Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Bird Catcher

Tintin's recent post recalling his summer in a Fiat X1/9 took me back to my cousin's high school graduation.

Cousin Bob hailed from the rich side of the family. He was a year older than I, and for his graduation he received a brand spanking new Opel GT motorcar.

It was a pretty car, but like many imports of those days, the admonition to buy, in this case, a German car only when in Germany applied. The rule applies to all French cars to this day. 2CV's are cute, but you do not wish to own one.

In the case of the Opel, beauty was only skin deep. The looks were evocative of the then current Corvette., but all similarity ended there.

For those interested in such things, the GT came equipped with an astonishing 1.1 litre engine. that's 70 cubic inches to you math phobes. Maximum horse power was 67 at 6000 RPM's. Sadly, you couldn't push the engine to 6000 revs. Talk of all show and no go, this car couldn't pull the hat off your head.

In 1970 engine capacity was increased to 1.9 L (123 cubic inches), but in 1971 emissions equipment sucked the life out this little sewing machine motor.

All in all it wasn't a bad looking car. Cousin Bob took the Opel and matriculated at Loyola of New Orleans. Was introduced to Jax, stayed drunk and flunked out at the end of his first semester. His dad soon sold the car.

History buffs may remember Maxwell Smart drove one.



kathleen said...

After he flunked out, what did he do?

I remember those opal cars. A friend's older brother had one. I thought they were interesting looking.

ADG said...

67hp....cracks me up! And I thought that my Miata (that's another posting)was underpowered. I remember turning the AC on in my Miata and rapidly going from 65mph to 40mph.

My dad took the Triumph GT-6 away from me because of the power difference between it and my MG Midget...neither one exactly scaring the speed gods.

Toad said...

My young cousin, first opened an antique store, which closed after his partner was arrested for stealing stained glass church windows. He is now a sucessful contractor, and slum lord.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Love your post. My brother although didn't have this sporty #, had an Opal Cadet. I wrecked it however when he was home on break from college. Took it out without his permission. They were truly like driving a go-kart! I too like Kathleen would love to know what ever happened to your privileged cuz?

Toad said...

gents take note here. Its the bad boys that get all the attention.