Donnerwetter! 1970 Opel GT, Rostfrei

Before you start thinking I’ve turned German, rest assured I already am. But I’ll keep the German to the titles… I’ve been dying to feature one of these for quite a while, since and they look like a pretty fun ride, with 109hp from its 1.9l engine and weighing in at a light 2000 lb. That power-to-weight is competitive with most sports cars of the time, even if the engine and chassis are not the most refined. With over 100,000 cars sold, these were at one time quite common, but now it’s difficult to find a driver-quality car that isn’t priced beyond the range preferred here.

If you’re going to get an early 1970s sports car, you might as well get it in one of the wacky colors they had back then, all the better to stand out from the silver Accords and gold Corollas dominating the road. This 1970 GT is available from Opels Unlimited in Rialto, CA with a current bid of $540 and 8 days to go. No guarantees it won’t go over the magic $3,000 line, but judging by the cosmetics the likelihood is low.

1970 Opel GT left

As you can see, it’s sustained a light hit behind the driver door, which seems to extend to the back edge of the rear wheel well. It’s also fairly oxidized and has some scratches, but putting some elbow grease into the paint and polishing up (or replacing) those slotted mags would help a great deal. Other than where the hit was, the shut lines look pretty good, although the hood appears to be open.

1970 Opel GT rear

Those clever German engineers are so attentive to panel gaps, they eliminated them completely in the back by having no hatch. The rear shot of this car is period-cool, and I’ll go out on a limb and say it also recalls a Dino GTS – curvy rear fenders, raised lip/spoiler, and quad round tail lights with little bumperettes on the corners. Looks like the last registration was in 2005 or 2008, which I believe both used red/orange stickers.

1970 Opel GT front

The front looks like it’s worse for wear, and notice the weird V-shaped grill under the bumper – I’ve not seen that on any other Opel GT, in person or pictures. Unless there’s some special story behind it, that’s the first thing you’d want to remove – it looks something like a cow-catcher on an old steam train. Since the car is suffering from a lack of paint up front, you might want to figure on doing some touch-up, maybe even with some flat yellow paint. Assume the flip-over lights don’t work, since they’re in the open position (in fact, on a car at this price point, assume it if they’re closed too!). Notice the cool period Opel windshield banner, and the other old Opels in the yard of the seller, an Opel parts house.

1970 Opel GT interior

Interior was redone at some point, with an eye to the aesthetics of, say, a 1983 Cutlass Brougham. Too bad, since this means you’ll want to upgrade or bring it back to original, but the seller may be able to help with that. It’s also suffered some sun damage, being a southern California car. Carpets are pretty decent though, and it’s nice to see this car is not dogged by the optional automatic transmission.

1970 Opel GT engine

Finally, the engine. Seller says the previous owner was an older man who owned it until his death, and that the car was always a runner. Much tune-up work has been done, and the condition was validated on a test drive. With a quick search on the web, it appears the vendor is reputable, and while you should always try before you buy, the risk is certainly reduced here. This car has the potential to be a fun, reliable ride on your next mountain tour.

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