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50 years of Opel GT: Grand Tour with Röhrl and 75 GT

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M he umbrella association of the European Opel GT clubs is celebrating the anniversary of the Opel GT with a grand tour. The sports car came onto the market 50 years ago. A stopover during the anniversary drive reminded of the premiere: From October 21 to 29, Opel invited journalists, customers and dealers to get to know the new GT at the Hockenheimring. Exactly there, Opel GT drove up again: 75 privately owned and owned sports cars rolled over the small course.

Röhrl in the GT at the Hockenheimring

At the wheel of his silver GT: Walter Röhrl. The former rally driver did not break away from Porsche, but in 2016 he fulfilled a childhood dream with the two-seater when he bought the car from his former rally mechanic Herbert Fabian. In the passenger seat: GT designer Erhard Schnell. The 91-year-old designer still likes the shape of the GT and signs one of the pop-up headlights on Röhrl's GT - otherwise the rally world champion signs cars, this time asking for an autograph himself. With Volker Strycek, a second motorsport celebrity is out and about in his own GT: The Opel Motorsport boss drives an orange GT Junior.

The President of the American GT Club, Gil Wesson, came from the USA Party. The tour was organized by Olaf Moldzen. The North German runs the umbrella association of European GT clubs and brought two cars with him: a 69 GT 1900 and an Irmscher touring car. A Conrero GT also roars through the Motodrom. The Italian sports car fought back against various Porsches at the 1971 Targa Florio.

Difficult to camouflage form

As early as 1965, Opel showed a sporty two-seater at the IAA in Frankfurt. His name: 'Experimantal-GT'. Folding headlights, flat front, wasp waist and the spoiler lip at the rear formed into a rear spoiler already show the later features. In 1965, auto motor und sport gave the study no chance of series production - luckily a mistake, three years later the sporty coupé came in a coke bottle -Design of the Corvette on the market. The shapes and curves have been made even more pleasing and brawny, the body overhangs slightly shortened, the angular pop-up headlights were replaced by round ones. Opel had a problem with thatDevelopment with the confidentiality of the GT: The unusual body shape could not be camouflaged.

Only flying is more beautiful

The slogan “Only flying is more beautiful” will soon have a new meaning. The young drivers in particular are enthusiastic about the cheap Opel GT (entry-level price 10,767 marks) and often give a little too much gas in their youthful recklessness. The driving behavior of the Opel GT with its unfavorable weight distribution - it is very light at the rear - soon brings it the addition of a rear sling, although the engines have a maximum output of 90 hp -Four-cylinder with 60 hp and a 1.9-liter counterpart with 90 hp decide. The performance of the GT 1900 is impressive in 1968: 185 km /h top speed and 10.8 seconds for the sprint to 100 km /h. The optionally available three-speed automatic is only ordered in homeopathic cans in Germany and Europe, in North America, of course, things look very different.

The Opel GT comes in a high phase of the Rüsselsheim-based company. The plants in Rüsselsheim and Bochum are so busy that the body is manufactured in France by Chausson and Brissoneau & Lotz. The paintwork and interior fittings are also completed in France. The final assembly is carried out in Bochum.

Successor to come in 2008

By the end of production in 1973, 103,463 GTs will be manufactured, around 70,000 of which will be sold in the USA. The Aero GT study with a removable roof, which was presented in 1969, unfortunately remains an unrealized dream for many Opel fans. It wasn't until 40 years later that Opel launched a roadster with the famous name, the new GT. The cubic capacity has grown little compared to its ancestor. The two-liter four-cylinder has only 100 cc more, but the output has almost tripled: 264 hp. 229 km /h and an acceleration to 100 km /h in 5.7 seconds show the progress.

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