Sunday, March 29, 2015

10k: Ground Up and Spit Out: 1970 Opel GT

You've heard the expression that it is better to drive a slow car fast, than a fast car slowly -- which is mostly true.  But the corollary expression when purchasing a car is that it is better to have a nice example of a cheap car, than a cheap example of a nice car.  This next car was the subject of a ground up restoration, but now it is being spit out after only 5,000 miles since the resto.  Find this 1970 Opel GT offered for $9,800 in San Francisco, CA via craigslist.  Tip from Kaibeezy.

The Opel GT was a compact sports car built by GM's European subsidiary Opel from 1968 to 1973.  The little  "poor man's Vette" (reference to its styling similarity with Chevrolet's C3 Covette) was sold and maintained at Buick dealers in North America, an odd place to find a European transplant and undoubtedly part of the reason it was sales failure

 The Opel GT was available with two engine choices, a 1.9 liter cam-in-head (CIH) upgrade engine putting out 102 horsepower, and a 1.1 liter OHV inline-4 putting out 67hp.  Based on a quick internet image search, I am lead to believe that this is the 1.9, which used a camshaft located in the head that acted on the valves with a short tappet and rocker arm -- sort of a hybrid between pushrod and over-head cam.

This GT looks decent on the inside, but for the current asking price you should expect everything to be perfect.  You can pickup cheap GTs all day long, so if you pay a premium price, you should expect to get a premium example.

See a cooler set of window louvers?


  1. The Opel GT is a car coming into its own, it's light, the 1.9L engine is durable and tunable, and it's tinfoil body is attractively shaped. I'm seeing many more of them at car shows and on sites like this.
    The wheels on this example, however, look like buck teeth on a baby. Why bother doing paint and body work on a car only to slap on wheels that hang out like a bra-less Dolly Paton, essentially sand blasting that new finish every time you drive it? I guess the owner was trying to highlight the Corvette similarities, or attract the mullet crowd maybe?

  2. That stance definitely is the mullet version...

  3. Love it when somebody's asking a substantial amount for a car and can't even be bothered to spell the name right. Sends a message that attention to detail may not be a priority.

  4. If this opel is still available i would be interested in buy it, my email is

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