I'm about to buy a 72 GT.....
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Thread: I'm about to buy a 72 GT.....

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    I'm about to buy a 72 GT.....

    Good morning to all. I am an new forum member--thought it would be helpful to join and reap the benefit of this Opel brain-trust--I'm about to purchase a 1972 Opel Gt from a guy who says he bought it five years ago for $1800 and has put $2400 into it. Drove it yesterday with my favorite mechanic on board. The "work" that needs to be done to it is simple and does not involve huge cash outlays for parts (thats a good thing). Interior needs some work (rips in upholstery--cosmetic).
    I have owned a '71 (new) and '73 in the late 70's and have dreamed of being in one again before I'm too old to push the clutch all the way in!
    Speaking of that, I had forgotten just how mechanical the car is and realized how soft we've gotten with our hydraulic and "power" everythings on newer cars. Driving that car reminded me of how I loved to really DRIVE a machine down the road instead of it driving me. I drive a 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5 RS rally car and have been described as driving "like a teenage boy". I am a female and could really use the insights of you members out there. I used to do the work on my other Opels, years ago, but that was years ago.....I'm out of practice, there's no doubt about it, plus a few years older.....
    Sooooo, I am on the edge of making an offer. He is asking $3800 and says "he doesn't really need to sell the car but his wife got a DUI and his insurance has gone up dramatically and he would like to reclaim the space in the garage it occupies. You might see an Opel once a year in these parts if that so the "for sale" ad in the paper was a sight to behold. I doubted my dream would ever come true based on where I live. (North, north , north) The car is driven only in the summer as we live where salt is used on the roads 7 months of the year. He has parts to throw in--has owned 4 previous Opels--including an automatic tranny with console and shifter and original wheel covers (has BMW covers on car) and a variety of other parts which sound good for selling to cover any immediate maintainance expense this vehicle may incur. My mechanic says it is in good shape and the owner has done a lot of the replacement work on it. Oh, and the body is in good shape, does not need a paint job for a few years yet and there are no dents. The lights flip nicely with no sticking and the carb could use a good "clean out" on the highway.
    I would appreciate any insights you might have--I have 5 days in which to make up my mind. I am aware that this car would be for the simple pursuit of pleasure only--I don't NEED it and I certainly don't need to invest in a money pit. It looks like this vehicle is past the "money pit" stage and lives in the "pretty darn good"-get in it and drive stage. It would be my summer car driving to and fro--no long trips. I live on a lake out in the woods so it is a 20 minute pleasant drive to town/work dodging deer, etc. From a female perspective, I am trying to get over the "it would be pure selfishness to buy this thing"/"you don't need it" atitude and trying to embrace the "I've worked hard all my life and at 53, I deserve a treat" attitude. My biggest fear is that I will end up regretting the purchase if it takes me down the "it needs to be fixed again" road.
    Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Please advise. Perhaps some of you have gone thru the same angst of "to buy or not to buy--that is the question".
    Lempi (obviously not my real name!)

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    Member rockytopmark's Avatar
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    Thumbs upGo for it!

    I am in the exact same boat as you and have done what you are contemplating... I had a 73 GT back in the 70s and had to drive it during the winters. Needless to say, I wound up a college kid that had better interests than keeping his first car and real love in decent shape. After a $1,000 quasi restoration done with my Dad: Got the lights working again, filled all rusted areas, Maaco paint job and new tires, I didn't keep it up, regretably and a few years later, the car had deteriorated considerably, and realizing I didn't deserve it anymore, nor did it deseve me, I sold it to another young man and his father, to hopefully bring it back to life again.

    Well over the years, I have had the itch to get an Opel GT again, but never followed through... until this year. I was unsure of buying a 30 some-odd year old car, but I decided that I would like to have the same opportunity to work together on a GT with MY son, now 5, someday and that if I waited too long, the number of GTs available may be so few that the price may be too high. So I did buy a car and am so glad I did. I am going to make some mods to it to get more HP, but mostly will keep it stock body and interior wise.

    All that said, I hope you pull the trigger ...as not doing it may become a regret down the road. Seems you owe it to yourself to do it, and as long as you are willing to put a few $$$ in now and again, you will be satisfied.

    Good Luck, Mark
    Mark

    70 GT, Rebuilt 1.9L; ported, performance Cam , Weber 32/36, Pertronix, ported and torquered intake manifold, Sprint Exhaust manifold

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    Old Opeler GTJIM's Avatar
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    Grab It!

    First - Welcome to this site. The only reason any of us here would advise you to not buy it would be in the hope of buying it ourselves!

    I had the advertising picture of a GT on my many walls for nearly 30 years before I found one. Finding a clean driver for under $4,000 is a pretty good price over there these days. The prices are going up and up at the moment as more and more "middle-aged" kids fulfil their dreams!

    Your 1972 GT is probably the best year to buy as it has all the best stuff in it already - later diff especially. Sounds like much of the work has been done on it and there are still enough new spares available to keep them up to scratch and running for years to come. Plenty of help and advice here too.

    It took a big health scare to convince me that we have to do and buy what we want NOW and enjoy it while we can. Came through the "valley of the shadow" myself OK - and have a GT to enjoy rebuilding now.

    You are talking to the converted on here!
    GTJim
    Opel Owner since last Century!

    Copyright © 2000-2009
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    Member guyopel's Avatar
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    Welcome to the site . I would like to share, that even new cars need repairs
    but if you do not enjoy the driving time .You have to decide

  7. #5
    BDD
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    My Two Cents....or three or four

    If it's in good shape and you have always wanted another one go ahead and buy it. The rust issue is a very important matter to look into. There are certain places these cars tend to rust; those areas should be checked and it's best to get one that hasn't been driven in the fall or winter in the salt. In the Midwest rust is a real killer of these cars. Once it starts, it's not easy to reverse and it could effectively destroy everything else you've invested in the car.

    I had a 1970 GT in 1977-1993 or so and always wanted another one. After 10 more years I thought that I had finally gotten over wanting to get a GT. I certainly didn't want to have to do much restoration, many repairs or battle rust. I started looking for a fun car to get and looked into MGB's, Tiburon's (I like the styling and kind of thought of it as an updated GT, economy with really good styling), Mustangs (Once had a 1972 Mustang Mach I fastback) etc. after thinking about it a lot and seeing what was for sale I realized that a GT would be about the most distinctive, best looking, and fairly "rare" car I could get. I like Jaguar coupes but didn't think that they were reliable, that they were too expensive and the parts aren't available. When I found out that many of the GT parts are still available and the common maintenance parts (ignition, oil filters, etc) are still available, I decided on a 1972 GT (probably the best year).

    I was lucky to find a rust free car from the Southwest and bought that.

    One good thing about a car that you don't need as a daily driver is that you are free to do any maintenance or repair work when you want to. You have lot's of time to look for any parts you might need, etc. It's more fun that way. You also have more time to "do it right" and it keeps miles off the car. Just drive it for fun.

    If it's something that you've wanted to do for awhile that probably won't go away by passing up what could be a "real deal". Look into it some more...especially signs of body work and rust, and then decide.
    Last edited by BDD; 07-03-2005 at 02:21 PM.

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    One issue to look at are parts, when I got mine I looked into all the parts I could need before I took the plunge yet again. I've worked my way into not worrying about that as much, but that is harder in some parts of the country were rust is more prevelant.

    Look at the total cost, shipping, parts, modifications, work of others like piant or motor work. Then decide if it's worth it. I've talked to people working on so much rust and are progressing on. I suppose what I'm saying is try to balance the car and the price VS what you want to spend in the long run.




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    You're right about rust. A real car killer. The rust has been dealth with and a decent paint job in medium Hawaiin blue. A few bubble spot are seen on the rim above passenger window and same type in a couple places where water does not always run off. The big spot that would have appeared on the hood behind and above the left front wheel has been fixed and looks good. I remember that as a chronic trouble spot because of what is thrown from the tire almost straight up. Inside doors on bottom underneath door panel is some rust. Looked to be surface and not old. Luckily my son paints cars as well as gets and keeps them running!
    This car has ranged from Hawaii to Georgia to Philly to northern Michigan where is never saw a flake of snow. Whew. I'm lucky there.
    I think I'm going to offer $3350 and probably land at $3500 if the seller cooperates. I distinctly remember hearing him say that he would be happy for the car to go to a "good home" and to someone who appreciates it. My son showed him a picture of me from 32 years ago standing next to my 1971 silver GT. He understood the smile on my face in that photo!
    The car has nt been tweaked out so to speak but has a cd player and speakers behind the seats. Also the owner put "extenders" on the back wheels which puts them out about 3/4 inch. Sort of a sporty boxy stance to the back. The clutch was good, the brakes as well. Newer tires. No visible rust/trouble spots. Interior is fairly intact but for wear on the carpet. He has rigged the fuel pump to run continuously with the ignition in the "accessory" position--I surmise it is to facilitate a better start? The duel tail pipes are not attached but come with the car. He has a complete front end and rear end that goes with the purchase and 4 tranny's--all stuff from his previous restorations of 4 other GT's. Also misc. parts.

    Here are some questions I have for all of you out there:

    I would like to tackle the seats as the stitching has pulled out and some parts have rotted. Have no idea how easy/hard it is to replace seat covers.

    Also, there is a black leather "bib" on the dash--suspect that dash may be trashed. This "bib is just laying loose and I failed to lift it to see what was under. Was not in love with the look of the "bib".

    And whats the scoop on floor mats? What do people use? Is there anything special out there?

    Ok--enough questions--lets hear some feedback. It may be the 3rd of July and all of America is on holiday, but my mind is on this auto--till the fireworks tonight here on the lake.
    Lempi

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    Pathologic Opeler opeldean's Avatar
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    advantages you have

    1- you got to drive it before you bought it!..big plus!

    2- its local...no acquisition costs...do you want to fly-drive to arizona, california, or colorado etc..to get a good car?..whats would that cost in time and energy?

    3- you have met the owner...it sounds like he did the work...so labor is not included in his investment.

    4-you get to be a memeber of the friendliest ,best car club in the world! we are not too small ,not too big.

    5- parts are availible and reasonable..i just bought a thermostat for $5 local

    6-its the best looking car in the world, bar none, is my opinion

    7-it is way cool, without a snob factor

    8- its either this gt or none..from a price standpoint..the cost is right, insurance will be cheap..its not worth a whole lot to the insurance company

    9- how much more fun can you have for less than $4000...on a daily basis?

    10- you will have some things to fix from time to time...the car is an antique..dont panic..your mechanic can do it..without paying porche/bmw prices

    11- driviing the car in the cool northern air will be priceless...it will feel just like when you had the silver one...only better...much better

    12- it is a fine champagne on a beer budget..one of the best kept secrets in the automotive world
    Celeste: 1917cc ,Getrag ,Big valves,ported,ISKY cam on solids,Opel forged rods,9.52 compression,total seal gapless,oil dam,RB gasket mod., DCOE side drafts,sprint,pertronix,SACHS clutch,OGTS & Kadette sway bars,no oil leaks. Big brakes. Avatars Photos Carlisle 2010 by Jennie V.Thank you's to Bruce Butler and Gabe Sanchez

    Driven twice to Carlisle 2,351 miles RT successfully, broke down on first trip

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    crazy opeler opelgt73's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lempi
    A few bubble spot are seen on the rim above passenger window and same type in a couple places where water does not always run off. The big spot that would have appeared on the hood behind and above the left front wheel has been fixed and looks good. I remember that as a chronic trouble spot because of what is thrown from the tire almost straight up.
    I am going to go against everybody else and say KEEP LOOKING. Any car that had rust above the left front tire also had some serious rust in other areas and in my book is worth nothing close to $4k.

    That combined with this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lempi
    Inside doors on bottom underneath door panel is some rust. Looked to be surface and not old. Luckily my son paints cars as well as gets and keeps them running!
    Means that you will be dealing with rust. And I don't particularly buy that:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lempi
    This car has ranged from Hawaii to Georgia to Philly to northern Michigan where is never saw a flake of snow. Whew. I'm lucky there.
    It had to have seen some sort of serious weather to have had needed rust repair above the left front wheel. Of all the GT's I have owned two of them have had rust in that area, they were BOTH from Michigan and driven in the winters. They also both had about 300% more rust hidden under the paint job that was waiting to come out.

    If you "don't really need to buy one now" and he "doesn't really need to sell it" then keep looking. I think a car like that, if running correctly would be worth around $2000-2500 unless it had a 2.4l or a 5 speed. In fact check out the for sale section, there is a yellow gt in north western Ohio that is from the west coast and has NEVER had any rust. The seller is only asking $4K for it. Be patient and don't buy the first GT you run into, there are a lot more out there than you think there is.
    Chris
    Loveland, Ohio

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    There is no evidence of rust having haunted that spot on the hood--the paint job is a few years old on the car and it looks good as new. Except for the couple small spots near trim areas that are showing the infamous rust color. My son is confident in his ability to deal with them.
    I have to admit that I would not be seeking out a GT if it weren't already within 30 miles of me. I had never even considered going in search of one, but I think that speaks to the fact that I was never actively trying to make my dream come true. Seemed too selfish of me to do so. The day my spouse saw the ad in the paper, circled and left if for me to see over coffee was what started the wheels turning (pardon the pun) and the dream to get active again. We can blame him for eerything! We've only been married ten years and he never knew about me and Opels. just knew that once upon a time, I was a hippie in a GT. Anyway, I"m funding the purchase (not his money) and last nite decided that if I quit smoking, I would have the monthly loan payment right there in savings! Guess what? I have 1/2 a pack of smokes left this morning. Sounds like a great compromise, don't you think?
    As you can see, I'm trying to justify this potential fun-buggy--the thing is--I just can't get over the styling and the natural goodlooks of that body--it makes me grin to look at any angle of that car. I'm a visual person--art major--and always seeking beauty to surround my environment and as you can tell, today, I am all about design and the fabulous artistry of the GT. Think I'll go walleye fishing and do some more thinging. Thank you for the warnings--I will take them seriously--won't be able to see/drive the car for another week--owner has gone to MNPLS.
    Lempi

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    baz
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    hi lempi
    sounds like you will be changing 1 addiction for another , this is 1 of the best reasons i've seen to stop smoking
    An Eagle may fly high but a Weasel doesnt get sucked into a jet engine.

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    Pathologic Opeler opeldean's Avatar
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    opel gt

    Quote Originally Posted by Lempi
    1-Luckily my son paints cars as well as gets and keeps them running!
    2- He understood the smile on my face in that photo!
    3- He has a complete front end and rear end that goes with the purchase and 4 tranny's--all stuff from his previous restorations of 4 other GT's. Also misc. parts.

    4-I would like to tackle the seats as the stitching has pulled out and some parts have rotted. Have no idea how easy/hard it is to replace seat covers.

    5-Also, there is a black leather "bib" on the dash--suspect that dash may be trashed. This "bib is just laying loose and I failed to lift it to see what was under. Was not in love with the look of the "bib".

    6-And whats the scoop on floor mats? What do people use? Is there anything special out there?

    7-lets hear some feedback. Lempi

    1-buy the car so your son can help you with it.HE would probably feel good to see you get that car and HE would probably feel good fixing it up for his MA! Your son is a mechanic!What luck!
    2-you deserve it, put in some 60-70's music when you drive it.
    3-i like the idea of the car coming with parts and from a mechanical person
    4-Covers- I saw Ooonners car at Carlisle, he had some slip covers from local autozone type place that looked very good for slip ons...there are all kinds of options on this, search this site
    5-the dash is probably cracked on the top from sun, looks like heck, but its not a structural problem. OGTS has a "dash cap" that will slip on that for 160,check the ads here for a photo
    6-floor mats- ogts has custom mats or you could make some till you decide what you want, make a cloth template, cut some other mats down to size
    7-you are asking a bunch of opel addicts whether or not you should buy an opel? You can look around, from you have described, i dont think you will get burned. keep it a year or two, if you are not happy, put it on ebay and i would expect you would come out just fine.Sell high in the spring, buy cheap in the winter...but there is usually less to buy from in the winter.
    Celeste: 1917cc ,Getrag ,Big valves,ported,ISKY cam on solids,Opel forged rods,9.52 compression,total seal gapless,oil dam,RB gasket mod., DCOE side drafts,sprint,pertronix,SACHS clutch,OGTS & Kadette sway bars,no oil leaks. Big brakes. Avatars Photos Carlisle 2010 by Jennie V.Thank you's to Bruce Butler and Gabe Sanchez

    Driven twice to Carlisle 2,351 miles RT successfully, broke down on first trip

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    Senior Contributor GoldGT's Avatar
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    I can tell you this. I have purchased 3 GT's, the first one was $1600.. had rusty rockers etc., but it was before I knew they were not that rare. It is now sitting in my shop as a parts car. The second one was a junker that I parted out for $100. The third one was supposed to be rust free and is the car I am working on now.... Wrong! As I got into the car, which now HAS to be my project car because I am in too deep, I found that it had been hit in the rear because the panel was replaced, couldn't see it until the gas tank was out, and the front has been hit as well. Anyway, if you look at the '71 that just sold on ebay, there is a post about it within the last 24 hours, you will see what you can get for under $5000 if you wait. Since we all can't see the car we are speculating on its condition.......You have to be the final judge. Good luck, whatever you do, we will all be here to help.
    Jeff

    '73 GT,5spd,Recaro,EDIS4 2.2 EFI MegaSqrt, Ali Flywhl w/S10 Clutch, Elec Fan, Roller Rockers, Venolia Pistons, 6 Cyl Intake w/ Custom Injection, 15" Wheels,F&R Sway Bars,2" Exhaust,1" Sport Spring,Koni Reds,Wilwood Brks,3:90 Gears & Gripper LSD,Rear Disks,Ali Radiator,Hse of Colors - Kandy Pagan Gold.
    123 WHP @ 6800 RPM

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    BDD
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    "Rust"...........or: "Know Thine Enemy".

    Certainly in the Midwest, if a car is said to have been "restored" or if you find signs of bodywork, it's usually because of rust. Bubbled paint means rust.
    There could be rust under paint for quite awhile before you might see any rust color at all or bubbled up paint. Cracked bondo or undercoating could have rust started but invisible on the surface. Loose soundproofing (undercoating) on the floor boards (under the carpet) could trap moisture and encourage rust.

    Use a magnet to look for bondo and / or fiberglass repairs from the past. A steel repair could mean a quality repair. If it was done right.

    Rust usually forms down low on the car, at the rocker panels (might not see it for years), in front of and behind them in the wheel wells, along the edges of the wheel wells where the steel seams are spot welded together, at the front of the wheel wells, on the ledge in the fender where mud gets kicked up and sits, at the access panels in the wheel wells, below the side marker lights where they leak, at bottoms of doors, at battery box, etc. The floor boards can rust too. look under the carpet down low, by the seats. An opened window could have started rust there. Look at the seat belt attach bolts and the track and bolts that secure the seats down. A surviving rear trim strip would also tend to encourage rust behind it. These are the main locations.

    Once it's started, rust is difficult to stop. It works while you sleep and it tends to spread under paint, undercoating, in fine seams at metal joints where water can be "wicked in", at chips in paint, etc.

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    I'll have my son send me the photos he took of the car. Would enjoy sharing them with you all. And again, thank you for all your rust insights. Its a scary thing--rust. Need to get ready for work --so will check forum when I get home. Happy July 5th everyone!
    Lempi

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    Opeler Adam Mowafy's Avatar
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    Hey everyone.

    I took a few pics of the car when we looked at it. I must say it is in fine shape for the asking price. Ive heard her talk abou her past Opels for years. and having seen one in person, I must say they are one of the sexiest looking auto's.

    this Opel is get in and drive as it is, but there are few things I would like to do before she starts driving it on a regular basis. (that is if he accepts her offer

    It has the weber carb on it but I would like to rebuilt it just to be sure it is up to snuff. I could tell when hearing it idle that the mixture is set way rich because it starts to bog down after idling for a while. it also has some hesitation at WOT. which could just be those crappy points. speaking of that Id like to put electronic ignition on it. Im am not familiar with doing this on these cars. Im guessing you can either do a complete upgrade or maybe just a trigger that sits in place of the points? if anyone has some info on that part let me know. She is on a budget here.

    anyway here are a few pics of the car.

    sorry for joining without owning an opel. Im just here to learn some things and help make this dream of hers come true.
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    Last edited by Adam Mowafy; 07-06-2005 at 06:19 PM.

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    Pathologic Opeler opeldean's Avatar
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    nice looking blue opel

    pertronix is the electronic ignitor used.
    it is all expalined in the "search"

    pertronix sources are found in the ads on this site
    Celeste: 1917cc ,Getrag ,Big valves,ported,ISKY cam on solids,Opel forged rods,9.52 compression,total seal gapless,oil dam,RB gasket mod., DCOE side drafts,sprint,pertronix,SACHS clutch,OGTS & Kadette sway bars,no oil leaks. Big brakes. Avatars Photos Carlisle 2010 by Jennie V.Thank you's to Bruce Butler and Gabe Sanchez

    Driven twice to Carlisle 2,351 miles RT successfully, broke down on first trip

  20. #18
    Member guyopel's Avatar
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    This look like you have a good car to start with, replace the points and make some adjustments , Then just drive the car before doing any thing
    major ( after checking safety items ) and enjoy the car .
    Happy Opeling ....

  21. #19
    Opeler Adam Mowafy's Avatar
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    thanks for the tip on the pertronix.
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    Pathologic Opeler opeldean's Avatar
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    signature

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    your photos wont upload unless they are small 600X 600 , they neeed to be resized, i use "wisdom soft screenhunter 4.0 " to size mine, its a free download
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    Celeste: 1917cc ,Getrag ,Big valves,ported,ISKY cam on solids,Opel forged rods,9.52 compression,total seal gapless,oil dam,RB gasket mod., DCOE side drafts,sprint,pertronix,SACHS clutch,OGTS & Kadette sway bars,no oil leaks. Big brakes. Avatars Photos Carlisle 2010 by Jennie V.Thank you's to Bruce Butler and Gabe Sanchez

    Driven twice to Carlisle 2,351 miles RT successfully, broke down on first trip

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