The Glamorous First-Gen Opel GT Shines at the Bodensee Klassik Rally

First generation Opel GT 9 photos
Photo: Opel
Opel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee KlassikOpel GT at Bodensee Klassik
2018 marks the 50th year since the very first model Opel GT rolled off assembly lines, and the official celebration events kicked off this past weekend on the Lake Constance on the Rhine, at the event known as the Bodensee Klassik rally.
Being perhaps Europe’s only true fastback of its time, the Opel GT was designed in Rüsselsheim by Erhard Schnell, under the guidance of GM’s Clare MacKichan.

MacKichan, also involved in the development of the Corvair and Camaro of the 1950s, left his mark on a car that is unique in the European automotive history.

Using a Kadett B for the mechanical components, the designers tasked French company Brissonneau & Lotz to develop the body of the car.

The GT featured a base 1.1-liter straight-4 engine, which develops a shameful 67 horsepower at 6,000 rpm. There was, however, a more powerful, 1.9-liter 102 horsepower engine that became the market favorite.

Unlike most cars of its time, the fastback was fitted with pop-up headlights, and it featured no externally accessible trunk.

The first generation of the now classic GT lasted for five years, selling a little over 100,000 units. A revival of the model was attempted in 2007 when based on the GM Kappa platform the GT entered the European market as the replacement for the Opel Speedster.

The car was, however, millions of miles apart, design-wise, from the model it borrowed the name from.

Last weekend, five of the original Opel sports cars took the challenge of running the 600 km (373 miles) of the rally that took the cars and drivers from the city of Bregenz to the Alpine peaks of Tirol.

Behind the wheel of one of the five cars sat actor Ludwig Trepte, winner of an Emmy Award for his role in “Generation War.” One other car was driven by former DTM pilot Joachim Winkelhock.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories