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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I wanted to start a build thread for my GT. It has been a long time since Ive done anything with my car and after building several rock crawlers, Harleys and home improvement projects my wife demands that I get busy on the car thats been collecting dust in the corner over the garage for almost a decade. I gladly obliged!
A little history of the car which I will refer to as Anna from here on out...
Her name is short for Annamarie who was my grandmother. Annamarie (my grandma) was raised on Maintz Germany as was my dad, aunt and uncle. She was a short, opinionated and rowdy kraut much like my car seems to be.
During my dad and his siblings upbringing someone in the immediate family owned an Opel. I have no other knowledge than that, other than they were believed to be good, reliable cars. My family moved to the states sometime during the Vietnam war. I believe my dad was around 7-9 years old.
My dad grew up in the late 60s and early 70s and his best friend owned a GT. My dad has fond memories riding around with his friend Bob in the "Baby vette" and cruising the streets of Stockton and Modesto picking up chicks. (Supposedly lol).
Sometime in the early 90s my dad had an itch to relive his glory days and set out to find a GT that he and I could work on and go to cruise nights and the like. As is often the case with these poor cars, 1 turned into 3 just to make a complete car. With the remaining 2, my dad hated the fact that they would be parted out or even worse crushed due to the lack of interest in the cars at the time so he donated 1 each to the local high schools for their auto shop classes. 1 went to the high school I would eventually attend and I got to work on it in class one of the years I took auto shop.
We had some fun, got some looks and sadly lost interest after about 8 years. It ended up getting parked on the side of the house (luckily after we had primered it) where it would sit until around 2005.
One day he and I got to talking and I decided I wanted to bring it home and start on a full resto-mod. I put alot of time and money into the car but as I grew older and started a family it again got left in a corner and forgotten.
As I mentioned above, my wife encouraged me to pull it out from under the covers and piles of junk in, on and around it and breath new life into a build that I have always wanted to complete. Best of all I have a helper! My 13 year old son is just about the age I was when my dad and I started this project so many years ago.
I look forward to sharing our build with you guys and I hope you appreciate the story as much as the build. The first pic is my grandmother during the war. She is the girl handing Hitler flowers. The second pic is of Anna that day I brought her home from the side of my parents house. I may be a little slow with uploading pics, Ive had to search through old film developed pics as well as several old phones to create my build collection.
Hope you enjoy!
Josh
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Build a dream and drive
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
After trailering Anna home, the first thing to do was check the brakes, lights and see if she would fire up. Surprisingly everything was in pretty good working order after installing a battery. I did notice some funk in the fuel filter so I replaced the filter and removed the gas tank to have it flushed and sealed. After reinstalling the gas tank we (my dad and I) started tinkering with firing the car up. At the time it had a 32/36 webber and an absolutely disgusting engine bay, but that didnt stop her from firing right up after only a few attempts.
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Remember, this was in 2005. I will document from then moving forward
 

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Build a dream and drive
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I drove the car around like this for about a year, only fixing minor things that would come up. I hadnt heard so many complements and gas station conversations in my life! Even looking ratty and in half assed primer. People just seemed to really, really loved seeing one on the road! It seemed like everyone had a story about an Opel from some point in their life or another. But over time it felt like she was losing compression and starting to feel tired. So I decided to pull the engine and do a freshen up, clean some of the engine bay gunk, add some shiney parts and give her a little more pep
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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #4
Side note
The first time I removed the engine I brought it out through the top. Lesson learned and I will never go that route again!
 

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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #5
I must have used 3 bottles of degreaser and about 3 hours scraping, dousing, rinsing and repeating. The crossmember wasnt any less involved but once it was clean I painted it and moved on to the engine. I must have lost or just cant find some of the disassembly pics but I will post what I could find
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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #6
Sorry about a few of the above pics. I just went through and edited so they are facing the right direction. Huge pet peeve of mine is rotating my phone to see something. If I hate doing it, Im sure you do as well. Here are some of the mock up pics of the engine on the stand. Keep in mind this was the first time I had ever pulled the engine out of anything up to this point. If I had it to do over I would have done some machine work, valves ect. This was my learning curve and when I pull it out again this winter it will get all the goodies
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Interesting story. I'm glad that you and your son will be getting Anna back on the road. It looks like you have a great starting point, and more importantly,
the mandatory spousal support. :p
Good luck with your project, and keep us posted.
Cheers,
Ron in FL
 

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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting story. I'm glad that you and your son will be getting Anna back on the road. It looks like you have a great starting point, and more importantly,
the mandatory spousal support. :p
Good luck with your project, and keep us posted.
Cheers,
Ron in FL
Thank you Ron. Still sifting thru pics go get caught up to where the car is now
 

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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #11
So now with a freshen up of the engine and engine bay, things didnt look so swell in the brake, suspension department. I felt and update was long overdo. I was just going to replace rotors, wheel cylinders and possibly shocks. And so it began...
This is what I had to start with
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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #14
After cruising up and down PCH and looking for another gear to no avail, I figured this would be as good a time as any to up the anti with the Getrag. I knew eventually I would build a bigger engine (currently in motion now finally) so I opted to go with the swap. I also went up to a 38dgas with port matched intake. I cant take credit for the tranny swap, porting or the suspension work. That was all Dennis and he is a master at what he does! Big thank you to him and Gil for the help and advice!
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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #16
Very impressive. Your are off to a great start...... Keep up the good work. Love the pictures....
Thank you. I have been watching your build (maybe stealing some ideas) and your car looks amazing. I saw the picture of you in your 20's? With the same car?
 

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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #17
Then the 2 reasons I stopped working on her for a couple years. I wish I had more pics of these builds
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Build a dream and drive
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Discussion Starter #19
And thank you for your kind words. 25 years on my one year project and yes its the same car. Purchased in 1972....
That is really neat. I can only imagine the memories you have made. It looks absolutely stellar! Keep up the good work
 

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Build a dream and drive
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123 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Anyway, back to Anna..
After taking about a 2 year break I decided it was time to get some body work done. Having been a California car there was no rust really to speak of thankfully! But It was still somewhat primered with little spots of Root Beer brown showing through. Plus some dents and dings here and there.
So began the body work..
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