By on March 28, 2011

Does General Motors have an unfair advantage when it comes to taking the top prize in 24 Hours of LeMons racing? The General’s LeMons soldiers have taken something like a third of all Index of Effluency wins during the course of LeMons racing’s four-year history… and today another GM marque was added to the IOE victors’ list: Opel! The Team Tinyvette 1969 Opel GT took 38th place out of 173 entries, and the team did it with the car’s original 1900cc Opel engine (instead of the Buick V6 that all the other LeMons Opel GTs run). The Opel GT is a genuinely terrible car that has no business doing this well in an endurance race, so Team Tinyvette deserves our respect. Congratulations!

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14 Comments on “And the Real Winner Is…...”

  • avatar

    My goodness, I really wanted one of those Opel GT’s when they came out. Some G.I. bought a new one and I salivated over it as “Now here’s a Corvette I could almost afford!” There’s a guy who works at our local Wally-World who drives one. Not too bad of shape, either.

    I know it must hurt to admit it, but the best American cars have always been built by GM. I know, I have trouble believing that too, but in the overall sense when you take away the Vega, Monza, Citation and the entire decade of the 1980’s!

  • avatar

    You can buy an Opel GT…even a shell, for $500?

    • 0 avatar

      Opel GT’s are desirable enough to be considered valuable?

    • 0 avatar
      Don Mynack

      $500, eh? The LeMons results get even more dubious…

    • 0 avatar

      Absolutely.  I’ve seen them in the yards and in line at the crusher.  I’ve had them offered to me for free, which of course was much too costly for such a hellish rustbucket project.

    • 0 avatar

      Oh yes. Beater Opel GTs are worth scrap value, on a good day.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      My Uncle Tim had one as one of his first new cars.  It was around long enough for me to ride in it once or twice (born in 1977.)  The Opel was screaming yellow and it always made me think of the song “Old Yellow Car.”  (Which Dan Seals sang about 100 times better than whoever did it on the Cars soundtrack.)
      Somewhere in a pile of rubber and steel there’s a rusted old shell of an automobile…
      But if engines could be bought on desire alone, that old yellow car would be drivin’ me home…
      Those where the two lines that made me think of Uncle Tim and his Opel.

    • 0 avatar
      Felis Concolor

      There’s a recently revived Opel GT a short walk away from my home, having been given to its new owner by the landlord he’s currently renting from, apparently after sitting for 25 years. While he’s planning to put something larger in the engine bay, he’s clearly stated it will most definitely be a similar vintage 4-banger and not some modern monster motor shoehorned into place. I thought I heard “1300 cc” for the engine displacement but I likely did not have my ears screwed on right the afternoon I was excitedly snapping pictures of a clean, working example of the type.

  • avatar

    LeMons or not. Cut me some slack! A 1969 Opel GT was my first car. It was red. Well rust colored. That thing along with a silver Fiat 131 Mirafiori (rust tinted as well) taught my poor ass how to drive on the back roads of NE Ohio. So don’t make fun… ;-)

  • avatar

    It came in close to $500. We paid $200 for a car that had been sitting in an orchard for 25 years, and $300 for the parts car that had sat next to it. It got rewired, scrubbed, and roller painted, plus a broken CF wing we got from a tuner kid who got laughed at for wanting to put it on his car 10 years ago. We added sway bars but fessed up to that in our first race and bribed our way clear of penalty laps.
    Alan loves the car, so after our first race he went out and bought a somewhat restored one for a DD. I think they are somewhere between cute and silly, but love it, well, this one, nonetheless. The Opel community, small but dedicated, hated our efforts at first but came to love what we were doing and are supporting us.
    We never thought of the car as a IOE car because it was pretty and completed races. But I guess we compiled IOE points over time with our woes and our persistence and our slowness.

  • avatar

    The Opel GT is a genuinely terrible car that has no business doing this well in an endurance race…
    At least it is genuine.

  • avatar

    Wannabe baby’vette… how ’bout that Flying Spaghetti Monster, running class “A”!!!

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