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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Opel GT, a mini Corvette from German

Opel is one of the world's well-known German brands that have one of the legendary slogan sentences: 'Nur Fliegen ist schöner…' or 'Only Flying is More Exciting...' The words are closely related to the car called the Opel GT which has now officially assumed a classic status. The car began its life in 1965 when those German brands introduced a concept car with a very aerodynamic shape, at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) or better known as the Frankfurt Motor Show.
Opel Experimental GT concept debuted at the 1965 Frankfurt Motor Show. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/3aJLtCb)
Opel itself is aware that the car seems difficult to immediately realize as a mass product, so there are still many parts that are redesigned to make it more feasible to produce. It took three years until finally, the company had finished the project. However, now few are aware that at that time Opel had made a brilliant move because for the first time in Europe one of the mass-produced cars actually originated from the concept.
Opel GT, a miniature of Corvette from German. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/36wcSUG)
In 1968, Opel did not deny the fact that its car product bears a similarity to the famous American-muscled Chevrolet Corvette. Due to Opel is also under the auspices of General Motors (GM) the American automotive giant corporation, it is legitimate if the German manufacturer applies the GM's design language in the time, namely 'Coke Bottle Shape,' which was also applied to Corvette Stingray in the same year.

Besides having a fantastic shape, this Opel sports car is deliberately designed to have a high level of aerodynamics, as explained by Erhard Schnell, an Opel designer. The tapered front with a pair of pop-up headlights, muscular front fenders, body arches at the door, to the full rear fenders, are typical Opel GT characters.
The Opel GT interior looks simple, but in his day, was sophisticated. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37vU0Xt)
Born as a compact-sized sports car, the Opel GT seemingly uses a lot of components from the Opel Kadett which are quite conventional and lack sophisticated technology at the time. Opel GT's futuristic body itself was made by a French metal component company, namely Autocars Chausson.

Then the car body is sent to another French company known as the locomotive and railroad maker, named Brissonneau et Lotz. The company handles the painting process, the installation of electrical lines, and various interior components. After that the assembly process was continued by the Adam Opel AG factory in Bochum, to unite the body, engine, and chassis. This factory is also the center of the Opel Kadett assembly process.
The Opel GT is marketed in two engine options, ie. 1.1-liter OHV and 1.9-liter CIH. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37vU0Xt)
Although the physical dimensions are not large, it has a roomy interior for such compact sports car-sized. Opel designers think highly of the GT's sensual body shape to package the interior design with spacious space. Even drivers and passengers who have a body height of around 180 cm won't grumble with the car's headroom and legroom.

Besides that Opel GT can be seen as a coupe or fastback. Uniquely, this car does not have cargo space, even the hood is also absent. As a substitute, there is a compartment behind a pair of seats, which can be accessed through folding panels. Inside are stored its spare tires, jack, and tool bags. This compartment can also be used to store the luggage, even though its capacity is not too large.
From its a 1.9-liter engine, the Opel GT can accelerate from 0-100 kph in 10.8 seconds and a top speed of 185 kph. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37vU0Xt)
For matters of powertrain, Opel only provides 2 options, namely the 4-cylinder engine 1.1-liter OHV (overhead valve) powered 67 hp as a standard variant. Then there is the 1.9 liter CIH (camshaft in the head) 4 cylinder engine powered 102 hp as the top variant. The two engines are combined with a 4-speed manual transmission and the optional 3-speed automatic transmission is only available for the CIH 1.9-liter engine variant.
To this day, Opel GT fans are still numerous in Europe. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/37vU0Xt)
If those two machine options are compared with today's car engine performance standards, they might look ludicrous. But in the late 1960s, the performance numbers were quite good, considering that the Opel GT only had a total weight of 900 kg. In fact, the Opel GT 1.9 liter engine can accelerate from 0-100 kph in 10.8 seconds and has a top speed of 185 kph. Of course, this achievement is also related to its aerodynamic shape.
Opel also thinks about the optimal control aspects of this GT model. Therefore, its chassis uses twin A-arm suspension components for the front and center-joint rigid axles with longitudinal control arms and lateral track bars for the rear.

Hence the Adam Opel AG produced Opel GT in between 1968-1973, with the number of units produced reaching 103,464 units. And about 85% of all units produced are supplied to the export market and 70,222 units are marketed in America. Even more, the German' auto company has ever been built another Opel GT Concept back in 2016 and displayed at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | OPEL | MOTORIS | CAR STYLING]
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