After moving to Australia permanently he returned to the Netherlands every few years for a holiday and catch up with family. On his trip in 2014 he had some spare time and went online to see what GT’s might be available. After checking out a few he came across the example you see here. A 1971 Opel GT with an interesting travel passport. The car was sold new in the US then transported to Germany, then travelled to Netherlands where is was eventually restored in 1992. At that time the mechanicals were renewed with the engine having a full rebuild. The engine was rebuilt again in 2008, this time to European specs. It ticked all the boxes for Wim so taking the plunge, he purchased the car and applied for import approval.
Whilst imports can often be a difficult process Wim tells me his experience with past importing into Australia (an MGA) gave him the confidence to go ahead. ‘The car was ready to be collected in Brisbane around midday. I drove up there with a friend and having already lined up the compliance and roadworthy inspections was able to drive the car home fully registered that afternoon.’
Opel cars were developed by the German company started by Adam Opel in 1862, making it the 3rd oldest car manufacturer in the world. Originally building sewing machines then Penny Farthings, the company moved into vehicle production becoming the largest car manufacturer in Europe by 1930. After being listed on the stock market in 1929, General Motors acquired a majority stake in the company and although World War II drastically crippled the company, it managed to survive and in the late 1940’s started producing passenger vehicles again. From 1962 Opel was determined to produce a sports car for the general public and to that end, the ‘Opel Experimental GT’ was created as a styling exercise and first shown in 1965, at the Paris and Frankfurt motor shows, with overwhelming positive feedback. It then went into production as the ‘Opel GT’ from 1968. The single piece steel body work came from Chausson in France and full assembly was then completed in the Opel factory in Bochum – Germany.