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Discussion Starter #1
Here I am ready to get into this Opel GT's world =S

I am closing a deal on a 1969 Opel GT 1900. At the moment I can't visit the car and there is a chance of closing the deal in these terms (I am not an expert anyway and the car is not in my homeland). The owner reports no rust and a fully functional car, no oil leaks, headlights working good and so on. I have dozens of photos and I will have more soon, including some videos.

What I know about the car:

  • Opel GT-AL 1900
  • Original color = red / "recently" painted in white
  • General good shape, some dents and scratches
  • No rust reported by the owner
  • Steering wheel is not OEM (some other model from Opel).
  • Rear fuel cap with missing cover
  • Electric ignition upgrade done
  • Fenders are not chrome anymore and wing mirrors are not original either.
  • mechanically speaking I don't know a lot, the engine bay looks ok, a little messy but hopefully good to run! Is the carburetor there? =)
I post some photos for you all to take a look and tell me honestly if you consider a good condition of a car to start without a lot of investment ahead.
I understand that things can be hiding under this paint job and also in the under-body (photos soon).

Thanks in advance,
Cato

 

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Opel Key Master
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At minimum you have a wiring harness to build or order for it, the headlight relay is in the engine bay, maybe the owner has had regulator issues, notice it is taped over. Also depends on if you are going to restore it, engine bay has been the typical blacked out. But probably a decent driver. You didn't mention the price you are looking to pay. I would say @ $5000 or under if it is solid. I assume its in an European country with no markers and wheels and the driving lights
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your answer. When you mention wiring harness is the headlight relay one? Do you recon it's a must do?

Yes, it is an european deal, where I live the price for one in "very good condition" is arround 30k, this one will cost me 13k after transport and import taxes. I count on a 4k investment to bring it to a "very good condition status". ATM I don't plan striping it and do a intensive full restoration!
 

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The wiring harness outer jacket going into the headlight bucket's fatigue and cracks after years of the headlights rolling open and closed. This exposes the inner copper wiring and causes shorting and a very real fire hazard if not caught in time. It should be the first order of business IF you get this GT.

Interior carpet is non-factory. Missing the factory clock in the dash, replaced by what looks like a vacuum guage. Still running the orginal Solex 2 barrel, problematic these days. Voltage regulator looks to be held together with electrical tape? Battery tray missing from it's original position. Missing fan shroud. Englne compartment gaskets missing or compressed to the point of being useless. Interesting carb return spring indicates it's not factory. Power brake booster hose appears to be the original hose, at this point, probably a vacuum leak point. Those don't appear to be the Euro passing lights as the buckets the original is mounted in don't appear to be there in that one photo shown. Curious to see the wheel well lips painted black or undercoated. I would ask for better detailed photos of the under carriage, especially the rocker panels and behind the front tires. The engine compartment is dirty to where it was probably last clean the day it was spray bombed flat black. What does the lower portion of the inner door side look like?

Never take the word of someone else reporting a car being rust free. Especially a car "recently" painted white. I've heard it mentioned by others that white is a nice color to repaint a rusted out car that was repaired with bondo as it's easier to trick the eye from the unfair lines a bondo special will often have; when it's slathered over rusted sheet metal. That's not saying this is a rust-special. But I would insist on more detailed photos underneath and for the heck of it, what's under the front carpets in the area of the inner rocker panel areas. It could very well be that the investment not made in traveling to see this car in person, could very well cost far less then it will for the potential surprises that await you when that car gets home.

Apologies for being blunt. In the US this could very well be a 5 thousand dollar car but then again, it could be a rusted out hulk underneath that recently applied white paint worth a thousand or two. Proceed carefully ahead.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi Mike,

You don't have to apologize, this is the kind of approach that I was looking for and you nailed it! I try to do the same in forums of cars that I know from top to bottom.
Well, at the moment Europe is in lock down, borders are closed and I can't go see the car even if I want to!
Anyway, I won't go through the list asking for further advice, even some doubts persist, just because I most likely wont go ahead with the buy. I guess the project seems reasonable anyway, I just don't have that much time to invest on it since it requires much more attention then what I was expecting. I may look for something more taken care of.

A good looking GT in europe starts at 20k, very good ones 30k and you can find mint condition ones with all the upgrades possible for 40k.

I will post under-body photos once I have. Just to follow up with the topic before letting it die.

Thank you Mike, we know you may have saved me for one very big headache. I really appreciate how thorough and honest you were.

Cheers
Carlos
 

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Hi Carlos! Alot of those issues I pointed out can easily be fixed by you as time and money allow; save for any kind of boy rot. The main thing to be wary of is the condition of the body. This is where your safest bet is an on-site inspection, preferably with a GT owner who is knowledegable and one you trust. Bring a magnet to check for bondo!

I see on the Splendid Opel parts site out of Germany, a good many new German sheet metal parts are being released for sale. This is great news for the European GT owner who may need to have sheet metal replaced. Here in the US, we are not so lucky as shipment of those kinds of items are so cost prohibitive. This site has quite a few thorough and in-depth restorations of rust bucket GT's to show car condition. Off the top of my head, if you look up poster Viny Charb (current screen name-Vincent) restoration of his rusty GT up in Canada; as well as poster Steve Daniel's recreation of an Aero GT from a rust bucket car, you will have a great idea of the rust points for these cars. Highly recommended! And inspirational, too!

Carlos, keep us informed as you find your GT! And welcome to the family and the madness! :)

My thoughts are with you and the rest of Europe; especially our Italian friends who are suffering so much with this virus.

All matters pertaining to the Opel GT is a great diversion in these days of illness and uncertainty.

Mike
 

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Just Some Dude in Jersey
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I would think that you could find a mostly or entirely restored and possibly upgraded GT here in the U.S., and have it shipped to wherever you are, for the $13,000 + $4000 + a LOT of time you are considering spending on this questionable car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Mike,

I like the way you don't wan't me to get out of the GT world! I am quite passionate about this project but I always try to be rational about it too. I already spotted parts in Germany and the big advantage is that there is tax free movement of goods in the Euro zone.
This specific car is based in Netherlands (as I wrote this I googled for winter/snow/salty roads and it quite tricky), it would be imported to Portugal (where I originally am from) even though I live in Switzerland atm. It would be a holiday project and main jobs outsourced.
I will be patient about this and keep in touch with the owner to see if I can spot all the weaknesses of the car and budget repairs.

I have plenty of time since I am mostly at home, sadly for the reasons we know. Our Italian region of Switzerland is highly affected by the virus and here in Zurich our movements are limited, only the essential businesses keep the door open.

I was trying to share a couple of videos that the owner sent me but I can't find a good platform...

Cheers
Carlos
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I would think that you could find a mostly or entirely restored and possibly upgraded GT here in the U.S., and have it shipped to wherever you are, for the $13,000 + $4000 + a LOT of time you are considering spending on this questionable car.
Thanks for your suggestion. This car would cost me 2k for import taxes for being an EU car. Outside EU, well, it would add 23% VAT and other import taxes that make it a non reasonable option.

Cheers
Carlos
 

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No way would I pay $13k for that car sight unseen. Pictures can be VERY deceiving. You need an expert to examine the body. You may not PLAN on stripping (I think you said, "striping" but meant stripping) the car, but if it is full of plastic filler over poorly repaired rusty panels, you will be stipping it if you want a decent car.
By FAR, in my humble opinion, the biggest issue with this car (as well as most 50 year old cars) is RUST. If that new shiny paint job is hiding rust, you need to run. Period.
You cannot tell from the sellers description. You must have independent emotion free set of eyes on it.

The color change is a red flag for me. The entire engine bay sheet metal was originally red. Looks like a really crappy rattle can job of "converting" it to black. That paint will peel. The Chevy orange engine block does nothing for me. I don't get it. Chevy orange looks great.... on a Chevy.

Just being brutally honest. BTW, maybe it was posted, but what country are you in?
 

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The more pics I see, the less I like it. Painted bumper? Painted black door handles? Paint is already coming off.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hey guys, you are being amazing. I never thought I would get such response here. Even though I most likely wont buy this car, I feel ready to analyze much better another possible project.

I got a new set of photos and videos I will share for those interested in knowing a little more about this car. Along with this files I got the following info:

  • Monroe shock absorbers.
  • No rust at the 4 fenders.
  • No rust at the jack supports (weak point of Opel GT's.)
  • Anti rust treatment.
  • Recently new brake lines.
  • Some welding is done in the past. Quality of welding is very nice.
  • No backlash on the front wheels. See both movies.
  • Suspension is painted yellow.
  • exhaust pipe is in good condition.
Bottom of GT.zip
 

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RunOpel
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Carlos I think you made the correct decision. Its very difficult to make a judgement call when you haven't seen it in person. I didn't realize Opel GT's were going for so much in Europe. Why do they cost more in Europe than the United States?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Carlos I think you made the correct decision. Its very difficult to make a judgement call when you haven't seen it in person. I didn't realize Opel GT's were going for so much in Europe. Why do they cost more in Europe than the United States?
Well, markets have a live of their own! I would say it's a style of car that, connected to an european brand, makes it very appreciated. I also think eu don't have as much beautifully design cars like this one, as in the US ppl tend to prefer american brands and this car is not so much in the spot light as others.
 

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RunOpel
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That makes sense. I'm glad to see our Opel GT's seem to be getting more attention and are becoming more valuable. Not that I would ever sell mine, but its nice to see more people desiring to purchase and restore these gems :)
 

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I didn't realize Opel GT's were going for so much in Europe. Why do they cost more in Europe than the United States?
The biggest reason is 80,000+ of the 103,000 GT’s made ended up in North America. The remaining 20,000 or so ended up spread throughout the rest of the world.
 

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The ID tag has been removed since it has screws affixing it instead of rivets, I would ask for a picture of the tag on the drivers side of the dash and a picture of the Bill of Sale info. Timing chain cover and head don't match. Plastic tray that has the emergency brake arm in is missing. It's a very small item but many of the screws are incorrect and I didn't look at all of the pictures. Hope this helps.
 
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