You may remember the classic, sleek Opel GT from the late 1960s through the early 1970s as sort of a European “baby-vette,” which quite readily recalled the styling of the Corvette C3. It’s a simple, beautiful design, but it may surprise you to learn that the car was never actually intended for production.
No, the Opel GT was originally developed as a test bed for various engine and chassis components on Opel’s Dudenhofen test track. The car’s curves were not only gorgeous to look at, but also represented some very advanced aerodynamic design. Pop-up headlamps were among the list of low-drag features that would become widely adopted during the decade following its introduction.
But as website Classic Driver writes, the experimental Opel GT was so well-received at the Frankfurt and Paris motor shows of 1985 when it was unveiled, Opel made the decision to put the GT into production. In fact, the car has the distinction of being the very first European concept to make it to market. It launched as a 1968 model, albeit underpowered with a small four-cylinder mill (1.1 liter base, or 1.9 liter option).
The Opel GT, then, represents an important keystone within Opel’s history. A much-loved, gorgeous coupe, it was very nearly resigned to a tragically quiet life out of public awareness, within the confines of a test track. We’re quite sure it’s a blessing that history had other plans.