German Stingray

German Stingray

It looks like a baby Corvette but was produced in Germany and somehow found its way to Bahrain! We nail down one of only two Opel Fastback GTs on the island for our Classic Car monthly.

There is an age old recipe every petrol head is nuts about... whether they be mad about all-terrain AWDs, crazy about fwd hatchback hooliganism, or even the ability to always go forwards in their 4x4. That recipe is the front engine, rear wheel drive layout which has stolen the fuel-pumping hearts of many car enthusiasts. This layout has been used from what is widely regarded as the very first affordable automobile, the Ford model T, to modern day performance cars like the Mercedes AMG GT and the Dodge Viper. Couple this layout with oh so covetable fastback styling and ultra-slick looks and you have a killer cruiser for this months classic car, the 1972 Opel GT.

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The first generation OpelGT (1968-1973) was introduced as a concept displaying styling and design at the 1965 Paris and Frankfurt motor shows respectively. The production vehicle used mechanical components from the Opel Kadett B and the bodywork was contracted out to French coach-builder Brissoneau & Lotz for the two-door hardtop platform. The styling of the GT was noted as similar to the Corvette Stingray, with many giving it the nickname of the ‘European Corvette’.

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The Opel GT came with the choice of a base 1.1 litre straight-4 engine producing 67 horsepower or an optional 1.9 litre camshaft in head engine which produced 102 horsepower. It also came with a 3 speed automatic or 4 speed manual, of which this car is specced with the latter. True to the times, the steering in the Opel GT was unassisted in any way, meaning effort-filled input is required and pure analog feedback is received when driving this car.

The suspension on the Opel GT consisted of A-arms and a lower transverse leaf spring for the front, while the rear received a live axle and coil springs. Stopping power came down to disc brakes up front and drums in the rear.

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The Opel GT also has an interesting feature in the form of the pop-up headlights. Unlike the usual hydraulically or mechanically operated variants, the Opel GT’s were mechanically operated through the use of a lever next to the shifter on the centre console. It’s these kinds of quirks that you just don’t see on a modern day car that makes all the difference when it comes to the character.

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A classic is a classic is A CLASSIC! I mean you take this car out, and you’ve got people from all walks of life appreciating it. It might not sell for millions on the classic market, but it is sure to appreciate as the years go by, depending on the condition its in. Internationally you can buy these for anywhere between BD6000. - BD9000. for a good clean condition one. We’d say its money well spent on driving something unique and rare... as long as you make sure that the other one on the island isn’t out for a cruise that day.

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© COPYRIGHT ARABIA MOTORS DECEMBER 2016

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