Since Gary went out of his way to create a new forum for this, and since it seeemd to generate at least a little interest in another thread, I thought I'd introduce myself.
My name is Chris (yes... another one. One day we Chrises will rule the world... just you watch) and I live in Shreveport, Louisiana. I'm now almost 34 (come February). I got interested in Opels in about 1990 courtesy my ex-father-in-law, Paul. After a trip to Florida, he brought home a 1969 Opel GT that his brother had saved from his salvage yard and given a pretty Iroc Blue / Charcoal Grey two-tone paint job. It was a 1.9l 4 speed car and was a LOT of fun to drive. He drove it almost every day, favoring it to his late 80's Ford Ranger, until he was on his way out to the NSA Base in Belle Chasse, Louisiana one rainy day and was rear-ended by a full size pickup that was following too close. It did a nice job of wrecking the rear of the GT. The insurance company wasted no time in totalling the car, awarding him the grevious wrong of a $900 check. Now this GT was no prize-winner, since it had been wrecked and bondo'd pretty good in the front (the front end damage was why it was in the salvage yard in the first place), but $900 certainly didn't seem fair to me at the time.
Fortunately I was fond of cruising around in my '75 Impala (dubbed "The Beast" by all my friends) late at night. I happened upon a Fireglow Orange '70 GT in Gretna. After reporting this find to Paul, he bought his totaled '69 back from the insurance company and snapped up the '70.
The orange Opel was actually in pretty sad shape. It had obviously been through at least one bout of street flooding, since the driver's side of the car, which had been in the street, showed quite a bit more blistering around the fenders and on the door. It had been tapped once in the rear at some point, so the rear bumpers were a little less than straight. The engine was toast, and the brakes were pretty much shot. Fortunately, the brakes were all pretty much fresh on the '69, so Paul moved all the necessary goodies over the new car.
And so the orange car (with a blue hood!) lived for some time. Eventually, Paul was transferred to DC (he was in the Navy) and the GT went with him. Now the '69 was still in the garage at that point, and my plans to turn it into a project formed. First, I fell prey to the sad condition of wanting to stuff a SBC V8 in it. Eventually that plan shifted to a 2.8 V6 - but shortly thereafter things changed for me, and I moved to Shreveport - leaving the '69 behind.
About 2 years later, Paul retired and moved back down to the New Orleans area. Not long after, the '69 GT was disposed of. Since I was in Shreveport, all I could do was lament the loss. At the time I had another project anyway - a '68 Galaxy 500XL with a transplanted 429, of course that's another story.
After 10 months, things fell apart here in Shreveport and I moved back down with my wife. At the time, 1997, I was driving a 67 GMC stepside. As I grew tired of it, Paul offered to sell me the GT - so I sold the truck and took possession of the prize! My first drivable GT!
I drove it every day and loved it. I tinkered with it at every opportunity and kept it running as well as I could. I ran into a few snags along the way - like the splintered propshaft brought on by the torgque tube separating from the rear-end - but overall I was very happy with.
In time, my marriage ended - and as if that weren't bad enough an older gentleman in an F150 decided to merge with my poor GT at the foot of the Huey P. Long bridge one rainy night... heck, it wasn't just one rainy night, it was Christmas eve. I was very angry.
Fortunately, I was able to find a body shop that would work on an Opel (after a fair amount of looking, I might add). They did a pretty spiffy job on the rear fender, and an amazing job on the driver's door. I was back Opeling.
Eventually, I met a wonderful woman (via the internet, believe it or not) and decided to move back up to Shreveport. During the next year, I made a number of trips between New Orleans and Shreveport in the GT. Several were of interest. During one, the rear-end failed on me (long story there - I'll spare you). The GT got an extended stay in New Orleans that trip - I returned home via Greyhound and had Tod at Opels Unlimited freight a new rear end to Mom & Dad's house in New Orleans. Two weeks later I was driving the GT back home after having swapped out the rear. At least the new one was quiet!
On another occasion, the 4th gear syncro finally gave out, after having been flaky for some time. I wound up having to literally hold the shifter in fourth for 300+ miles of my trip back to Shreveport that time. Ugh.
Finally, about 18 months ago, my poor baby toasted a rod bearing at the end of a return trip from New Orleans. Since then, she has been stripped to the shell. I have learned that she's a bit more beat up under the cover of several coats of paint than I would have liked... so now I'm hunting sheet metal to make her whole.
My plans for my GT include a 1.9l to 2.4l engine conversion, a getrag 5 speed, and a host of modern ammenities. I've just started ordering more parts now that my fiancee has graduated from NSU and started work as a RN. I look forward to getting my baby back together and getting to meet some fellow opelers at future meets!
What the heck? Did you actually read all that? Or did you just skip to the bottom? Ah well, either way - nice to meet some fellow Opel nuts!