GT – Grand Touring

It seems that most people have forgotten what the term “GT” really means as it has been misused by many manufacturer over the years.  The following quote is from wikipedia:

A grand tourer (Italian: gran turismo) (GT) is a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving. The most common format is a two-door coupé with either a two-seat or a 2+2 arrangement.

The term derives from the Italian phrase gran turismo, homage to the tradition of the grand tour, used to represent automobiles regarded as grand tourers, able to make long-distance, high-speed journeys in both comfort and style. The English translation is grand touring.

That being established, is the Opel GT really a Grand Touring car?  Well strictly speaking no, it isn’t even anywhere close.  It was never a luxury car by any stretch of the imagination, nor was it very fast.  Opel had been seen as a cheap car company and General Motors (the parent owning company since 1929) decided it was time to up the image of the Opel brand.  The easiest way to do this of course is to build a sportscar for the brand.  However in typical GM fashion they decided that the easiest way to do this was to take the Opel Kadett chassis design, modify it slightly and put on a nice curvy body.  The result was a great looking car but one that didn’t handle nearly as well as it looked and certainly wasn’t as fast as it looked either.

The Opel GT was a spunky little car that could achieve decent speeds for its time but it was still firmly planted in the affordable car segment.  It was made for 5 years from 1968 to 1973.  It was announced that the minimum height for the bumper on any car would be raised in the United States in 1974 and in order to meet the requirement the little Opel GT would have to be completely redesigned.  In addition competition from the Datsun 240Z and others would mean that the Opel would be sorely left behind in its own market segment.  Instead of doing this Opel/GM decided to quit making it, leaving the GT as a short run production car with just over a hundred thousand examples made over the 5 year lifespan.

The goals that I have set for myself with my Opel GT will make it into something very unique.  I want to blend as much of modern technology as possible with the styling of the GT.  Pretty much the only things that really matter to me are that the original body and interior designs remain intact.  The rest of it can, and likely will, be changed out for modern components that will then be re-styled in a “vintage” sort of way to look like they were part of the original design.  In short I want to make my GT into what I think GM really should have done with it, make a proper GT car instead of just a cheap sexy looking car.  The Opel GT in the logo at the top left of this website is a photoshop rendering of where I hope to end up with my GT, a true Grand Tourer.


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