Stored 20 Years: 1970 Opel GT

This 1970 Opel GT has an interesting timeline. It has been stored inside for 20 years, but was taken out and repainted 15 years ago and then covered and put back in storage. It’s listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $5,200 or make an offer. There are over 12 days left on this listing so you can make this one your 2017 New Year’s Resolution, if you can wait that long.

The seller says that they have all of the hard-to-find trim pieces and the bumpers and everything else to complete this car. Those must have been taken off for the repaint 15 years ago and never put back on again. That’s good to hear, usually parts and pieces are missing after a vehicle is in storage for this long.

I think there are a few Opel GT fans among the Barn Finds readers, if I remember correctly. A few past owners, too. I have to admit that I have never owned or even driven an Opel GT but they’ve always been a fascinating car to me. This one looks pretty solid and there actually a few partial underside photos, nice. Although, the underside photos do show a lot of surface rust, and is that a chunk cut out on the right side?

You’ve noticed by now that this car has a 3-speed automatic transmission. That’s nice for those folks with certain issues with operating a clutch pedal, but not so nice for those of us who like to shift for ourselves. The interior looks like it hasn’t been cleaned since the paint job 15 years ago, but it looks pretty complete and in nice condition. Those seats look super comfy, does anyone know if a 6′-5″-tall person would fit into that front seat?

This is Opel’s 1.9L cam-in-head inline-four with around 100 hp. That’s a decent amount of horsepower for such a light car (around 2,000 pounds). This engine probably needs more than a thorough detailing after sitting for 15 and/or 20 years, but it looks pretty complete and I bet it would run nicely again once the fuel system is cleaned out. The seller says that it ran fine and was quiet when they put gas in the carb and started it. Who among the Barn Finds family and friends has owned an Opel GT? Anyone? What are the maintenance items to look for on this particular car after being in storage for so long?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    The Opile GT was a,,,different car. Expensive, at the time, and wasn’t the most useful ( no trunk lid) Still, they are fun cars. My daughter had a Saturn SC1, and it was very much like the Opel GT, but nicer ( hatchback and real rear seats) I noticed the fan belt is missing, and the fan shroud is loose, so if they did start it, it must have made a racket. ( I don’t believe they ran it) Head lights were a major problem, and the automatic did suck what little power the 1.9 put out. ( I had several, good motor, just not the best.) Basically, a Kadett and a bad spot for all Opels, was the front suspension stubs would rust ( you can see them by the jack lift hole), and these seem ok. My Manta was a much nicer car.

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  2. dr.peter

    Had a 70 opel gt. drove it for 150,000 miles. I was 17 and did not know any better. The car rotted out from under me. transverse leaf spring in front . live rear suspension. put koni shocks and goodyear radial gt’s on it after i tried to get rid of the rot behind the wheels. the konis popped through the sheet metal mounting spots . had to have them welded on a saturday morning on a trip to new jersey . looked good for about a year. .based on the kadet. final straw was when head gasket started to leak and was cold enough the ice would clog the carburetor. bought a 70 mg and gave away the opel to another kid. finally had a real sports car

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  3. Fred W.

    Howard, I also had an Opel Manta, a ’73 Luxus. First car I ever bought “on time”. Two year old car for something like 3K. Really liked it and should have kept it longer. Never had a GT but saw a few around, usually with the headlights stuck open.

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  4. Mike

    I had one of these in the late 80’s, and it ran like a striped ape, it had a lot of stuff done to it, and I drove it for about 6 years, it had a bored out 60, 350 chevy engine and man could it fly around those corners took the feature a couple of times, OH did I forget to tell you the body was part of a dirt track modify I ran during the late 80’s. I found the car in a junk yard and thought it would be a very unique dirt track car, of course I only ran the rear body with welded doors

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  5. RicK

    Too bad its yellow. But a nice project nonetheless, the hard part’s done already.

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  6. OldCarGuy

    I used to have one back in the day. I bought it from a junk yard since someone destroyed the dash when stealing the radio. It took a while to replace the dash since practically every wire is light blue.

    Still, it was a fun little car. It wasn’t very fast but it felt like a go kart since it was so close to the ground. The headlights rotate to open and are controlled by the lever next to the ash tray on the console. They inevitably get stuck since the cable corrodes. The door handles freeze solid with just a little snow since they are a push button. I always carried a lighter and I don’t even smoke.

    6’5″? I don’t think so unless you recline the seat A LOT. I barely fit and I’m only 5’10”.

    …and no, there’s not enough room for a small block Chevy without a lot of cutting.

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  7. Horse Radish

    Seller cannot even wipe down interior or vacuum carpets for $6k ?
    Pass

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  8. Opeldude

    Respray evident by the front bumper bracket, this is one of those cars that I would say has a ton of hidden surprises. Lots of parts now available and being reproduced. Also a shop in TN that restores these cars, but not cheap.

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  9. Dale Leier

    I always like the design and even though it was German built it wasn’t exactly over-engineered. Specifically, it was gutless and the handling wasn’t great but OK. Would be fun to put a modern japanco drive train and re-work the suspension.

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  10. Duff

    I don’t get it. Why would you put a car in storage for 15 years, take it out of storage, do a crappy job of repainting, then forget to put it back together and then put it back in storage. If you weren’t planning to do the job right to begin with… why waste the time at all? I just don’t get it.

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  11. Todd Hegstrom

    I had one in 1976. Ran great. But was always somewhat disappointing to drive with an automatic. Mine had AC. Water pump failed. And the job was a real pin with the ac hardware. But after that no issues. If I ever had another I would insist no AC and a standard transmission

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  12. Ben L.

    When I was 16 I was searching the paper classifieds for an inexpensive car and came across an Opel GT for $500. “Hey dad, what’s an Opel?” “Well son, it looks kind of like a Corvette but smaller and different proportions.” We went to go see it. It had been stored in a barn for 8 years then outside for another 6 months. It looked like someone had started doing body work on it then stopped in the middle. All the parts were stuffed inside in milk crates and the brakes where rusted solid. The owner hooked up a battery dumped some gas down the carb and it fired right up. I was sold! I offered him the meager $200 I had to my name and the rest is history. In a month I had it cleaned up, put back together, and all the dash wires reconnected that had been chewed on by mice. I’ve owned an Opel GT ever since. In stock form they are not fast, but they’re fun and will start a conversation at every gas station. A few years ago I fixed the HP problem with a little Japanese turbo goodness (SR20DET). 100 hp in a 2000 lb car is fun, but 200 hp in a 2000 lb car is Awesome!
    Yes a tall person (I’m 6’2) can fit in a GT just fine as long as it still has the original seats. (You won’t find any modern seat as thin as a GT seat.) Head room might be an issue if your 6′ 5″, but leg room is no problem.

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  13. ACZ

    There’s another one with the power problem solved. If you ever get to the Sloan Museum annual car show in Flint, MI, in June, there is one usually there with a 455 Buick engine. A tight fit but it is nicely done.

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  14. Rolf Poncho 455

    I am building a opel manta 72 mod just got the engine last night
    a 2.0L GSI Boss motor and turbo charger hope its going to be
    a nice build

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  15. Plresultsman

    I had a ’70 GT in HS / early college years, prior to selling to get a Toyota truck for housepainting biz that supported girlfriend & beer requirements. My GT was originally an aqua green, but had been sprayed a violet blue. Big fun to drive w/1.9 4 speed. Handled well. Super aggravating Solex carb. Took it off every three months and gave it to my dad, a chemist, so he could put it in a vibration chamber to clean it. Headlights would get bound up regularly, super effed up design, as mechanicals would cut the wires. Electrical wiring an issue, mine seized up at the fuse panel and melted. I did get with my GF a time or two in there, but I am 5’8″. Comfy prolly up to 6’2″. Bunch of fun car — but a pain in the ass all the same. I’d go get a Subaru BRZ if the itch needed scratching now. As it is, I love my two Subaru Forestet XTs (turbos), an ’11 in cinnamon orange and the ’17 in white with the lovely two tone brown black interior. The 17 fixed ALL of the little issues with the 11. Damn good ride!

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  16. Plresultsman

    I had a ’70 GT in HS / early college years, prior to selling to get a Toyota truck for housepainting biz that supported girlfriends & beer requirements. My GT was originally an aqua green, but had been sprayed a violet blue. Big fun to drive w/1.9 4 speed. It was quick, and handled well. Super aggrievating Solex carb. Took it off every three months and gave it to my dad, a chemist, so he could put it in a vibration chamber to clean it. Headlights would get bound up regularly, super effed up design, as mechanicals would cut the wires. Electrical wiring an issue, mine seized up at the fuse panel and melted. I did get with my GF a time or two in there, but I am 5’8″. Bunch of fun car — but a pain in the ass all the same. I’d go get a Subaru BRZ if the itch needed scratching now. As it is, I love my two Subaru Forester XTs (turbo), an ’11 in cinnamon orange and the ’17 in white with the lovely two tone brown black interior. The 17 fixed ALL of the little issues with the 11. Big fun to drive. If you want a small SUV, get the Forester XT!

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