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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

1971 Opel GT Needs a Loving Home




Normally, vintage sports cars of a certain German origin will cost you an arm and a leg…as well as your friend’s arms and legs. Not so in the case of this lovely 1971 Opel GT, which is currently up for sale for a relatively affordable price.

The eldest of you might remember the tiny Opel as that other car sold in Buick dealerships back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. But it was a bit more than that.

The Opel GT, which made its production debut in 1968, melded the worlds of commuter cars and sportscars, literally. Opel assembled the sports car’s sweeping body on top of a humble Opel Kadett chassis. Economy car or not, it remains quite the looker.

And those similarities to the C3 Corvette aren’t a coincidence either. The GT’s designer, Clare MacKichan, previously penned cars for GM in the ‘50s, which explains the visual family tree.

Its Kadett origins means the Opel GT sports a transverse leaf front suspension, front disc and rear drum brakes, a coil-sprung rear axle, and a four-speed manual transmission. This model, being an American version, sports the firm’s larger 1.9-liter four-cylinder, rated at 102 horsepower.

Even by Opel’s own advertisements, it was claimed that the GT wouldn’t accelerate like a race car – though the material alleged it would stop like one. Clever ad men, clever.

The selling point on this car is absolutely its remarkable, well-preserved condition, especially given its location in the oh-so-wintery Northeast (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania). Included in the sale are many of the car’s original documents, including the owner’s manual and original options list, as well as an extensive service history.

Mileage is unlisted, but going off the dozens of photos on the site, everything looks well looked-after and fairly original. Though, we hope the original Opel ski rack – referenced in the owner’s docs – is included as part of the deal. You can check out the listing here for only $19,500.