European Model? 1969 Opel GT 1.1L

It’s fun to see such a nice example of a 1969 Opel GT as this one. For any small car to have rear-wheel-drive is a treat for me since almost every vehicle is front-wheel-drive or AWD now. Small cars are, at least. This fantastic time capsule can be found here on eBay in Kings Mountain, North Carolina with some incredible bids bringing the price up to over $12,000 and the reserve isn’t met!

This car appears to be in amazing condition, which of course explains the high bid price so far. Hagerty gives a #2 excellent condition value of $17,100 and I’m assuming that the seller won’t take much less than that since this car truly appears to be in that condition. Which, for a 50-year-old car that most of its relatives (other Opel GTs) have rusted or been beaten into the junkyard by now. This is one nice car.

I have to wonder what may have happened if Nissan didn’t throw down the gauntlet with its 240Z which for all intents and purposes put this car and a few others in this class out to pasture. This car is, according to the seller, a rare-in-the-U.S. 1.1L car and not many of them were imported in this configuration as most of them had the bigger 1.9L engine. It was purchased in Germany by someone in the military and brought back to the U.S., according to the seller.

This car looks like it’s as close to new condition as any that I’ve seen, and it hasn’t been restored, it’s original. The interior looks like new, I don’t see a flaw anywhere in this car inside or out.

Like everything else, the engine looks fantastic, clean enough to eat off of. They say that this is Opel’s 1.1L inline-four which on first glance may not appear to be as rare as the seller mentions. I saw info about 3,573 of the twin-carb 1.1L cars being made and they’re listed as being available in North America, but one of you will know if they’re as rare as they say. The bidders sure don’t care that this car has the smaller engine and is 4 seconds slower to 60 mph, or 100 km/h as in this car. Have any of you owned a 1.1L Opel GT?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Yeah, well the new owner will be pleasantly surprised when this car can’t get out of peoples way. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a GT with a 1.1, they were pretty weak, even with dual carbs. GT’s were expensive when new, but surprisingly, a lot were sold, just most had the 1.9. No trunk and no back seat were major drawbacks. The price just shows the novelty of it rather than what a good car it was.

    Like 11
  2. Cadmanls Member

    This car looks great, but the engine has to be the biggest problem. Has to be terribly underpowered with that power plant. Too bad, drove one with the larger motor back in the day and it would barely thrill you.

    Like 4
  3. Fred W

    A motor about half the size of one with lackluster performance? Hmmm…

    Like 5
    • John

      Big or little, these were kinda fun little cars to drive. The price is surprising, but then, finding one of these that you could hop into and drive away has got to be even more surprising. It could come live at my house any day.

      Like 5
  4. Ron

    A small block and Tremec 5 speed would make that a great car.

    Like 12
  5. Ralph

    I thought these were 1600 or 1900 for some reason…….

    Like 2
    • local_sheriff

      This is the 1.1 liter for the budget-minded European buyer; not intended for the US market. Yankees got the big block versions!

      Like 4
      • Knorm

        1.1L were sold in the states. Only a handful though. About 342.
        I’m unsure if this is a true euro one without seeing the vin. It has some us only parts and some euro parts.

  6. TimM

    I agree nice car for an LS transplant!!!!
    Cool body style!!!

    Like 6
    • Suttree

      TimM…..Best candidate ever for an LS.

  7. local_sheriff

    While the Opel GT may be a rare car in the US, it’s actually rarer in Europe! It’s a typical model built to fill the US market for nimble sporty looking vehicles with some Euro flair to them, and too impractical for most Euro consumers.

    We all know old cars rust,Opels of this vintage even more. There was a saying when I grew up in Scandinavia going ‘ any car will rust, but Opel has the Rekord’. That’s also the reason very few nice GTs remain in Europe. The 1.1 here will be puny to say the least and will not match its sporty looks.

    However; I’ve always loved old Opels as they all seem to be 3/4 sized variants of their GM US idols.This is an extremely well-kept example of one of the coolest Opels ever made.

    Like 5
    • Howard A Member

      The GT’s biggest problem, was it cost too much. New in ’69. I read, with 1.9, a $99 dollar option, sold for almost $3,500 bucks, and one could get a 2 year old Corvette for that price. The lesser priced 240Z and the TR6, both introduced at the same time, cooked the Opel GT.

      Like 6
      • DougF Member

        Had one with a 1.1. Replaced it with Mercury Capri 2.8 V6 .Much more fun to drive.

        Like 6
      • local_sheriff

        $3.500 for a GT in 69?!? I thought the concept of marketing Opels in the US was to compete with the rice-cookers? At such a sum one could pick up a decently optioned Satellite or Chevelle; if that is the case I’m surprised they sold ANY!

        Like 2
      • Knorm

        The 240Z was more expensive. $3500 wasn’t a bad price in 1970 as the average cost of a new car was a bit more than $3700 back then.

        Also the 240z rapidly increased in price far surpassing the GT in later years.

      • David W

        Paid $2,400.00 out the door for a brand new Opel Manta Rallye Sport with a 1.9 engine in 1971. Wis I still had it!

  8. Steve

    I had a blue over white 1970 1.9L. A blast to drive fast when you are 17 years old. These cars came with awful carburetors and sometimes shakey-jake electronics, too. The head light mechanism was a source of frustration. I agree that an engine upgrade, and suspension and brakes upgrade would be massive fun. Imagine a Subaru turbo in that! Oh, wait, Subaru makes the BRZ…

    Like 1
  9. Jack Quantrill

    From the side, it looks a bit like The Ferrari Lusso!

  10. Gene

    With the 1.1 these are as rare as hen’s teeth and extremely collectible.

    Like 3
  11. MarkS

    This is a piece of history and commands good money for anyone who appreciates it as just that.
    Any car can be bastardized with a drive-train that will make it go like stink in a straight line. Back in the mid 80’s we transplanted Mazda Rx7 pieces into a 70′ GT and it was rather dangerous.
    Leave this one alone. Someday it may be the last one (point one) on the planet.

    Like 3
  12. Fiete T.

    Friend of mine is a math whiz. Went to school in Indiana, roommate was the son of a race car manufacturer. Had an Opel GT, Olds DOHC motor, turbocharged, 5-speed and a custom suspension under it. Neatest one ever saw- can’t imagine what it’d cost…

    Like 4
    • Johnmloghry Johnmloghry Member

      The 1.1 was adequate with standard transmission. I owned a 67 kadette coupe with that drive train it had plenty of power and delivered 40 mpg. I drove I-5 from Everett, Washington to Seattle daily at 70 mph with no problem. I might place a bid on this car after conferring with my invalid wife.
      God bless America

  13. jim

    $2500 car

    Like 1
  14. Louis Q Chen

    Yes, I did owned a ’73 Opel GT-mini Corvette. It was orange had auto trans on it with A/C, 1.9L engine. It was cramp but a great handling little sports car. Even with the auto trans the 1.9L engine had decent power. The sad thing mine just rotted as time went by. They don’t make sport cars like they used to!

    Like 1
  15. Scotty Gilbertson Staff

    Auction update: this one ended at $15,169 with no sale and the reserve wasn’t met!

    Like 2
  16. Jim Norris

    Scotty, Thanks for the article on my Opel GT. I see a lot of mixed comments. One thing is for sure, this is a rare car. When I take it to car shows it is the most talked about car there. You always have your Corvettes, Camaros, Mustangs and so on. But I have the only Opel GT. To date I have owned 21 Opel GT’S. Some comments talk about it not being as fast as the 1.9L. The car runs strong. This is not a car for racing or to see how fast you can go from 0 to 60. It is a classic car that can be enjoyed just cruising around in. But thanks for everyone’s comments and interest. Jim 704-300-0576

  17. Don

    I have a 1969 1.1L Opel Gt, great condition. I ended up putting a single intake manifold and carb, which I was told only dropped the hp from 67 to 64. Not as peppy as the 1.9, but runs great and gets great mileage.

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