October 16, 2023
Massive Power, Little Opel
On October 6, 2023, during my regular weekly visit to the A&W Glendeer Circle car meet, something stood out. Having hosted a car show every week for a decade, this A&W has always been a hub for a diverse array of vehicles. Each week, a multitude of unique and obscure vehicles would gather, and there was always anticipation of at least one or two fresh, brand-new additions to the venue –- such as this striking 1972 Opel GT that made its debut that day.
Front of the monstrous 1972 Opel GT
The Opel GT earned its endearing moniker, the “Poor Man's Corvette,” due to its striking similarities to the third generation (C3) Corvettes. Despite the GT sharing styling cues within its details such as the hidden headlights and sports car silhouette, the little brother to Chevrolet’s iconic halo model of the time was a vastly different automobile.
Rear of the monstrous 1972 Opel GT
Manufactured in West Germany, a world away from the Corvette’s Kentucky-based factory, the Opel GTs boasted a different configuration. Equipped with only inline-4’s, a stark contrast to the Corvette’s V8, and weighing nearly half as much, these quirky little sports cars garnered immense love and admiration within the automotive community for their unique charm.
The incredibly oversized big block Chevy almost feels at home inside of the Opel GT
In the case of this particular 1972 Opel GT, its charming quirkiness underwent a remarkable transformation, evolving into an absolute monster. Now powered by a Chevrolet big block V8, upgraded to an LS coil-near-plug ignition system, and crowned by a massive BDS Blower atop the significantly oversized engine, turned this into a true powerhouse. The rear tires, now immensely wide, comprised more than half the width of the perky little machine.
The incredibly oversized rear tires that take up more than half the width of the Opel GT
Additionally, the Opel received a striking touch with large Corvette-inspired side pipes, where the headers collected into the insulated tubes. The body was adorned with a mesmerising deep blue paint, wrapping the sports car in a captivating metallic finish. Notably, the iconic pop-up headlights were removed and repositioned into the lower grille, adding a distinctive 70’s street machine aesthetic that perfectly completed the vehicle’s overall look.
The headlight relocation was a nice little touch under the front bumper
The interior underwent a complete metamorphosis, removing the factory components for a rugged, utilitarian racing setup. The once comfortable features were replaced by carbon fibre and bare metals, embodying a minimalist yet functional design. The original seats were swapped out for fixed racing buckets, and a roll cage was meticulously integrated to ensure enhanced safety and structural integrity for the pilot. The dash underwent extensive modification, now sporting aftermarket gauges with backlit faces, emanating a captivating electric blue glow.
The side exhaust on the Opel GT
The Opel GT, initially inspired by the third-generation Corvette in its design, boasted a lighter chassis and considerably less horsepower due to the original 4-cylinder powerplant. However, the owner of this spunky Opel took things up a notch, replacing the original drivetrain with a powerful blown Chevrolet big block. Its remarkable transformation has completely redefined this sports car’s performance. Perhaps one day, I’ll have the opportunity to witness this powerful machine tearing down the strip, showcasing its newfound prowess on the asphalt.
The transformed interior of the Opel GT
Until next time, keep the rubber side down and between the ditches!
- Kyle Hanger of Searching For Classics