Monday Money – The mini Vette’

Strong trio: Opel’s Vice President Sales & Aftersales Peter Küsper, actor Benjamin Sadler and racing driver Joachim Winkelhock will take the road in three legendary Opel GTs at the Bodensee-Klassik 2016.
This is a car I really love! For its simplicity, superb look which resembles a small Corvette C3 and its compact size. Unfortunately, performance wise, it would have needed a bit more punch… But even with the original engine, I am sure it would be an absolute joy to drive.
It never came out as a Vauxhall as they only really started producing Opel based cars in the mid-70s or early 80s so it was never offered as an RHD which make it quite rare to find in the UK.
The Opel GT was first presented in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt shows and was available to the public 3 years later. It offers the conventional 2-seater coupe layout with a front engine, rear wheel drive configuration.
Parts of the platform was shared with the Kadett B, though the body was made by a small French engineering company Brissonneau & Lotz who were also in charge of assembling the Renault Caravelle prior to the Opel.
The mini GT is only 4.11m long and 1.22m high, with a kerb weight between 840kg and 940kg depending on the versions and options. It was produced in Germany and was initially offered with a 1.1L inline 4 with a 67hp output. Needless to say that even with a light construction, 67hp is just not enough, and thankfully Opel also had the 102hp 1.9L to offer a decent power to weight ratio. The GT also allows for modifications with newer engine blocks that would improve performance and fuel efficiency (only in some cases) as it can be fitted with anything from an L4 turbo, to a straight 6 or even a V8!
For collectors, the most desirable remains the 1.1L as less than 5% of the total production was fitted with the smaller engine.
Prices are rather affordable as they can be acquired for less than £10K and in rather good condition (mostly in continental Europe due to LHD configuration). While fully original and restored models will be between £15 and £20K.
Opel decided to revive the GT model in 2007 on the Pontiac Solstice platform (definitely not the best option). It came in to replace to Speedster and VX220, but was never offered on the UK market as an RHD version which I guess is a blessing in disguise.