11-Second Quarter Mile? 1970 Opel GT EV

You’re right, there is something different about this 1970 Open GT, this one is an EV! It’s on Craigslist with three asking prices: $2,500 for the car and $2,000 for a crazy “new” electric motor that’ll rocket thing into space. Or, $4,000 for both as a package. This nice, unusual GT EV is in the Ravenna, Ohio area. Oh yeah, it’ll need batteries, so add that in, too.

This car appears to be in absolutely perfect condition, I don’t see a flaw in the body of this car. But, there actually are a couple of small dings and some chipped paint as seen here. Those tail lights are definitely not Opel GT spec! This thing is custom inside and out.

There are quite a few of these Opel GT EV conversions lurking about on the internet, who knew?! I didn’t even know that these were a popular car to use for conversion to battery-power and I like these odd things. Here is a website and a YouTube video of a couple in Texas that converted a 1973 Opel GT to battery-power and it’s pretty interesting. Or, it is to me! This particular silver and red GT is reportedly faster in its current configuration than it was with the gas-powered drivetrain. There would probably be around a 100-pound net weight gain, so that’s not a lot.

There is no word as to the range of the car seen here but, from what I understand, it needs batteries so the range is probably to the end of your driveway and back again. The couple in Texas added 48 3.6-volt lithium ion batteries which is ideal, but expensive. I’m assuming that the silver GT seen here has old style lead-acid batteries. There is no mention of batteries at all, just that they aren’t included. There are only two interior photos and none of the trunk where there batteries would go.

Here is where the electric motor is, and the gas-powered one was. That’s a 38 hp, 8-inch electric motor that gives this car more power than it’s former 67 hp gas engine had and is about 100 pounds lighter. The seller has a brand new, or NOS, 90 hp “12 inch Reliance Super ‘T’ DC electric motor purchased new in 1979 and never used for the car.” Yowsa, that would be a screamer! They estimate that it would launch this car down the track for an 11-second quarter mile time. There is no word on the range for this car with either motor configuration, but I would assume that it would be around the typical 40 or 50 miles with old-school lead-acid batteries. Maybe 50-100% more than that with better battery technology. This car won’t appeal to a lot of Barn Finds readers, I already know that. I just think that it’s interesting that so many people have converted Opel GTs to battery power. Have you ever seen one of these things?


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  1. Jeffro

    Gone, gone, gone….crying won’t bring it back!

  2. healeydays
    • Scotty Staff

      Thanks, healeydays! I’ve updated the link, thanks much.

  3. Ticketgeorge

    How hard would it be to put a gas engine back?

  4. Rock On Member

    Those appear to be late seventies to early eighties Pontiac Firebird tailights.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      To me, the rear treatment is extraordinarily attractive. If it appears as nice up close as it does in the photographs, I’d call that the best feature of the car. And, Firebird was my first thought as well.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        I agree, in fact it’s possibly the best looking Opel I’ve come across.

  5. Bobsmyuncle

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Ravenna, this car seems well suited to the creative populace!

    I’ve never really thought about it but is there that amount of difference in the horsepower necessary between electric and combustion motors to perform similarly?

    I guess that just shows how late in acceleration that horsepower takes importance over torque.

    • DRV

      We’ve corresponded before on BaT. I live in Hudson a few miles away from Ravenna. Must say I haven’t seen this one around in the last 35 years!
      My old yellow 1800 sold on a BaT a few weeks ago after the owner fixed the motor.
      This car does look at home…that’s probably why the firebird rear end was thought of…

      • Keruth

        Well, Howdy Neighbor! I’m just up the road in Northfield, small world.

        Not a coupe fan, but always liked these “lil’ vets”.
        Interesting concept, but AMC Steve is correct, new EV stuff is WAYYY ahead of this! The new 8/9″ motors would be more efficient and lighter too.

        I couldn’t bend enough to get in this anymore. I’ll stick to rag tops, lol!

        Hey, saw a GT dragster at a show last summer, had 4″ tubes set up as a backbone frame to keep it together, wild!

  6. RicK

    There used to be a kit or plans to install I think it was a jet engine starter and a bunch of 12v car batteries in a Chevy Vega to convert it to EV, Anyhow the installation looked simple and it seems like it was somewhat cheap, Of course this was back n the early 70s after the 73-74 gas crisis, and my memory is somewhat hazy, and as I recall the finished product didn’t have too much in the way of range.

  7. Rock On Member

    Bobsmyuncle, I guess that you know that we have our own Ravenna here in Ontario? It’s located in The Town of The Blue Mountains.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I DO! I’ve bought pies at the general store on MANY occasions. We used to camp at Kolapore at least once a year.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Beautiful area BTW. I still visit yearly at least. Always thought I’d buy a place up there for retirement or sooner.


    They did a Maserati Bi-turbo on Wheeler Dealers and updated it to new electric motors and batteries. That “new” 1979 motor is ancient tech. compared to the new stuff. Buy the body and junk the rest.

  9. Chuck

    Am I the only one that is sad when someone desecrates a classic?

    • Ck

      No Chuck you are not.I’d buy the car for 2500 bucks yank that electric motor out,and drop in a SBC.Maybe you could use the electric motor in your washing machine,or better yet build a high speed blender to make Margaritas at a Jimmy Buffet concert.Electric cars are so overrated, the batteries cost a fortune to replace.Unless you drive fram point A to point B they seem pretty impracticle to me.Ohh I know someone is going to come back and say that the technology has come a long way and you can drive much further than you think.Let me know how you make out on a road trip through Death Vally and ya run out of juice.You better have a long extension cord and alot of water.Thanks, but no thanks I’ll keep my gas powered carbon footprint maker over any electric vehicle any day.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        I agree fully, that said they are always the second fastest rigs at the track. Sleds being the fastest.

  10. Brian

    Still looking for my Opel GT! It was my first car, my grandfather restored to for me. I sold it in late 1994 in Dublin Ohio. It was originally yellow, but was painted black. Automatic, had an Alpine radio installed. Anyone want to help me track her back down?

    Like 1
  11. Brian

    Still looking for my Opel GT! It was my first car, my grandfather restored to for me. I sold it in late 1994 in Dublin Ohio. It was originally yellow, but was painted black. Automatic, had an Alpine radio installed. Anyone want to help me track her back down?

    • Brian

      I’m pretty certain it’s still in the central Ohio area.

    • DRV

      Go Browns…

      • Ck

        DRV.You are a true Browns fan ,and after the Patriots win next week there will only be 11 long months till the new football season….GO PATS!!! WOOOO!!!

  12. Ck

    Not 11months, 8 months my bad Go Pats!!!

    Like 1
  13. Mark in WNC

    I agree with Chuck and Ck. Do not mess with the cars that so many of us like to collect and restore. If you want an EV go buy a Prius and go hug a tree! Ready for the thumbs down…Just expressing my opinion.

  14. Pete

    An Aircraft Auxillary Power unit ( APU )provides the hydraulic power and electrical power required to start the main engines on an Aircraft it would have enough power and torque to propel that car easily. You could use it to power a generator as well to charge the batteries if you wanted the option of both.

  15. Richard V

    I didn’t get the chance to see the original listing but this GT could have come with the twin Solex 1100 engine, or… The much more desirable 102 HP 1900. Those were heavy but very buildable engines. I had a lot of fun blowing off stop light competition with my sleeper ’69 Kadett wagon “back in the day”!

  16. Jerry

    I actually purchased this car a month or two ago. I am just starting to finish this conversion. There is some work ahead, but none the less I’m very excited for the project.

    To those of you who say that this disgraces a classic I understand where you are coming from. However, I will stand by the decision to continue with the EV, and I promise as long as I own the vehicle it will never see a drop of gas.

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