Home Reno Forces Sale: 1973 Opel GT

Here’s something I don’t always get: when a seller claims their project vehicle is for sale as a means of financing a new business or a home renovation project. Those are the two most common excuses for a sale that I’ve seen, and neither makes any sense. Sure, if you were selling a $60,000 Mustang or 911, I can see it. But a 1973 Open GT here on eBay currently fetching $700? That doesn’t even buy decent cabinets in my neck of the woods. 

Firstly, I’m not a millionaire, or anything close to it. I’m just acutely aware that every project my wife wants to do to our house seems to cost a minimum of $5,000. Could I sell a project car to pay for it? Sure, but man, that’s a bad deal for everyone! I’d be miserable because I sold a car; my wife wouldn’t be happy because it likely still wouldn’t cover the cost of the project; and then I’d be right back to looking for a replacement as soon as the house project was done! The seller of this particular Opel GT says they’ve recently bought another property, so the Opel has to go. From almost every angle, you can see why this was sometimes called a “Baby Corvette.”

The guys who claim the project car is for sale to start a new business also get a roll of the eyes from me. A $1,000 heap doesn’t even buy a good copy machine these days, let alone pay the rent on a small office in a strip mall. And on listings like this one where you can see the car’s major needs are in the rust repair department, it’s hard not to wonder if the seller just doesn’t want to take it on. The Opel will need new floors, and there’s a good amount of rot in the area of the rear quarter panel / fender on the driver’s side. The interior is described as rough, and there’s a host of electrical issues that need sorting. The wood-rimmed steering wheel looks great in the Opel’s cockpit, however.

The seller has done the usual tune-up fixes, including a new cap and rotor, spark plugs and wires and a fresh battery. More of an annoyance than anything else is the fact that the wipers don’t work, nor does the blower fan and the headlights don’t move. Some “adaptations” have been made, such as moving the battery behind the front seats and an aftermarket ignition switch because the original keys are missing. Perhaps the seller just wants to get out from under one project before starting another – but I can’t see the price being much higher than what it’s currently bid to. Have you ever sold a project to take on a new home or business venture?

Fast Finds


  1. angliagt

    You might want to edit the title,as I don’t think
    that this has anything to do with Reno.

    • D

      As in home RENOvation, not Reno, NV

  2. Tony S

    One of my favorite cars of all time – no necessarily in execution – but certainly in concept. A sexy Stingray with a bunch of lightness added.
    I hope someone makes a reproduction someday – I’d be all over that.

  3. Terry J

    Ha Ha Jeff. Maybe he wants to do a “garage conversion” into a family room and the GT is in the way. Always liked these Baby Corvettes. Had an Opel Kadett once. Fine little car. Don’t know if any parts are related, but that’s the only Opel story I know. :-) Terry J

    Like 1
    • L.M.K. Member

      Me too Terry, I had a 64 Kadett. It was a tough little car….

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Terry, from what I remember, the Opel GT was built on the Kadett B platform.

  4. Howard A Member

    1st off, I think you’re being a bit harsh on the seller. I can understand, when renovations are needed, things that aren’t needed get the heave-ho, and the Opel is probably just one of several things. With as expensive as home stuff is, every bit helps. This car is pretty fried, but what does a grand buy today? I bet you could drive this home. They were good cars, but needed a 5 speed. Unibody rust could be a problem, especially front suspension mounts. I think it’s a good find.

  5. Eric 10Cars

    It’s a project, all right. However, it runs and drives according to the seller with a lot of new mechanical/electrical parts. It’s bid to just under a grand right now and I’m betting it gets close to $1500. It needs at least $10K to make it really nice (bodywork, paint, and upholstering ain’t cheap). You’d need to be a pretty skilled metal bumper to deal with that left rear, and that’s not counting whatever else you find (there’s one shot of the front left tire and the wheel well behind it looks holy…as in holy mackerel, more rust!). On the other hand, the shock towers in the engine bay look okay. The body needs a complete soda blasting to see what you’ve really got.

    • Tom Member

      wow, and please …..my comments are not meant to sound like I am being a jerk. But where do you live that you can get great body work, great paint and great upholstery work all for 10K? I have lots of work for those folks! I know there are parts of the country where there are great people doing great work for very little money.

      This car, every inch of it is somewhere between a minor and a major disaster.

      Unfortunately, my market is not like that. I am outside of Chicago and our market you will pay, if you can’t do the work yourself, 8K for a paint job that wont be great (NOT including body work) 15K will make it right. Probably another 10-15K in in rust repair, fabrication and body work and probably another 10K plus on the interior. Don’t forget ALL of the “incidentals” like emblems, weather strips, rechroming, wheels tires, mechanical work and all the “odds and ends”. I will see your 10K and suggest it is more like $40K to $50K “to make it really nice” and by that I mean an imperfect driver that looks good at 20mph with the doors and hood closed. this is also not a Camaro or Mustang where you can find and buy reproduction everything. good luck on finding parts. Sorry don’t hate me or my comments. Like I said, there are parts of the country where great work happens for little money. I would just like to know where they are so I can spend less money for the same quality or better! Maybe I could finally do less of the work myself and, in the end, get more done! I used to like doing everything myself….I am over that!

  6. Britcarguy

    I had an early ’69. The steering wheel is original, but I never believed it to be wooden. It felt like plastic and didn’t nick or scratch like wood. Ignition switch/steering wheel locks were a problem with these cars. I wired a push start button under the dash and drove it many years like that.

  7. rustylink

    From almost every angle this car is a Corvette – but underneath it all it’s just a Kadett. A beautiful car killed by crappy Kadette underpinnings…

  8. Old Opel Guy

    Probably a good restomod candidate from the rust issues. I’m imagining the Ecotec 2.2 and five-speed from a 2000s S10, and sticky 195/50R15s. With an electric fuel pump (fuel starvation limited the carbureted Opel 1.9 in a million ways), this car would be impossible to catch once you hit the curves.

  9. erikj

    I also had a opel Kadett,Very basic but fun little car. It had low miles.I had it in the early 90,s and traded it for a 67 Camaro 4pd,car for parts for another Camaro. Otherwise I would have kept the opel. Drove the opel to look at the Camaro and the Camaro owner fell in love with it and offered to trade straight across. Opel cost me $150. Camaro price was $1000.Got all my parts and then parted the rest of the Camaro and still made $500 more.(Camaro was rearended).

  10. Rolf Poncho 455

    Need to restore my opel manta also a very nice shape
    makes me think of a Camaro/Corvette tail

  11. Rolf Poncho 455

    And a front pic

    • jackthemailman

      I had forgotten about these little beauties. Good luck with it.

  12. jackthemailman

    I had a 1970 Kadet, 1.9L engine w/ 118HP. Sounds like nothin’ but the car weighed nothin’, too. I can’t remember what the top speedometer number was, but I know I could bury it with no problem; and still get 30mpg!

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