More than two dozen Opel GT fans met up for a group road trip in the southwest of the USA to celebrate the 50th birthday of the iconic sports car. More than 70 percent of the 103,463 cars produced were first registered in the USA, where even today the GT still has a large fan-community.
The eight-day tour started in Las Vegas. From the capital city of gambling, the trip headed for the Hoover Dam and eastwards along the famous Route 66 to Four Corners Monument – the only place in the USA where four states – Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah – meet. From there the route led to national parks such as Mesa Verde and Zion. The trip ended back in Las Vegas after around 2,000 kilometres.
“The tour was an amazing experience, above all I will never forget driving along Route 66”, said organiser Olaf Moldzen, the head of the Association of European Opel GT Clubs, with its 28 national groups and 1,450 members with their 1,550 cars . Other road-users in the USA found the GT equally irresistible. “Many drivers and people gave us the thumbs up or waved. The GT always gets a reaction, because everyone can identify with it.”
The GT is likely to raise similar passion on September 18 to 22, when the association invites the European GT clubs to Germany for the Grand Tour. “Starting from Rüsselsheim, we will visit places that are closely connected to Opel and the history of the GT”, said Moldzen. The destinations of the tour, which will feature prominent participants, include the Opel Test Centre, the Hockenheim racetrack, the Kaiserslautern Opel plant and the serpentine roads of the Taunus Mountains, where the original Opel GT advertisements were made.
The tours in Germany and the USA are just two of the many events marking the 50th anniversary of the Opel GT. The celebrations began in May with the Bodensee-Klassik at Lake Constance. At the end of June around 50 GT drivers and their cars played a starring role at the Klassikertreffen vintage car show in Rüsselsheim, where the sports coupé was displayed in an exclusive area next to the Opel villas.
More information about the Opel GT, together with additional insights into its 50-year history, are offered in the book “GT Love” by Jens Cooper and Harald Hamprecht (in German language only).