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I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not one of my '71 Opel GTs' is worth restoring or if it should become a parts car for the other one.. I feel obligated to keep every Opel on the road.

What is has going for it.. It's still in its original color of that Cirtus Yellow. Engine is original for the year, runs and has good compression. Original interior bits and pieces are all there.. Original rims and caps. Good Glass, Suspension OK other than paint. I think more time than money is required at this time to fix all the rust.

What's against it.. Original paint has been gone over a few times and needs redone. No title but I think I can get it. It's wrecked minor in the front and average in the back. Front has bowed but fixable nose, bumper is rippled pretty good. Back end is worse. Backend panel was actually cut in half, but surrounding fenders and panels are straight. Then there's the rust. Small rust hole above driver door, driver floorpan is rusted significantly but not clear through, unibody structure under drivers seat completely rusted out (only had one bolt left holding the seat in). Passenger side fares better on the floor and under seat, but pillar coming up at front windshield to roof is completely rusted out. Rest of body has chewed through cancer rust in all the normal spots: rocker panels, above wheels, far rear lower fender corners. Mice have lived in the car for a long time and sucessfully chewed major sections of the seats, seatbelts, and other interior pieces. Wiring is chewed by mice. Ignition switch is shot. Dash is cracked as normal. Engine has good compressions, and I got it to run, but it hadn't run before me for probably 13 years (They had put distributor in backwards). Also one rocker arm stud keeps working out. How do I fix that? Radiator leaks, gastank is dented and leaks from rearender. All weatherstripping and other rubber is totally shot.

Unknowns: tranny mvoes but no doubt needs gone through. Drivetrain still unknown. Brakes unknown.

Alright, so I think I just answered my own question :( .. What do you think. Sad thing is the other car I own that was supposed to be the "good" car is almost as bad, just runs.

I would do all the work myself under the resident shadetree.
 

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It's really up to you, what you think is too much. I'll take a pick of my 2 GT's (now that it's daylight) and show you. I plan on fixing both of them. One stock and one with mods.
You'll find them in the Opel garage.
 

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Opel Addicts
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Oh No!

:( If I were thinking about this last year, I'd say "make a custom out of it". But I had the same dilemma last year when I decided to part out my original GT. All the bits were there, even the interior (though I wouldn't have used it as it was'nt pretty). The engine and transmission were still good, as well as the suspension, and the body was pretty straight, headlights still rotated and worked.

I made a hard decision that I really didn't have the time to devote to an RX7 driveline swap and then all the other work that had to be devoted, not only to it, but all my other projects too. So my wife Vickie and my son Tommy started taking it apart. I helped out nights and weekends, and believe me when I tell you that we got every nut and bolt off that car. It was really when I went to take out the engine crossmember that I really knew how bad it was inside. When I went to take the bolts out of the welded in nuts that hold the crossmember to the body, the nuts just broke loose. The interior metal in the frame rails was so weak it wouldn't even hold up to a socket turning the bolt.

The moral of the story is that if you have serious doubts, use the disassembly of the car as a learning experience and take every part off the car, even if you're going to just throw it away. I know it has helped me understand a lot of things about our beloved GTs. I even cut the front 2 feet off the car before we took it to the crusher, to use on another car that needs front sheet metal. The doors were keepers as well as some of the other top sheet metal that I knew I could use on our other cars.

I will have to say that the saddest sound in the world was when they used a huge front end loader to crush the top, then run into its side to get it small enough to fit it into a dumpster, before it got carried off :eek:

Good luck on the rebuild of the other one. Send Pictures!

Allen and Vickie Gage :cool:
 

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When I got my last two one was listed as a driver and the other as a parts car. The driver was like the flinstone mobile but had all the lights and chrome. I started evaluating which one to save or could I save them both. Like Allen said rust is a big issue with a car that old. I kept the parts car and used what could be removed from the other. Ok the piece of bondo popping off the roof the size of a frisbee from rust was a sign.
 

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Old Opeler
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Costs!

Major rust costs time and money to repair - just use the ones you have for parts cars and while you are stripping them and shelving the parts just put $100 a week into an "Opel" account (that is probably how much a week the rust cutting would cost you!) till there is enough there to but a "rust free" GT.
It will be less expensive and the new car will have lots less rust. you will have a better GT sooner that way too.
 

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What can I say, reminds me of a saying my Dad used to say about some of my cars. "if you take the radiator cap off and drive a different car under that you might be ok". Those floors need some help. It does have some good parts on it. I did the glass rear on mine so it can be done. With that rust level that it has it might be better to look at it as parts.

On a side note, if there is a Mrs. bullmoose, she's a keeper to let that stick around.

No offence meant, just advice.
 

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crazy opeler
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That car actually isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I would take on that project, though body work is a lot of labor it is rewarding to take a banged up old car and make her new again.

The rust around the wheel wells is minimal, the rest of the rust appears to be from sitting and water collecting. Which means that the structural rust that most GTs endure is probably minimal.

The rust under the seat looks bad but that is an EASY place to do repairs. A heck of a lot easier than replacing a wheel arch.

This would make a great project to learn bodywork, and since it had rust and a lot of repairs you won't feel bad about making it a daily driver, or fear driving it in the snow and rain.

I restored a car that was wrecked in the rear and needed some rust repair as well, finally got my web page working again http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~blustc/bodywork.htm
 
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