Opel Graveyard

Opel-graveyard

Opel is a German company that has been building cars for a long time. GM runs the show so the only new Opels we see on these shores today are rebadged as Buicks. Back in the sixties and seventies you could actually buy an Opel branded car though. Their most popular offering was the GT which some have dubbed the “baby Corvette”, but they also built a few other models. If you have a thing for these cars, there is a whole slew of them listed for sale in Riverside, California. Thanks goes to reader P. Trout for the submission.

red-Opel-GT

This red GT is very rough and missing parts, so it might be best used as a parts car. The seller is asking $750.

Opel-GT-parts-car

Here is another beat-up GT and $600 takes it.

Opel-Unlimited-race-car

This GT race car is claimed to be running, but not drivable. It was apparently drag raced by Opels Unlimited in the past. Asking $800. Opels Unlimited has been accumulating hundreds of cars over the years, so we assume these cars are all from their pick-a-part yard.

flared-GT

This is the last GT listed and it is equipped with a euro body kit and German import 2 liter. We assume this one is drivable considering the $2,000 price tag.

Opel-Manta-Rallye

Next, we have this 1974 Opel Manta Rallye. It is missing the engine and the seller is asking $600.

Opel-Ascona-project

Here is a 1971 Opel 1900 Ascona A for $750.

Opel-Kadett-project

Finally, we have this Opel Kadett for $1,500. Everyone knows about Opel’s “Baby Corvette”, but did you know they also built a “Baby Baracuda”?

Comments

  1. Mark

    Hidden due to low comment rating Click here to see.

    • scot

      ~ too harsh, Mark. how about instead of ‘graveyard’ we refer to it as ‘Opel critical care ward’? or maybe ‘hospice’?

      • Mel Lindsay

        Or the resurrection roundup…

    • Dolphin Dolphin

      Opels were a less expensive German alternative to M-Bs and BMWs, and they had quality and handling that was excellent considering what they cost. GM has had a relationship with Opel for years, and sold the Opel Omega as the Cadillac Catera in No America, and there are other examples. In fact, some people have said that the rebadged Opels were as good as or better than what GM made in No America. And fans of the GT are some of the most loyal car fans there are.

      There’s no reason to think that Opels are bad cars.

      • Foxxy

        Didn’t GM sell opels that were built in japan for a few years. I can remember reading somewhere how the workmanship was not near german standards. not sure what year they started, or what brand they actually were. -peace-

      • Richard V

        Yes, Foxxy, there were Isuzus imported from Japan from 1976 ’til ? and given the Opel badge – I hated them! This was because they weren’t Opels in any way, shape or form, except for the badge, and were typical Japanese imports from the late 70s with miles of vacuum tubes and bizarre smog equipment. As a shop owner who specialized in Opels at the time I was not prepared for these “faux Opels”. I lost my butt attempting to diagnose and repair these things. Ugh!!!

  2. Steve

    I loved my ’70 GT, which I owned from ’79 to ’82. The carburetors, electrical and rust on these cars are a source of concern. Even having owned one, I am now sure, short of a resto-mod to address those things this sort of project would be ‘worth’ it. The market in Germany is quite good, I understand — with pristine stock examples bringing $35-$40k.

  3. Dave Wright

    They never imported the best Opals. They made a sedan that was smaller than a Nova with a hi performance small block from the factory. It would run with my big Mercedes 300SE on the autobahn and made great hill climb/rally cars.

  4. Jim

    The GT, or “Poor Man’s Corvette,” is among my favorites of the Opel line. I remember seeing a fair amount of Kadetts and a few Mantas back in the sixties when I was growing up, but the GT was pretty rare. Very cool and attractive car!

  5. j. collins

    Well while they’re waiting for adoption/rehab we should call them Hopals…

  6. jim

    great find. a lot of people who are trying to keep Opels on the road could make use of all of these. this years Imports at Carlisle had more Opels and GTs then i have ever seen in one place. even an early Rallye. thanks

  7. Catfish Phil

    At least the prices are realistic for these examples.

  8. Richard V

    I have a soft spot in my being for Opels. A ’59 Opel Record Caravan was my first car, purchased from a friend of my dads in May, 1965 for $125. I tried like crazy to upgrade it and make it “fast” by increasing the engine displacement to 1.7L, dual SU carbs, mild cam, etc. It sure was a learning experience! But, it still wasn’t fast. Next was inheriting a ’66 Kadett S 1.1L from my sister who bought it new at Colonial Buick, Glendale, CA. That one I modified a bit more successfully with the dual carb set-up from a ’67 Opel Rallye 1.1L. It was such a fun car, very light weight and handled quite well, in spite of it’s strange suspension and transverse front leaf spring. My dad owned a ’73 GT for a few years and, since I specialized in Opel as well as Volvo and Brit imports at my shop, I worked on it a bit for him. The first thing was to pitch the original carb and replace it with a Weber downdraft. Great car but I never found them that comfortable for someone of my height.

    I also owned a ’69 Kadett 1.9L wagon, which I modified extensively. That one was fast, for what it was.

    I just sold the ’66 Kadett a few years ago to make room in my garage for my folk’s ’57 T-Bird. But, I really hated to see it go.

    Those were the days!

  9. Rick

    My very first car was also an Opel, a 66 Opel Kadett, the one you mention is a baby Barracuda. Mine was red with a white top. I thought it looked more like a Mustang myself. I used to delight in kicking VWs around. My last winter, I drove all winter on less than good tires but never got into a ditch, while my dad put the Pontiac Lemans in several times.
    My dad sold it when I went in the service.

  10. Alan Szarek

    Too bad there are no Opel Sportwagons there. I had a ’75 and I lked it very much. In Rochester, NY it rusted really badly and that was its demise. Sad though because it ran well and handled quite nicely. I really miss that car.

    • Richard V

      Yes, they were definitely prone to rust, even in CA. The Kadetts had their battery mounts right over the drain area for the cowl air intake. Mix water with battery acid vapor and you were looking at major rust right above the passenger floor. Then there were the drain holes at the lower rear of the front fenders that immediately became plugged with mud yielding expected results there as well.

  11. rich

    Opel are not that bad and could be made to go fast. Buddy of mine back then even ran in one of the last Canon Balls in his Rally Kadett and finished mid pack. Think they averaged about 75 or so. You could get IMSA stile fender flares for the Manta and it made a cool looking car then get the German touring car engine parts to make it run.

  12. Jerry

    Oh man…. I still have the hood badge from the red one I had when I lived in San Diego in the 80’s. Used to redline that motor on a regular basis drag racing friends up Hwy5 to Rancho Bernardo after the bars closed. My god the stuff we used to get by with….. One day I picked up a 72 boat tail riviera in awesome condition, it had the 455 and I only paid $500 dollars for it so, I got a wild hair to tear down and restore the GT, the red one in the picture above looks exactly the way mine did the day I sold it. Funny thing of it is, I was going through eBay the other day looking for one to put my badge on then came up with the idea of putting it on my 93 vette instead, that way I don’t get murdered in my sleep for dragging another car home…..

  13. george

    Opel GTs arent baby Corvettes. Corvettes are just big GTs

    • Jerry

      I know I had more fun with that GT than I ever have with my Vette, probably cause I’m no longer as crazy as I used to be…. :>))

      • DaveB

        Its far more fun to drive a slow car fast than driving a fast car slow. ;-)

  14. Rene

    I would like the Kadett. I think it might turn some heads in my country. When restored, ofcourse

  15. Dick

    Buyer beware, read about past transactions with “Opels Unreachable” at http://www.opelgt.com

    • Foxxy

      couldn’t find it???

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