The Opel and the MINIs

Beastmaster and Peanut Adventures

Opel GT - Meet BP500-1!

 

General Motors first launched the car in America where it is built as the Pontiac Solstice and the Saturn Sky. It became available in Europe as the Opel GT from about May 2007. In America they have a 2.4 litre slow version as well as the much faster 2.0 litre version badged as The Saturn Sky Redline. The Opel GT comes in one guise only - the 2.0 litre fast version! Speccing is easy with everything standard apart from  one optional extra - leather seats and stereo upgrade.

We first became aware of the car through pictures on the internet in 2006 and later in the year we went to the Paris Motor Show to see it in the flesh. At the show - which also premiered the R56 MINI - we were simply blown away by its beauty and ordered one as soon as the car was launched! The Opel GT  two-seater sports coupé has a place in automobile history. The original was created in 1968 in a style very similar to the Chevrolet Corvette, the Opel GT was equipped with a metallic monocoque chassis and a 4-cylinder longitudinal engine at the front with rear-wheel drive. It had no boot or tailgate, but the passenger compartment was nonetheless very spacious for a car of this size. It was popularised by the cinema, thanks to its streamlined silhouette and manually retractable headlights. All of the first-generation GTs (1968-1973) are now collector's items!

We took delivery of ours in July 2008 and less than a year later the last one rolled off the production line at the Wilmington Delaware plant. The economic crisis of 2009 had taken its toll on the automobile business and GM had to restructure to survive. The 2 seater Kappa platform was one of the casualties. In total just 7516 new Opel GTs, 34,227 Saturn Sky models and 64,543 Pontiac Solstices were produced and ours is one of just two that have been registered in The UK. Truly a unique car and surely destined to be a future classic just as the original Opel GT has become a collectible classic. It is interesting to note that during 1968 to 1973, a total of 103,463 of the original Opel GTs were sold and its reincarnation finished with a total production of 106, 286 cars.

 

The second generation Opel GT brings new charm to the sometimes rather conservative world of the automobile, with its dynamic lines alternating sharp edges and curved surfaces. Everything behind the Opel GT legend is there: the long bonnet, a powerful front-mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, a passenger compartment littered with sporty instruments and a fabric hood. All the basics are respected! There are also air vents behind the front wheels, whilst the crests above the rear lid bring to mind those of the Ferrari Rossa concept car. The chrome radiator grille, aluminium wheels and double exhaust further emphasise the sportiness of this high-powered car. In the Opel GT you are seated close to the ground, with a gear lever placed in the continuation of your forearm. But its interior comfort also makes it possible to envisage long journeys (if your case is not too big, since the boot capacity is just 66 litres!), as witnessed by its beautiful leather seats with topstitching and its soft suspension.



The Opel GT comes with a 264 hp 353 Nm turbo engine equipped with direct petrol injection that can reach 229 kph (142 mph). The brakes are powerful and quite tough. The driver assistance systems (Electronic Stability Program ESP and Traction Control) are adjustable and can be totally deactivated and make a big difference to the firmness of the suspension.

Technical Specifications

Make : Opel GT
Type: Convertible
 
Engine
Twin scroll Turbocharged, petrol direct injection
Fuel: super unleaded
Engine capacity: 2000 cm3
Number of cylinders: 4
Cylinder arrangement: in line
Valves: 16
Maximum output: 264 hp (194 kW) at 5,300 rpm
Maximum torque: 353 Nm at 5,200 rpm
 
Transmission
Drive: rear-wheel
Gearbox: manual 5-speed
 
Steering
Rack and Pinion Hydraulic Power Steering
Turning circle: 10.7 m
 
Braking
Front: ventilated disc
Rear: disc
ABS
 
Suspension
Front: twin A-arms
Rear: twin A-arms
ESP: fitted as standard, can be deactivated
 
Wheels
18-inch alloy
245/45 R 18 tyres 
 
Car dimensions
Length: 4090 mm
Width: 1810 mm
Height: 1270 mm
Wheelbase: 2410 mm
Luggage capacity (litres): 66
Fuel tank (litres): 52
Kerb weight (kg): 1395
 
Performance
Maximum speed: 228 km/h (142 mph)
0 to 100km/h (0 to 62 mph): 5.7 seconds
 
Fuel consumption (l/100 km)
Urban: 13
Extra-urban: 6.9
Combined: 8.2
CO² emissions in g/k 186.9





Standard equipment:2 airbags, ABS, ESP, alloy hubcaps, fog lamps, power exterior mirrors with defrost control, anti flat-tyre kit, computerized dash, manual air-conditioning, cruise control, CD-radio with MP3 connection.

Additional Equipment: 6 CD/MP3 player, upgraded Hi Fi speakers with 7 speaker system, red and black leather seats.

Total Vauxhall features our Opel GT

 

Original Opel Gt

For more information and the history of this gorgeous car please have a look at its page on Wikipedia - Opel Gt on Wikipedia

 

 

This picture has been shamelessly borrowed from Dollywobbler on Flickr whose photo collection can be viewed here - Dollywobbler on Flickr
It was taken in February 2008 in Lincolnshire.

The Mercedes Stirling Moss McLaren SLR

The Mercedes Stirling Moss McLaren SLR has the bat humps too! The Opel GT is as close as I am ever going to get to this beauty though!

Mercedes has revealed this final version of its SLR McLaren sports car, which will be named after Sir Stirling Moss, who drove for the team in the 1950s. Just 75 examples of the Mercedes SLR McLaren Stirling Moss will be built. This most powerful version of the SLR, a joint production with McLaren, has 650bhp and a projected 0-100kph (62mph) time of 3.5 seconds.

What is most striking about the car is its windowless, open-topped configuration which harks back to sports cars of old. The SLR Stirling Moss has a top speed of 350kph (217mph) and will sell for €750,000 (£709,000).

Flickr Photos of our Opel GT

Opel GT - His Story


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