Kadett-Vette – 1973 Opel GT

Sometimes, the best sports cars are the ones based on pedestrian mechanicals out of a boring old sedan. You get easy access to parts and an engine that was designed to haul around more passengers and body than the sports car ever will, and if you look at some Italians, it’s not always at the expense of a sweet engine. But we’re not looking at Italians today, we’re looking at Germans, and so you’ll have to put up with the underpinnings of the Kadett B, though this is not all bad since that car came with a 1.9 liter engine putting out (by 1973) 83hp and a respectable amount of torque.

this 1973 Opel GT

1973 Opel GT left front

From this angle, the color almost looks like that 1970s root beer brown, but it’s more likely a fading red paint job, or perhaps it’s the color that replaced the original red. It’s nice to see the sporty original steel wheels on skinny tires, perfect for sliding around mountain roads. There’s plenty of room in those wheel wells, but larger modern wheels look wrong on this oh-so-sixties design.

1973 Opel GT left rear

The car is said to have had minor rust repair on the floor pan, and still has some bubbling in the rear fenders. The car has been rewired, and the upgraded Weber carburetor was rebuilt. Other repairs include a new battery, shocks, ignition, and tune up. It is said to need paint as well, though the current paint jobis not a complete disaster for a driver. With 130,000 miles, you’ll want to pay careful attention to compression figures, especially if there’s no evidence of engine work.

1973 Opel GT interior

The interior looks really good, and is said to be original, though the carpets might need cleaning or replacement. Styling is classic sporty GM for the period, and one of the few true drawbacks of using this car as a long-distance tourer is the lack of an opening trunk lid – heaving something heavy like a tool chest into the rear compartment will be challenging at best.

1973 Opel GT engine

While you can clearly see the new parts, the engine compartment could still use some tidying so you don’t have to put on surgical gloves every time you get under the hood. Variants of the CIH engine were in production until this century, so some parts and upgrades should still be available. Engines from later Kadetts and Mantas have also been used in these, so combined with the European aftermarket scene, you should have plenty of options for more power. If you’ve had real-life experience with one of these, let us know what it’s like in the comments!


Tags: , , , ,

6 Responses to “Kadett-Vette – 1973 Opel GT”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    These are cool,, we had one when I was kid and let me tell ya’ that Weber carb is a nice upgrade from that abominable Solex. If this isn’t too rust it’s a fair deal too.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    These are cool,, we had one when I was kid and let me tell ya’ that Weber carb is a nice upgrade from that abominable Solex. If this isn’t too rusty it’s a fair deal too.

  3. MountainMan Says:

    I had one same year as this as a kid. I didnt own it long but I liked it and sure wouldnt mind another. This one looks to be a fair deal as steve said

  4. Marcel Mastenbroek Says:

    OMG…. I am from the Netherlands, and tell you guys that this is the exact car that I bought last december to get it restored. Amazing how my search for pictures of Opel GT got me on this page…

  5. Marcel Mastenbroek Says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: