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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Both are 4 spd, and the MG is in better condition. I have an opportunity to get one of these cars from a family member.

Obviously you guys love your Opels but what should I consider when picking which one to buy? Taking into account: parts availability, rarity, and cost to maintain, ect.

I like the GT, but it needs paint, it has either been primered or is a heavily faded brown. The is much more presentable out the door and seems to be a rarer car. Let me know your thoughts and help me decide.


:)
 

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No opinion on which one to take, but....you think the MG is rarer? That's almost hard to believe. I have to say, i'll be shocked if an MG is rarer than an Opel.
 

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Ah, this could get GOOD!

Rarity? I don't have the build numbers handy for the MGB (which I presume is the model you are referring to), but I believe it is well over 500,000 cars, built from between 1963 (?) and 1975 (again?). In comparison, there were 103,000 Opel GT's built between 1968 and 1973. And the number LEFT are probably even more skewed. I belong to a local Vintage Sports Car club (www.VSCCC.ca) and there are 2 Opel GT's, and 14 MGB's. And that doesn't count the 30 or so that are members of the Calgary MG club.

Desirability? In the eyes of the beholder. They are very different cars. An MGB is a convertible, based on a fairly (for the time) "tried and true" design. For the British, that meant an engine design that was at least 10 years old in 1963, and MUCH older by 1975. And SU carbs (Arghh!) and Lucas electrics (double ARGHHH!). And they had barely discovered synchros on transmissions (early models had a non-synchro first gear) and used the evil lever shocks (Yikes!).

The Opel GT was a nearly "clean-sheet" design in 1968, based on a fairly new sister model (the Kadett, in 1966) with a modern suspension (transverse leaf in front, coils and torque tube and Panhard rod in back), and a brand new engine (the Cam In Head) which came out in 1968, and was built in Europe until 1984 or so. The GT is a true "Grand Turismo" car, while even the MGB-GT (the fastback hard-top) was merely a re-bodied, cowl-shaking MGB. Neither were power houses, but the GT would run and hide from the same-era MGB. And out-handle it as well, if equipped with front and rear sway bars.

Value? Well, the MGB is more common, but also more desirable for those that want a convertible. But the Opel GT is a better looking car, with a more modern design, and it is certainly more of a head turner. But there are fewer running, so your local Opel GT club is going to be a smaller gathering. Parts are more readily available for the MGB, but the Internet (and Opel GT Source) has levelled that playing field. And by my estimation, parts are usually less dear for the Opel than for the MG crowd, based on what I see my Triumph/Austin Healey-driving brothers paying for their parts.

So there you have it. They are different. Find someone with a running model and take it for a test drive. And decide for yourself.

HTH
 

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kwilford, that was a reply to bring a tear to my eye! I liked them both :confused: when younger and you hit it on the head for driveability. I drove past :cool: a little white MG sitting at a country car lot Friday. It was pretty, but I still like the GT better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is good information. BTW the MG has the removable hard top. Thanks for the clarification on the topic of rarity. This will me my first leap into this sort of car so I pretty much know nothing.

I love the look of the GT but the onlything that is slowing me down is the condition of the paint. No rust holes but the paint is poor at best. So there would be a minimum investment to get it looking sharp. I saw an Opel in a dark rose/brown, is this an origional color? Are there any fiberglass body panels on the GT?

Keep the comments comming, my fiance actually likes the opel the most.

What about a 1972 Fiat, this is their 2door 4spd...this is another one available
 

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For the Opel, spend 2 hours with a buffer and some paste. If the paint aign't cracked, it should buff up nice.
 

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Well having owned both at one time or another in my life I would go for the GT, and which is why I chose to restore a GT when the time came. My experience is that the GT if properly maintained has fewer problems then the MGB. In the 2 years I owned the MGB I replaced the clutch twice, alternator was rebuilt twice, and I never did find the problem with the electrics. taillights and brakes would work fine for a few days or a week then go out completely for an hour or maybe two days then come back on again.....drove me nuts. Nver could get use to remembering to oil the dashpots either. Just my Tcw
 

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MGB vs. Opel GT

I recently had to make this choice. Over the past 4~5 years, I have collected way to many little older cars and was needing to get rid of 1 or 2 of those a couple of months ago.

The MGB 1962 ~ 1980. Just over a half-a-million MGB's were built. In rough terms, one third stayed in England, one third went to Claifornia, and the rest of the world (but mostly the rest of the USA), shared the remainder of these cars. I have the exact production numbers per year if you like.

So, it's easy to see that the Opel GT is the rarest of the two. Attached is a picture of my garage 2 months ago. I have replaced that MGB with another little car. I do miss the MGB, but I love the Opel GT more!
 

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boomerang opeler
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keith you forgot to add that opel would not compromise the gt with ridehight and bumper changes and would rather kill a model than make sales with a bad product as MG did to there models to keep the american sales (bad MG bad) not that it worked as a MG with big bumpers and the high ride was a horrible horrible car strangly the MGC worked fairly good with the higher ride
 

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First, there are NO Fiberglas panels on an Opel GT. At least, not from the factory. Some owners have replaced the belly pan (prone to rusting out because the battery sits above it and leaks acid!), and replacement fiberglas panels are available for the nose (between the headlights) and the rear panel. Oh, and some folks do the "tuner" thing and install fiberglas fender flares, hoods, air dams and even rear panels to make it look more "Corvette" like. Whatever!

As for the Fiat, are you talking about a 124 Spider, or the 124 Coupe? Whatever (again). Beautiful twin overhead cam engine, fair transmission, troublesome carbs, AWFUL body and workmanship. And even the engine and transmission will fail, and prove to be unrepairable. If you bought it new and knew everything that had been done to it (I have a friend who resembles that remark), then maybe. But they make Opels appear darn near bullet-proof as far as reliability, and the Opel is far easier to work on.

JM2CW
 

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Great thread on GT comparison shopping

Fairly unbiased opinions . . . as much as is possible, that is . . . from some "dyed in the wool" Opelholics! :D
 

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While Fiats are nice, they're certainly not an aesthetic car. Matter of fact, personally, I think Fiats in general are some of the least 'easy on the eyes' cars out there.

Bottom line is that you'll have a hard time finding a nice little restorable car out there that looks as good as an Opel, let alone better.
 

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This Board!

One of the great advantages of the GT is this site and the neat guys you would be joining by having a GT choosing you! ;)

That and a bunch of dedicated parts suppliers out there plus a couple of hundred ever changing items on EBay! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
More good info and thanks for the sites listed.

wow opalGTsource sure does have a lot of parts. This makes me a little more comfortable about the condition of the car. I am definitly leaning towards the GT. It should be fun to clean it up. I am going to find about about the interior tomorrow, hopefully the floor is solid.

Yeah on the fiat: I have no idea if its a spider or not. And no it isnt the prettiest thing in the world but it looks clean. Honestly I know much more about big buicks. I have a Supercharged 97 Riviera built up for the quarter mile.
 

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urbsnspices said:
Honestly I know much more about big buicks. I have a Supercharged 97 Riviera built up for the quarter mile.
Wow! Perfect fit - GTs were sold by Buick dealers over there so you would have a Big Buick and a Lil' Buick. :cool:
 

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Opel GT or MG

Good news! Either choice is going to get you a fun sports car. My wife bought an Opel GT in college. Next week I bought an MG Midget. Never had any regrets (only frustrations) with either car.

The MG was more fun to drive being a convertible, better exhaust sound, and smaller. We used it for mountain driving and winding roads on nice days.

The Opel GT was our "big" car, used for freeway driving and rainy days. We needed the big car when we traveled back home for the holidays and needed the extra luggage space.

But, back to you. Is this going to be your primary daily driver or a 2nd car?
And, are you handy around a car, or do you have someone in the family that can assist? Both cars, being 30+ years old will most likely need repairs over the next couple of years.

Having owned both, I find the Opel easier to work on (except for the clutch).

Both have their share of wiring problems; MG with it's Lucas electronics, Opel with it's headlight wiring weakness & its tendancy to smoke the ignition up on the steering column.

This forum is absolutely great for its members' collective technical knowledge of the Opel, their willingness to help, and their common sense advise. And I consider this a big plus in deciding to drive an Opel.

But check for MG sites. Maybe there's something comparable to this forum (of course, all the really sharp cool folks bought Opels).

Chicago - snows there right? Maybe rains too? Something to think about. Even with my modern convertible (and a brand new top), it leaked on me driving in the rain last week. So a hard top can be nice to have. But, I gotta mention the MG's heater. These cars had huge heater cores on them. I drove mine in the snow with the top down. Just throw a blanket over your legs and let the heater blow up under it.

Now for the grusome part. Bad accidents. I've totaled one Opel, had a 2nd almost "totaled" accident, and my brother totaled his Opel. All three of these accidents were others' faults. So its not even a matter of your driving safely, there's someone out there waiting to plow into you. For a little car, the Opels are pretty tough. That MG always concerned me because there just isn't anything of substance around its passengers.

So what should you drive? I don't know. But again, you've got two good options here, and both are pretty cool.
 

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There's a reason Fiat has come to stand for "Fix it again, Tony" I've never owned a Fiat, but I've had a couple of friends that have. They don't any more due to the down time.

I've also had the chance to buy a "Cherry" 1971 MG. The car has been sitting for about 15 years due to the father's untimely death. The son wants to sell, but also wants to hang onto the memory of dad. I wish them the best.

Man, What kind of relatives do you have? :eek: All those choices! :rolleyes:

Best of luck to you however you decide to go!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The car would be a purely weekend car, we are moving to Manhatten in 6 months. So my Buick and this car would actually be stored in NewJersey at a relatives place. We figured once the car is relaible we could explore the east coast with it.

A few GT questions, what is the most common "deep engine" problem? Rings? bearings? Valvetrain? Cost of a rebuild if I tackle it myself?


My eccentric aunt has 22 cars. :eek: None of them are what I would call show cars but all very neat. She is a car lover, pure and simple. What other old lady do you know that owns a beat up 80s porche turbo? This is actually her 'second batch' in the 80s she had many cars from the 50s.
 
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