Fifty-years-ago Opel stole the limelight at the 1965 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show with its ‘Experimental GT’ concept car, based on the underpinnings of the humble Kadett B family saloon.
Taking clear inspiration from its General Motors US cousin – the Chevrolet Corvette – Opel’s neat two-seater coupe caused a sensation, with the positive public reaction leading to a production version of the car going on sale in 1968. In the subsequent five years, 103,463 Opel GTs were built, with the majority of production exported to the lucrative North American markets, where the car was sold through the Buick dealer network.
Opel revived the GT name in 2007 with its short-lived and unloved two-seater roadster, based on the American Saturn Sky. However, in the intervening years, Opel displayed a number of GT prototypes, currently being exhibited at the Techno-Classica in Essen.
These include the 1969 Studie CD, shown in both in skeleton and GRP forms at Essen. The CD was a larger luxury coupe concept with a space-age wrap-around windscreen, ultimately leading to the production Bitter CD on 1972. The CD is joined by the 1975 ‘Geneve’ concept, as an update of 1969 original, along with a ‘modern’ Insignia-derived GT coupe.
Photography: Tom Shaxson http://tomshaxson.com