FULLY RESTORED 1970 OPEL GT – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 741

FULLY RESTORED 1970 OPEL GT – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 741 – Fireball tours Southern California, exploring Car Culture among English Cars, Metropolitans, Concept Cars and more. Visiting Sports Car Classics, he spots a 1970 Opel GT.

The Opel GT is a front-engine, rear-drive two-seat sports car manufactured and marketed by Opel in two generations — separated by a 34-year hiatus.

The first generation Opel GT (1968-1973) debuted as a styling exercise in 1965 at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows.

The production vehicle used mechanical components from the contemporary Opel Kadett B and two-door hard top bodywork by French contractor Brissonneau & Lotz.

The styling of the 1970 Opel GT was often cited as similar to the 1968 Chevrolet Corvette which went on sale in September 1967.

The Opel GT was equipped with a base 1.1 L OHV straight-4 engine, which produced 67 hp (SAE) at 6,000 rpm.

However, most buyers chose an optional 1.9 L camshaft in head engine, which produced 102 hp (SAE) at 5200 to 5400 rpm. Some of the early 1968 models also came with a slightly higher compression “H” code cylinder head.

In 1971, due to emissions regulations, Opel reduced the compression ratio of the 1.9 L engine used in the US and output fell to 83 hp (SAE). There was also a GT/J model, which was a less expensive version of the 1900-engined GT which was sold only in Europe.

Standard transmission was a manual four-speed. A three-speed automatic was available with the 1.9 L engine. The model run of the Opel GT was from 1968 to 1973. The Opel GT uses a steel unibody and a conventional front-engined, rear-wheel drive layout.

The engine is mounted far back in the chassis to improve weight distribution. Front suspension consists of upper A-arms and a lower transverse leaf spring. A live axle and coil springs are used in the rear.

The power-assisted braking system uses discs in the front, drums in the rear. Steering is unassisted. One unusual feature of the Opel GT is the operation of the pop-up headlights.

They are manually operated, by way of a large lever along the center console next to the shifter. Unlike most pop-up headlights, they both rotate in the same direction (counterclockwise from inside the car) about a longitudinal axis.

One standard joke about GT owners was that you can easily spot them due to the heavy muscles on their right arm built up by using the lever to pop up the headlights. Designed by Opel Stylist Erhard Schnell, the Opel GT is a fastback, that has neither an externally accessible trunk nor a conventional hatchback.

There is a parcel shelf behind the seats that can only be accessed through the main doors. Behind the parcel shelf is a fold-up panel that conceals a spare tire and jack.

The interior of the Opel GT is surprisingly large for a car of its size, owing to its original design process (exterior metal was sculpted around an interior model).

Headroom and legroom are sufficient for those over 6 feet (1.83 m) tall.

During 1968 to 1973, a total of 103,463 cars were sold. The most collectable GTs are probably the first few hundred cars hand-assembled in 1968 and the 1968–1970 models with the 1.1 L engine, which totaled out at 3,573 cars.

Of the later cars 10,760 were the cheaper model (GT/J), which lacked nearly all chrome parts and offered fewer standard features.

In some markets, items like a limited slip differential, front and rear anti-sway bars, heated rear window, and engine bay light were standard, although most cars were shipped without them.

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