The legendary Opel GT will weave its magic again at this year’s Techno Classica in Essen (April 6-10). Alongside the original GT sports car of the late nineteen-sixties and seventies, the futuristic GT Concept – the star of this year’s Geneva International Motor Show – will celebrate its German public debut.
The legend began in 1965 when the Experimental GT design study became the shooting star of that year’s Frankfurt International Motor Show. Designer Erhard Schnell’s vision of a sleek, uncompromising yet affordable sports car received such an enthusiastic reception that Opel decided to put it into production. Three years later and based on proven Kadett B technology, the GT hit the market. The rest, as they say, is history.
Back then the Kadett was the touring car to beat in motorsport, and the tuning community was eager to lay its hands on the new sports car built from affordable mass-produced components. At the Techno Classica Opel will therefore present – in addition to a classic production-GT in red – three conversions from tuners Conrero, Gerent and Irmscher.
In its heyday the Gerent GT in “Group 4 Appendix J” specification was a frequent contender for 2.0-litre class victories, while the example from the Italian Conrero racing team was the hero of the 1971 Targa Florio, where it finished ninth overall. Thanks to the ingenuity and race-craft of Conrero Squadra Corse, the GT not only earned the respect of its 2.0-litre classmates – mostly Porsche 911 and 914/6 – it also managed to beat them. The GT from Irmscher is an immaculate restoration.
The GT hall of fame in Essen will be completed by the Opel GT Concept. The avant-garde yet purist sports car renounces everything that disturbs the pure form. The GT Concept has no door handles or exterior door mirrors, and no superfluous decorative elements. It is a dynamic driving machine as symbolized by the typical sports car proportions, with a long bonnet and ultra-short overhangs, and the bold red signature line that graphically splits the vehicle body horizontally. The absence of a trunk lid, the intriguing and innovative door design, the central dual exhaust, the looks of the steering wheel and of course, the name all refer to the original GT. However, apart from striking red tires that also adorned the equally avant-garde Motoclub 500 Opel motorbike of 1928, the GT Concept does not mime its ancestor. Instead, without nostalgia or retro-design, the GT Concept re-invents the innovative, daring and exciting spirit of the original, opening a new chapter in the GT-legend.