electric GT

With an electric motor, it was one of the concepts developed by Opel based on its small sports coupe. At the Dudenholfen test station in 1972, Opel GT he broke two world and 14 international records, with diesel engines.

Production of Opel GT it ended in August 1973. By that time, 103,463 cars had been produced.