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Thread: Introduce yourself!

  1. #1

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    Introduce yourself!

    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!

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  3. #2
    Code Goober
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    Hi, my names David, I'm an Opelholic. As I posted earlier, I first saw/fell in love with the GT at age 14. I used to belong to the Middleburg/Orange County Pony Club, and one of the older members drove a 71 GT. I got to ride in the car once, and that was enough to change my life. Ten years after my first ride in that GT, I was given that same car as a wedding present (it had been sitting and rotting for about six years). Being a fresh college grad., about to get married, and pursuing a career as a steeplechase jockey... I was perpetually broke. When I finally stopped riding for a living, and began recieving a paycheck that wasn't worthy of contempt, I decided that I wanted GT to drive. I bought a 73 from upstate NY about 2 years ago. I got it running reliably (Weber, electronic ignition, new wheel studs, new brakes, a little electrical work), and proceeded to have the most fun 6 months of commuting to work that you could imagine. We're talking thousand watt grin from the start to the end of the commute. At the end of 6 months, because I'm a moron and hadn't been running with lead additive, I lodged an exhaust valve in the valve seat. I bought a used 1.9 head and torquer cam off ebay (ebay is my friend), and proceeded to attempt to change the head. It went well, except for a couple of little problems (like tightening the rocker nuts down too much, therby compressing the lifters to the point where they were lifting the valves - no compression....did I mention that I'm a moron?). During this time, I found another 73 GT on Long Island that had a brand new engine in it (supposedly built by Rally Bob, so far no documentation from previous owner to back this up), I couldn't resist. My wife didn't mind too much, she just told me that one of the three had to go, or all four of us would be leaving together . So I gave away the GT that I thought that I would least likely be able to drive, the 71. In the time since, I've had a daughter (Megan - about to turn one month old), and found that the responsibility of a Mortgage to be seriously cramping my ability to finance my Opel habit. Not that I'm giving up, mind you...
    No, that's not a defect, that's a feature.

  4. #3

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    Hi, My name is Sean. I'm 19 and am currently in the process of restoring/restifying a 1969 opel GT, she was originally british racing green with tan interior but now has a burgandy paint job that is old and faded. The previous owner already had a 5-speed getrag installed in her and she has a trailer hitch and a sun roof. All in all I would say I got a good deal on her considering she only has a slight bit of rust on the passenger rear wheel well. My fascination with the GT started when I was 6, my uncle bought a 1970 Fireglow Orange GT from my mother's boyfriend at the time. And after my mother's death, it was my uncle's, mine, and my grandmother's only form of transportation. Although the body on his was in a lot worse shape.

    On a side note after I purchased mine, my uncle offered to pay me what I had given for mine.

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  6. #4

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    COULD THIS BE USED IN A COURT OF LAW?

    Hello I am Clay Ritter normally known here as RITTER elsewhere as Roadblock. I have lived in Wyoming six years, they've got some great roads here, and seldomly patroled or occupied by other driver's. I originally lived close to Tampa , FL.. I first seen an Opel GT when I was 12 and knew one day I would own one. For a short while I played with the idea of buying one but it was not to be. Instead i sunk my money into a 77 Caprice my father gave me it needed a new tranny was all.... yeah right not with a fifteen year old kid! Well $3,000 later (all work done myself) I had the auto transmission Bracket racers dream of. But with a 305 powering it there was much to desire so then I began my lifes true Love building Race engines. After the first 305 buildup I wasn't impressed it only put out 340 hp at rear wheels. So I sold that engine to a friend with a Vega. I then purchased an old 350 Chevy from a black guy I knew for $50 bucks , it was pretty nasty looking but he told me ( if they be covered wit de grease you knows they run smoooth!) end quote. As I took the motor apart it was evident it was a Quakerstate motor. So after $400.00 at the machinist I had a decent block, decked .020 , bored .030 .Then I bought aluminum heads port and polished them myself by some templates i bought from a supercomp friend, took some O rods shot peened, baked, balanced ,trued, removed unnecassary casting flash and polished them all by hand ( you could pick nose hairs by their reflection).The machinist said by doing everything I had done i could probably twist 8000 RPM's out of the motor, so this means i need a roller that will accomplish this well i was talked into using an Erson and after 6 months it decided to twist at the 6th cyl int. lobe causing a nasty detonation that welded my silvolite piston to the head and burnt a hole the size of a quarter between 4 & 6 . I was not to be deterred though rebuild this time using a Chet Herbert roller with 324 dur. 660 lift...yeah it was radical lost all drivability on the street had to go with a 4500 stall converter it wouldn't idle below 1400 RPM's without dying loped up to 4000 I loved it!!! made lots of money on the streets those Mustang guys just couldn't believe a Dang 2 Door Caprice could wax thier a$$ for them, it was fun but eventually led to the reason I moved here so here I go again but this time I am married , responsible ... and sticking with a four cylinder So I now own two GT's a '70 and '72 . The '70 is a quick little bugger but real rough so I am learning sheet metal and welding ( can't wait till the english wheel is finally done) the '72 just needs rewiring and a little interior work and it's good to go. But now i am looking to add my first Manta so when I grow up I can be like RallyBob ... just kidding but I love the Manta too so I have to have one just gotta get down to Co. Sprgs and buy one I guess. Can't wait to read more interesting stories of how people get into owning these cars!!!

    RITTER

  7. #5
    Project 1450 supporter... Site Supporter RallyBob's Avatar
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    My introduction to Opels was not as exciting or elaborate as some, but it left a lasting impression on me. To begin with, I'm 36 years old, but tore my first car apart at age 12 (still have it). My first driver was a 1972 Toyota Corolla with a 1600 cc hemi engine. Typical low-tech Japanese '70's tranportation, struts suspension in front, leaf springs out back. Durable as hell though, you could flog on it all day and it would never break.

    A good friend of mine, John, had his mom's 1974 Opel Ascona automatic to drive. It had 29,000 miles on it at the time, 19 years ago. We used to dice it up on the farm roads a couple towns away, driving like the idiot kids we were, bumper-to-bumper at high speeds on windy roads. I invested in KYB rally front struts, KYB gas-a-just rear shocks, and Turn Six sway bars front and rear.

    I really drove it hard, usually in a constant 4-wheel drift with a slight tail-out attitude. Well, my friend John would drive his Opel (white-wall tires included!) with one hand on the wheel, and could outrun me on any windy road. The Corolla had tons more power on the straights, but the Opel would flat-out walk away in the turns. I knew I was driving my car as fast as I could go, and figured John was simply a better driver than me. One day, he let me drive the Opel, and my revelation was that the car was simply easier to drive fast, and had tons more grip. So, being that we lived one town away from C & R Small Cars, we started visiting the shop with some frequency, and while John modified his Ascona with a big-valve head, 2.0 block, 4-speed tranny, sway-bars, shocks, wheels/tires, etc., I ended up buying Carl Schneider's (the "C" of C & R) 1974 Ascona, with Steinmetz flares, air dam, and rear spoiler. I remember the date well..... on January 3rd 1984, I became an Opel owner.

    Bob "RallyBob" Legere

    PS, Richard "Smitty" Smith of C & R gave me the moniker "RallyBob" way back in 1983. Something to do with my tendency to drive sideways on dirt roads.......

  8. #6
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    Rally Bob

    Just like Rally Bob.... Just as soon as his post gets interesting ... he leaves us ... wanting to know more... Gives us One page when we would have gladly read 20....

    Paul Crane

  9. #7
    GT Resurrectionist 70GT's Avatar
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    Talking

    My name is Kevin Heidel, I'm 28 years old.

    Lets see how did it all start...HMMM!! My dad was / is a big Corvette fan, thats all he ever talked about. We were not rich but not poor either, at the point were the vette was just out of reach for him. He also had a fasanation for Jag XKE's. One day I came home from school and he had bought a XK6. You should have seen this thing, The whole front clip was crushed up to the windshild. The engine was in the back of a truck. He kept going on about the good deal he got on it (I only paied $500.00) with a big grin on his face. I thought it was a peice of, well you know.

    Well a year later believe it or not he beat the front clip out to a.... Well uh.... Lets just say it would cover the engine. He asked if I wanted to go with him to an import junk yard to see if they had some parts for the engine. I was 13 at the time, and if it wasn't a 65-70 Mustang I could care less. I decited to go anyway just if he needed some help.

    Along the way, on a back road I seen my dads dream car. A old Corvette convertable sitting in the weeds behind a run down gas station. I quickly told him what I had just seen, and he said we would stop on the way back.

    On the way back we pulled over to the side of the road to look at the vette. We made our way threw the jungle of weeds to the car. Thats when I said it (What the hell is that, it's not a vette!) He said no that's an Opel GT that someone choped up. We got in the truck and left, but I couldn't shake that car from my mind. I guess my dad couldn't shake it from his mind either, because a week later we were in another junk yard, and all be damned that same car we looked at a week before was sitting there. Dad bought it for $75.00. Seven months later he had bought a 69, 72, 73, and a 73/74. Me and him got good at pulling and replacing engines in GT's,( under 2 hours) and word got around.

    One day this guy pulls into the drive way in a white GT with a black vinyl top. He said he wanted us to change the engine in his vinyl top GT from a 70 GT he had. He gave us $100.00 the 70 GT, and the bad engine.

    On my 14th birthday dad gave me the 70 GT and a rear ended 73 Manta with a good engine and trans. I still have my first car. I just wish it was in the same shape as when I first got it.
    Corvette is a rich mans Opel GT.

  10. #8

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    Well, my name is Jason Kaufmann. I live in Aurora, IL a suburb of Chicago. I'm 30 yrs old and I first "fell" for the GT while I was living in Orlando, FL in the mid 80's. My family was driving home on Orange Blossom Trail (OBT for those familiar with the strip) where we came upon a GT sitting in the median with a FOR SALE sign on it. I fell in love at first site. The rearend had been, well rearended, there was a hole cut in the hood where the carb had been replaced, but with one that needed additional clearance, and a hood scoop. The engine ran, but barely, and the transmission had a few bad syncros. Being in Junior High School, I didn't have even the measly $500 they were asking for the car. My Dad, luckily, was taken by the car as well, so I had a sympathetic ear. I ended up working out a deal of $300 cash and my electric guitar and amp in trade so I could get the car. My dad drove her home in 1st and 2nd gear, as that's all he had to work with

    Here's the unfortunate part. At that age I was getting into the typical teenage doldrums and I had absolutely not motivation to start tearing into the car. To make matters worse, my Dad traveled a lot and didn't have any time to help me. So she sat there, and sat there. A couple years later, we ended up moving and I sold her for $200 to another high school kid that already had a GT parts car. Hopefully it went to a good home.

    So for the past 15 years, I've continued my love for the GT and I've been kicking myself for not fixing my original GT. Recently, though, my wife had our first child Jessica (1 year old on the 4th!) and she went back to school her self. So I decided that I needed a project to keep my sanity in my household of women! What better project than a GT.

    I purchased a '73 GT that runs like a top, but has a lot of cancer, and (what was supposed to be) a '72 AZ rust free rolling body. Unfortunately, after peeling away some bondo, I found that it wasn't so rust free. So it looks like I'm going to have to learn how to weld! My timeline was 2 years for a frame up restoration, but I'm not so sure anymore. Guess we'll see. Thanks for all the help from those of you who've been there before. I'm sure I'll tap your experience quite a bit more in the coming years.

    Jason

  11. #9
    Have Opel, Will Travel oldopelguy's Avatar
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    The fateful $35

    My name is Stephen Vaillancourt, and I am an E-6 Electricians Mate in the US Navy. I train the Navy's future electricians and mechanics on the ins and outs of the Navy's submarine and carrier nuclear reactors. My love for the Opel goes waaaaay back.
    At 14 in SD you used to be able to get a "farm permit" to drive during daylight hours. As the fateful birthday came and went, I really was more interested in the motorcycle licence than the car one, and I really had little need for a car with my Father's 5 or so 60's Dodge farm trucks about.
    One early spring day, at a farm auction of course, there was a rusty but running '74 Opel Manta sitting among the farm implements. The seats were rough, the floor was almost gone, and it wouldn't start for the auction. I bought it for $35, much to my fathers dissappointment. He wouldn't allow me to bring my first car into the yard with a tow strap, so 1/2 mile or so from home we put 5 gal of gas in the tank, added a new battery, checked the fluids, and proceded to "pull start" it. As I drove the newly aquired monstrosity into the yard, my father knew I was hooked.
    The "bad clutch" turned out to be "no transmission to bell-housing bolts" and the starter just wouldn't work right. Eventually the 3-4 syncro gave out and the transmission was replaced by a junkyard $50 one. Over the course of that summer I put @3000 miles on my <$100 car, and I was hooked for life.
    Over the course of high school and college I would go on to own more than 15 Opels, mostly Kadetts as the funky little wagons really appealed to me. Shortly after getting married the decision was made to have my little rusty fleet sent to the junk heap, and my wife promised that if I found a not-so-rusty one I would be "allowed" to get it. The decision to get rid of the cars almost ended my <1 year old marrage.
    After transfering off the USS Seawolf in Groton, CT to shore duty in upstate NY, I managed to lokate my new baby just outside of Syracuse, NY. The piles of parts my Mother let me keep in one of the old Barns back home now had a use again, and life was good.
    At almost 28, I'm approaching things a bit differently than I did 10 years ago. My plans tend toward those that will let me repair the car in minimal time when/if it breaks down and do it anywhere, with a minimal ammount of specialized parts. I like to DRIVE my Opel(s) and I have put over 10K on my Kadett alone in the last year. I am not an Opel "purist" by any means, and if it just won't work, or is too hard to get, I'll gladly replace it with something easier. I don't like doing anything that can't be undone, though, so almost every modification I've done is bolt-on and relativly easy to undo.

  12. #10
    Member Stanley_P's Avatar
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    My name is Stanley, I have an Opel GT, I have no more money....

  13. #11

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    First opel

    my name is Donald, and im 18 yrs old...

    My love of opels started when i was 13 i seen my dads boss's 72 opel gt it was red with a convertable kit and sooped up motor i loved it... one day my dad went down in the field behind his house and seen a 71 which was in pretty rough shape but he liked it so he took it outta the field and got it running with only a new battery... after that he decided to race his boss well needless to say the 1.9 high compression motor in mine outran his 1.9 low compression so dad was hooked... he took it and painted it silver with dark gray wide pin stripes along the bottom (mistake on the sanding.. he wanted to get it done.. damn rust now... jeez dad take your time on what you love ) anywayz.. he kept it for a few years put an alpine stereo and sony speakers in it... (another big mistake..) then two years later when i finally showed my intrest in it he gave it too me but before he did he had his brother come and "look at it" which gave it the current idling problem it still has today... i love the car im trying to sell my 86 camaro to fix my opel.... (too many camaros.... cant seem to get $550 out of it )anywayz... its sitting in the yard in need of some tlc.. namely rewiring.. although most is good needs some wires rewired so i think ill just modernize it a bit when i do it.. (among the list of other things) anywayz.. i love my opel it still runs strong even though it idles at 1600 rpms no matter what ive tried.. and even though the brakes dont work very well.... (e brake and clutch are my brakes) i still drive it and love it even below 40 mph... dangerous but its worth it its a fun car no brakes and all .. anyway thats where my opel love started and it still continues like ive said before ill try to get pics up sometime.. until then...
    btw: its intresting how you guys got intrested surely more intresting than my story but i figured id share... cheerz guys
    ~Mysticwolf~

  14. #12

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    Andy Smith, age 18.

    My introduction to Opels was actually through a Chevy Vega. I had been driving around one day, in my now dead Camaro, and pulled up at a stop light a row behind a car I'd never seen before. It had a roll-cage, beat up bodywork, a number on it's side, and on the back it had a little plaque that read "Rotary Engine."

    I had no clue what this car was, but it sounded pretty sweet taking off. I did my best to catch up, but alas, he was driving it pretty hard, and I was behind traffic. So, later that night, I described the shape of the car to a friend of mine. He told me, "Well, it's either a Chevy Vega, an Opel GT, or some weird version of an Rx-7."

    So I checked all around online, looking at Chevy Vegas and Rx-7s. Turned out to be a Chevy Vega, but I figured I'd check out what an Opel GT looked like anyways.

    Moments later, I was in love.

    The next day, leaving work, at the other end of the parking lot I saw a primered Opel GT, driving by. I ran to my car, and followed the guy. He beat everyone off the line at every light, and eventually turned farther up than I could follow him.

    So I came home, and found this place. Been hooked ever since. I am currently doing everything in my power to get one of those cars. I even considered porn films, but, i decided I'd try a job out first. There's one in nice shape near my house for 3,500. -prr- I will have one.

  15. #13
    Kick a little asphalt MantAscona's Avatar
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    My name is Duane Foley. I am 35 years old, live in S.E. Pennsylvania and make my living as a mechanic supervisor for the Commonwealth of PA.

    Like RallyBob, I began driving in a Toyota Corolla. Mine was a 1973 Corolla SR5 with a 2TC hemi engine. My second car was a 1974 Corolla SR5 with the factory wheel arch flares. Also like Bob, I accumulated most of my miles going sideways. You could beat the tar out of those cars and they would never let you down.

    After owning a few Subaru 4wd wagons I was looking for something more exciting. I found a 1975 Opel Ascona sitting along the road for sale. The gentleman selling it owned a body shop and had repainted the car and installed a front air dam and minilite wheels. The car looked fantastic. I had to have it. He wanted $3500 for the car. I was still living at home with my parents at the time at 18. When I told my parents that I wanted to buy it they said no way, you'll never find parts for it. Since Mom and Dad's decision's were law,I was back in the market. I found a nice 240Z for sale at the local Volvo dealer. To this day I never figured out how one goes from a 240Z to a Volvo, but anyway. I decided to buy the Zcar, we agreed on $3000, and I put a $1000 deposit on it. When I came back a couple days later with the balance they told me the car was sold. I said yeah, I know, I bought it. They said no, we sold it to someone else who had cash. So much for deposits and good faith.

    So here was an 18 year old kid with a fist full of money to spend. I decided to go back to the guy with the Opel just to see if he still had it. It was still for sale......imagine that. I haggled him down to $2700 and bought it. With a cool car and $300 left in my pocket, life was good. It didn't go over too well with Mom and Dad, but that was just one more thing they would have to get over. I took ownership of my first Opel on my 19th birthday, January 20, 1986.

    As luck would have it, the glovebox contained a C&R Small Cars catalog. Now I could prove that I could get parts. That is when I first met Bob, well, over the phone anyway. I loved that car more than just about anything. On July 4, 1986, just six and a half months later, some clown in a two week old Mustang GT hit me after crossing the center line on an uphill sweeper turn. He pushed my drivers door up against the stick shift. That was the end of that Ascona. I was blown up against the passengers door and I still have the crushed Corbeau drivers seat in my basement. I actually bolted the other one to an office chair base and am sitting in it as I write this. It's the coolest computer chair.

    I found another '75 Ascona for sale a short time later and bought it. After swaping all the performance goodies over to the new car, I began autocrossing it. I eventually held second place in points in my tri-state region. I went on to own 28 Opel's over the years (I have a VERY understanding wife). I owned 5 GT's but never really found them to be as fun and tunable as the Manta and Ascona. I have narrowed my collection down a bit now and currently own a '74 Rallye Manta, '70 Kadett wagon (in the 2002 Carlisle photo gallery) and a '71 Manta 2.4 (also in the gallery and in the "Manta at Pocono" thread).

    Opel's really are a sickness for me. My moto is, any Opel around here either is mine, was mine or will be mine.

    Duane
    Last edited by MantAscona; 10-26-2002 at 11:40 AM.
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten"

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    I'm Brian Fowler, 31.
    I lived in Germany from '73-'76 when my Dad was in the Air Force. We had a few Opels then, I think they were a Kadette and a Commander(is that right?). When he got back to the states, he got a '75 Manta to drive. I never liked it much.
    He suggested a GT would make a good first car, and I got my '71 in the summer of '88. It was that schoolbus orange color with white interior. it had been bashed in the rear corner pretty hard, but for $500, we wee buying. I flipped a lot of burgers and gave a lot of $$ to C and R that summer, and by Feb, it was repainted a really nice blue('86 MR2 ). new interior, stereo. it was sharp.
    I had it for 3 years and it started to give me trouble and I sold it. It was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. I missed that car so much. It was exported back to Europe.
    I later had a gross dark blue/dark blue '70, a really nice white/red '70 for $1200!! I sold the white one in '96.
    About 18 months ago, I was digging through the Ft Worth paper, looking for a truck, and I see an ad for a '72 GT. A/C 4spd. $1500. I ran to see it with a pocketfull of $$$$. I had never wished that I was married before, but I wanted some1 to tell me "no! you can't have that nasty little car!" It was the same color combo as my 1st one, schoolbus on white. most of the interior had rotted, because the weatherstripping let in too much water. It ran great, was an original A/C car and had a straight body. it was just gross looking!
    I "finished" it about 3 weeks ago. I had it painted the same blue as my 1st GT. It has white '79 Corvette bucket seats, a sweet CD player and 4-spoke 4-lug Crager s/s rims. When I say "finished" i mean its ready to show off. I have plans to install lots of goodies I've bought... better flowing head with a lumpier cam, '75 manta exhaust manif, '75 Manta front brakes.
    I'm going to try harder to hang on to this one....

  17. #15

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    My name is Kurt and I am currently looking for the right GT.....
    Saw one years ago w/V-6 Buick in it and have been interested in them evere since.....After years (I'm 47....pretty old from the previous posters) of "Pony" cars, trucks, H.D.'s and Dwarf cars, I have come back to my interest in a small great looking sports car...
    Oh, it just happens that my first new car was a '73 Toyota Corolla 1600....I beat that thing for a hard lived 80,000 miles b4 I sold it...That thing and I were very friendly with snowbanks when I lived in Albany,NY area...

  18. #16
    OpelGT.com Übermoderator kwilford's Avatar
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    Where to Start...??

    My name is Keith Wilford, I am 44 years old, and I am an Opelholic.

    It all started in Winnipeg, in high school, in 1976. I had a '61 Austin Healey Bug-eyed Sprite. Too nice for a young punk, but I had retrieved it from a certain death, rusting away in a backyard that I cut through on my way to school. It became my reason for life, and suddenly I could be found on all of my spares in the Power Mech shop. After rebuilding the engine, and teaching myself how to do bodywork, it was finished, just in time for "Grad". But there in the parking lot, was this SEXY sports car. An Opel GT, owned by the spoiled, good looking kid who had the hottest date. Oh, to be him....

    Several years later, in the middle of my Mechanical Engineering degree, I restored the Bugeye again (why didn't anyone TELL me that pop riveting aluminum over rusted sheet metal caused BIG time corrosion? Dissimilar metal? Galvanic corrosion? Doh!). But my big brother, the graduate lawyer, now owned one of those hot Opel GT's. With real roll-up windows, a heater that actually heated (important stuff, living in Winterpeg Manitoba!), and a top speed that EXCEEDED the posted speed limit. I had to have it! And he was TOTALLY incapable of maintaining it, proven by countless lessons. And the money that I made from selling the Bugeye, even after buying the GT, paid for two years of tuition. You hafta love subsidized Canadian university. It was a '71 GT, with only 58,000 miles, painted fire glow orange, with a top speed that later proved to exceed 120 mph. After a Weber carb, a low restriction dual exhaust, a front air dam, and a good set of Michelins. I was SET!!!! It even looked HOT, painted a two tone silver/grey, ala Silver Anniversary Corvette, with the prerequisite rear window louvers and a loud stereo.

    Later, while on a sabbatical in Yellowknife N.W.T (where I was earning money at the local goldmine, searching for the meaning of life and a girl to put me through my last two years of university) my big brother called. Another lawyer friend had a GT for sale, probably best suited for parts. Three hundred dollars (Canadian!)? You bet, sight unseen. When retrieved the next year, with my Yellowknife girlfriend (later my wife) by my side and no birthday present on hand, I GRACIOUSLY offered it up as a substitute gift. It was actually pretty nice, with only 60,000 miles, and it just needed a bit of TLC. It was actually nicer than mine when I finished. But alas, two years later, just weeks before moving west to work in the oil patch, a van blew a stop sign on a cross street, and Myrna's poor GT was reduced to about 3/5ths of its original length. She escaped relatively unharmed, a testimonial to the value of energy-absorbing sheet metal. No thanks to the pitiful excuse that GM called seatbelts.

    After moving West to Lloydminster Alberta, I happened upon a '68 Kadett wagon, with the only year of the CIH 1.5 litre. PARTS!!! I exclaimed. But again, it was actually better than hoped, and became my daily driver. And later left behind for my down on his luck brother-in-law, who would prove as incapable of Opel maintenance as my own flesh and blood. Off to Opel heaven it went. And my trusty GT followed me around, first to Brooks Alberta, then finally to Calgary. But it was never to be a daily driver again.

    Now, after many years and three daughters, I have been working on my same original GT since 1986. It has been a bit inconsistent, with the body work MIG-welded to perfection in 1988, an engine rebuild in 1989, the interior reupholstered in 1991. Then a big break, with no significant progress for almost 10 years. But last year, after being given a career break (my "Home Renovation and Car Restoration Therapy Program"), I am back at it. I have now rebuilt the transmission, installed a new clutch and pressure plate, rebuilt the differential and rear suspension, the steering rack, not to mention the alternator, starter, radiator, and re-chromed and polished all that could shine. And in the process provided Gil and a number of ebay and local vendors a handsome living. And I am back to being a tax-paying member of society, this time as a wanna-be consultant, purporting to be the Vice President of a small, publicly traded oil and gas exploration and production company. The things I do to pay for my Opel habit.

    Recently, I have joined the ranks of the Internet Opel set, frequenting this site and several others, especially the classicopelsYahoo! site and ebay. And I have even entered the web commerce crowd, selling slightly used Hyundai Pony three point retracting seatbelts to the GT crowd. See the Classicopels site for more on this.

    Next on my GT comes a rebuild of the front suspension, then paint the engine compartment, reassemble the bits and parts, buy new wheels and tires, and finally shoot one more layer of polyurethane primer-finisher. Then a guide coat, countless hours of block sanding, and then pay the big bucks for a professionally-applied basecoat/clearcoat. In Corvette Competition Yellow. A perfect colour for a mid-life crisis car. Minus the mistress.

    Stay tuned.....
    Keith Wilford
    Finishing up a bare-metal, nut & bolt rotisserie restoration of my '71 Opel GT

  19. #17
    Member husker's Avatar
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    My Turn...

    My name is Mike, and I am 29... Ok ok I turned 30 in Sept but I am still not willing to accept that.

    I grew up in a MOPAR family. My parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins all had late 60's early 70's muscle cars. Challengers, Road Runners, Chargers, Coronets, Super Bees, Darts, and Cudas - you name it and someone in my family had it. I fell in love with the 1970 Challenger T/A's and vowed to own one. The day before I left for college I investigated an ad in the newspaper for a 1970 Challenger. It wasn't a T/A but with the asking price of a real T/A being $30k and with the price of the car in the paper being $2k the decision was easy. I have spent the last 10 years bringing the Challenger back to its 1970 glory. It was not a rare or desirable model so I have also turned it into a T/A clone along the way. Engine is completely redone and now produces @ 400 hp. Interior is all new and the new headliner was put in last month. Suspension upgrades have been completed. A few 1/4 mile races have even been logged - with a best et of 12.56. Next year it should be finished with a fresh coat of paint and the T/A stripe.

    Now on to my Opel addiction. I sold a 1969 SuperBee last year in hopes of beginning a Velo Rossa kit car project. I have always liked the 62 Ferrari GTO's but have always lacked the courage to rob a few (hundred) banks so I could afford one. Enter the kit car world... For @ $20k I could turn a 77 280z into a Ferrari replicar. Well my luck turned south as the company I was going to buy the kit from went out of business.

    One day about a month ago something yellow and swoopy (is that a word?) looking caught my attention in my neighbors back yard. I live in a forest with 5 acre lots - so you can see how I missed it for 5 years I have lived there. This thing looked amazingly similar to the Ferrari GTO that I love. I went over to talk with him about it and he told me the history of the car... He is the original owner and said that he loved driving that car... in 1986 his wife (now ex-wife) was driving the car when the engine compartment began to spout flames. She just watched as the fire toasted all of the wiring and then put itself out. He pulled it back to his house and put it up on blocks. Over the next year he and his father replaced all of the wiring and got it running again, but by this time he had another car to drive and left the car on blocks. I asked him what he planned on doing with the car and he said "to tell you the truth, I just wish someone would tow it away". Me not being one to look a gift horse in the mouth (what does that mean anyway?) backed up my Explorer and had it gone within minutes. It was just two weeks ago that I became an Opel GT owner. Straight, complete, rust free body, good glass, good interior, non running.

    My plans for this car include ground effects, new fiberglass hood, targa top, fresh interior and suspension and either a strong 4 cyl or 6 cyl engine. I haven't decided on the final color scheme yet... I like medium blue or medium red with a single wide stripe down the center - black interior.

    Sorry to make a short story long...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #18
    Code Goober
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    Origin of a phrase

    The most accurate way of determining the age of a horse is to look at it's teeth. Horses have a set of baby teeth that last until they're about 3 yrs old. If they still have their caps (baby teeth), they're under 3. Their wolf teeth come in at around age 2 (eg caps and wolf teeth age=3). After that, things get more complicated, you start to look at characteristics of their teeth. Stars (marks at the top of the teeth), the Galveins groove (a groove on the side of their incisors) length changes with age, etc.

    One of the most common cons of the old horse dealer (think used car salesman, but with worse morals - watch the end of that Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman flick about the Irish immigrants), was to grossly mis-represent the age of a horse. Therefore, one of the first things that a buyer would do would be to open the horses mouth and look inside to determine it's age. When given a horse however, it was considered bad form to open it's mouth to determine it's age (kind of like looking for a designer label on a garment recievd for a birthday).

    Please don't hesitate to ask any other trivia related questions, as I have WAY too much time on my hands. (I actually knew the answer to this one because of my former profession).

    David
    No, that's not a defect, that's a feature.

  21. #19
    Member husker's Avatar
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    Thanks Geek... I can now add that to my repository of really useless (in this case USEFUL) facts. I don't even want to know how you can up with that.

  22. #20

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    Howdy Everybody, I'm Dave Kronick, a 36-year old computer systems engineer. Currently, I live in the Nashville Tennessee area, but am looking to relocate somewhere
    where I can more readily satisfy my Opel addiction, like California....

    I got my start in tinkering with cars helping my brother-in-law keep his 1971 Toyota Corona Mark II Wagon on the road. It had a tired, worn-out engine, I think it was an 8RC, that had (among other troubles) a distributor that was so sloppy, it had something like a 20 degree spark scatter. We could never get that car to idle reliably at anything under about 1200-to-800-to-1600 rpm.

    About that time, my parents were needing a second car for work, and they came home with the oddest little car I'd ever seen. It was a medium-to-dark blue, with a very dark blue vinyl top, a hood that hinged at the front instead of the back, four-spoke painted steel mag wheels, and strangest of all, a manual crank-operated sunroof. Yes, it was a Manta....a 1973 Manta Luxus "Blue Max". It even had an AM/FM (not stereo) radio hooked up to the central speaker in the dash.

    In Iowa, winter nighttime temperatures of 20 degrees below zero are not uncommon. I remember that Manta would start right up, and you could immediately put it in gear and start driving. Every other car I remember them or me having, you had to warm it up a bit, or it would hardly go. Another thing I remember about it, even on the coldest days, by the time you drove two blocks, the air coming from the defroster ducts would feel noticably warmer than the ambient temperature. Another two blocks after that, and you could toast marshmellows off the defrosters.

    When I graduated from high school, and needed a car, they sold me the Manta, with 89,000 miles on it. I don't know how else to describe it, other than to say that all through the best times of my life, that Manta was right there beside me. Every last friend of mine, who ever rode in my Manta, wanted it. People would stop me in parking lots and street corners, to ask me about it.
    One time, me and my friends were out playing football, and we ended up with 8 guys needing a ride and only one car - my Manta. By having one guy sit in the humongous trunk, and another guy standing up through the sunroof, we all rode home in my Manta. You could hear the wheels kiss the rear fender wells whenever we hit a bump, but that 1.9 acted like it was just a day in the park...

    Sadly, the heavy salting of Iowa winter roads took a heavy toll on it. One day, I felt the driver's seat start to collapse forward and downward (good thing I wasn't on the interstate). I got out and looked, and the metal under the seat had rusted through to the point that it could no longer hold a person's weight on the seat. I built and installed a plywood brace to hold the seat up, and patched and tarred the hole, but the end was inevitable. Pretty soon, the entire car began to buckle in the middle. I had to let it go. I still have numerous parts from that Manta, including the instrument cluster, which proudly sits frozen in time at (1)89,230 miles.

    Since then, I've had a '71 GT (Blue with a broad white racing stripe), a '72 Manta (maroon, with the red velour interior), a '74 1900 Wagon (bright yellow, and the most incredibly useful hauler I ever had), and my current car, a maroon 1974 1900 sedan (Ascona). But, of all the cars I've had and lost, I miss that first Manta most of all. Yes, I have the sickness. All you have to do is open an Opel door, and then close it, and listen to the sound of the latch, and you're forever hooked on the quality of German engineering.

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