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News is spreading the Erhard Schnell passed away at age 93. He was a designed at Opel from 1952 to 1992 and was considered the "Father of the Opel GT".
I had the opportunity to visit him in 2012 and created an album of photos from those visits.

A Visit with Erhard Schnell
 

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Pedal Smasher
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Wow... the classic Opel community has lost some really important people in a short time. Horrible news and a horrible start to 2020. I hope Europe does something special to honor these Opelers. Maybe something could be done at Opel Nationals?
 

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Opeler
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Sad news. When I visited Russelsheim with Gil in May 2017, we had dinner with Mr. Schnell, his wife Ilse and Jens Cooper in a small typical German restaurant . He was already 90 but his mind was clear and he enjoyed talking about Opels as ever. I am still beating myself for not having a piece of my GT (headlight bowl) for Mr. Schnell to sign. Too late now. Rest in peace legend, your creation brought a lot of happiness to my life.

 

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Connie and I also got to meet Mr. Schnell in 2008. Gil Introduced us and suggested we tell him of the role my first GT played in my getting a first date with the future wife. He seemed to find it an interesting story. Nice man, truly sorry to hear of his passing.
 

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Opeler
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I never got to meet him, but his Opel Gt creation has brought me a lot of pleasure and super memories! He will be sadly missed.😢
 

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RunOpel
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Thanks Gary for the photos and P.J. that video was nice :) I to never met him, but he sure was a smart and innovative person. The pleasures that the Opel GT has brought to my life are immeasurable.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
R.I.P., Erhard!
And, thank you for designing my Calibra as well!

Dieter
We asked him what was his favorite design was and he quickly said "Calibra!"
 

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With the passing of Mr Schnell, that leaves Bob Lutz as the last survivor of the early Opel GT design/plan/build team. Seems we have absorbed quite a few significant losses in our Opel hobby these days.

Mr Schnell may never have said it, but I feel we got cheated by not getting that 65 Experimental GT released as the actual production model. It simply looks more honest, correct, longer, lower and wider. This car sits alone by itself and not as some scaled down caricature of the 68 Corvette; which design was going on simultaneously in Detroit. Maybe someone with more info on the subject could clarify my thoughts that it was with Chuck Jordan coming in, that we got the squeezed-together, more Stingray-like design. I often wondered what kind of disappointments Mr Schnell felt when others came in and "fixed things up" on that near-perfect 65 Experimental GT.

His and Mourad Nasr's early GT rendition drawings featuring the car in some space age setting with a rocket blasting off (Only Flying Is More Beautiful), are drawings just begging to be released for sale as prints to this Opel GT fanbase. My hope is that one day it happens, unless it is GM intellectual property. Those drawings to me represent a vision by one man of a car company daring to be more than a builder of family cars for the working class. Interesting to hear him say that his inspiration came from Modena, Italy, when designing that 65 GT; but it makes sense now when looking at it from his perspective.

Just how cool must it be, to be a person like this who designed a car that still stirs emotions some 50 plus years after it was first sold in our showrooms?

I'd like to think that right now, Erhard and Norbert are having some great Opel conversations in Heaven. RIP.
 

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Opeler
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Wonder what Designer(s) created GT "flip over froglights" (headlights)?
GT headlight rotation mechanism looks like an expensive manufacturing concept.
 

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Wonder what Designer(s) created GT "flip over froglights" (headlights)?
GT headlight rotation mechanism looks like an expensive manufacturing concept.
My understanding is that a lot of what eventually was incorporated into the 1965 Mako Shark ( AKA Corvette) and 1965 Opel GT show car came from an earlier design study for the 1962 Corvair. Originally both Opel and Vauxhall did design study's for what became the Opel GT. It was the Vauxhall design that had rotating headlights, who came up with the idea and how they made it to the production GT I have not heard
 

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RunOpel
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Very nice articles for a Opel legend. I called OGTS yesterday to talk to Gil and was told he flew to Europe for Erhard Schnell's memorial. He will certainly be missed but not forgotten.
 
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