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· Your Noble Friend ;-)
4,825 Posts
Wow, that's crazy! I had no idea about this. He is the son of Fritz von Opel, whose beer stein is in my trophy cabinet.


· Registered
1,283 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK, so not the same car. But how many F1 Opels are there?
None that we know of. The car you highlighted was, of course, a mockup done for a Hollywood production. Much cheaper than rolling out (and possibly destroying) a near-priceless piece of racing history. Basically, the movie people built replicas of F1 machinery on much cheaper and more available formula car chassis. This would not be the first and only time. In this particular case, the chassis was built by Reynard, a well-respected race car builder of the era (except for F-1) and was for the Formula Vauxhaul race series, similar to Formula Ford but using the Vauxhaul engine which, of course, was built by Opel.

Anyone that has seen what was then the iconic 1967 F1 movie "Grand Prix" staring James Garner, probably knows that the movie actors' cars were re-bodied F-3 cars. They actually ran in real F-1 races, beginning the races at the back of the grid. In some cases, the car was attached to the rear of the Ford GT40 camera car driven by former World Champion Phil Hill, allowing for those really neat closeups.

Another racing movie that would be eminently forgettable save for its star (S. McQueen) was "Le Mans" released in 1970. The camera car for that movie was in fact an official entrant. It would go out and, when the film ran out, it would come in to change film. However, attrition was high among the top starters that year and one of the camera car drivers went to the movie's director (at the time -- he was later fired) and said, "You know, if we don't have to come in so often for the camera, we have a chance to win this damned thing!"

The director said that he thought for only a second or so about the ramifications of going back to the studio and saying "We didn't shoot much film, but we got this really neat trophy...".
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