Opel celebrates 50 year Opel GT with historic Grand Tour in Germany

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Opel is organizing a true Grand Tour for the Opel GT in collaboration with the association of European Opel GT clubs. From 19 to 22 September, 'fifty years of Opel GT' is celebrated with a tour of various highlights from the history of the model. No fewer than seventy Opel GT drivers will start the Grand Tour on the Hockenheim circuit and complete it three days later at the Rodgau-Dudenhofen test center.

Walter Röhrl. Present on day one

The Grand Tour starts at Hockenheim. This location has been carefully chosen because the GT was presented to the press fifty years ago. On the first day of the festivities, designer Erhard Schnell - the spiritual father of the Opel GT - and Walter Röhrl will be guests. Röhrl is one of the best rally drivers of all time and became world champion in 1982 with an Opel Ascona 400. The Regensburg driver is present with his own Opel GT.

Continue Grand Tour

Day two is all about family. That is why the Grand Tour travels through the Taunus Mountains to the Opel Zoo and then to Westerhaus Castle - the vineyard of the Opel family. The next day the Grand Tour takes you to the Opel plant in Kaiserslautern, where the parts for the GT were produced from 1968-1973. Along the way, participants can enjoy the handling of their GT on the winding and hilly roads of the region. The Grand Tour will visit the test center in Rodgau-Dudenhofen on the final day. Here the Opel GT is ready for production during the endless laps on the oval test circuit. To conclude, dinner is served in the historic K48 building in Rüsselsheim.

History Opel GT

The first Opel GT rolled off the production line in 1968. This model is an early example of Franco-German cooperation. The French bodywork company Chausson / Brissoneau & Lotz pressed the body panels, took care of the welding and painting work and assembled the interior of the GT, after which Opel installed the chassis and powertrain in Germany. GT buyers could choose between two four-cylinder engines: the Kadett's 1,1-liter 44 kW (60 hp) engine and the Rekord's 1,9-liter 66 kW (90 hp) engine. The Opel GT 1900 was the most popular version due to its top speed of 185 km / h and its acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in 11,5 seconds. The rear wheels were driven via a four-speed manual transmission. The optional three-speed automatic transmission was hardly sold in Europe, while it was in great demand in America.

"Steel has become a form of guts"

Friedhelm Engler, Design Director Exterior at Opel, describes the work of his predecessors as 'daring and daring'. “It was quite risky to propose a front-center engine concept based on the Kadett B. Instead of building on existing concepts, they had the guts to do something completely different - a true Gran Turismo. You can say that the Opel GT has become a steel form of guts. "


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