CC On The Go Outtake: Opel GT – As Seen From A Van Full Of IKEA Cabinets

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My son Will and I rented a U-Haul Ford Transit the other weekend to buy all the kitchen and batch cabinets at the IKEA in Portland and hit Mt. Hood for some skiing/snowboarding with so Ted. “My Kitchen” planner and a very long receipt are visible there on the handy dash tray of the Transit. And the other thing to be seen is this Opel GT, heading south on I5 too.

I feel almost ashamed in having never written up the Opel GT at CC. I found and shot one a couple of years ago, but it’s still hiding in my files. So until I do, we’ll have to consider this a preview of coming attractions.

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It’s a bit of a stretch, but this might appropriately be called the first “Lutz-mobile”. Bob was at Opel at the time, and the story is thta he found drawings of what would become the GT, got very excited by them, and helped sneak the concept into the 1965 Paris Auto Show, where it was a hit. His bosses were not amused, but then this was just Bob’s typical MO. And the GT does rather perfectly epitomize the classic Lutz-mobile: visually extravagant above all, and typically with some shortcomings under the skin, especially practical/ergonomic ones. Think Pontiac Solstice.

The mini-Corvette became a production car in 1968, and was built for some five years, at the French firm Brissoneau & Lotz (no relation to Lutz).

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The Transit was a pleasant drive. Jim Klein did a full review of one here, but I’ll just add that these are a real step forward from the old Econolines in every possible way. Handling is very good, for a vehicle this size, and performance is also pleasantly brisk.

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I set the cruise control for 75, and got 16.4 mpg for the 250 mile round trip. Not bad, given the speed.

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There’s the haul. And now it’s mostly assembled; Lego for grown ups.