Those on the lookout for a classic car might rightly feel demoralised at the moment. Everything just seems so expensive. From E-Types to 911s and Healeys to MGs, it certainly doesn't feel like a buyer's market. But the appeal is justified: cars don't look, sound or feel now like they did in the 1960s, when they looked, sounded and felt pretty cool. And there aren't that many to go around, either...
So, what to do? Think a little more creatively, that's what. Because while some will always have an affinity with a particular car or make, those simply after a rare, stylish, interesting classic sports car that isn't £100,000 might want to consider this: the Opel GT.
Like many of the more famous 60s' sportsters, the GT was historically significant - Opel's first two-seater for more than 40 years at the time. It proved popular, too, with more than 100,000 sold in four years on sale, albeit without much presence in the UK. Though Opel officially imported the GT here, the combination of left-hand drive and all the alternatives (the cars listed above and many more!) meant only 148 Opel GTs came ashore. And that was 50 years ago.
Still, it means that anybody looking at a GT like this (originally sold in the US) doesn't need to worry about any changes between it and a British one. Well known in Opel GT circles, the car in question has actually been over here for 45 years. According to the advert there's an "active and dedicated" GT club in the UK, which will be reassuring for anyone thinking about taking the plunge.
Despite now being a few years into its sixth decade, the little GT looks superb, the silver paint and black vinyl seemingly very well cared for indeed and the amazing flip headlights - see them in action here - still in good working order. Well, both lights appear, illuminate and disappear again in the photos, so that's good. And the GT remains such a pretty little car; designed by Clare MacKichan, the influence from his time at Chevrolet is clear to see, but the GT isn't some Euro-sized Corvette.
Although the 1.9-litre, four-cylinder engine only mustered 90hp, the GT's sub-tonne kerbweight meant 115mph was possible. Maybe not one to attempt for the next owner, but the charm of not much weight, rear-wheel drive and a manual gearbox doesn't need any further explaining here. Everything that appeals about a classic driving experience ought to be present and correct in the Opel.
The advert states the GT has been subjected to "recent mechanical expenditure" that has everything in tip-top shape, which is precisely what any prospective buyer wants to read; though parts are said to be readily available in the US and Germany, getting them into the UK might be tricky at the moment.
The Opel is for sale at £22,500 which, if still a substantial amount of cash, doesn't look much when just about every undrivable barn find out there is worth £50k. Perhaps the GT isn't the first car that comes to mind when you think of 60s' sports cars, but the very fact it is so different may well sell it to the next owner. You're very unlikely to park next to another one at the country pub this spring, put it that way.
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