I have a secret automotive fetish. I’d day fetish is a really strong word, but I’m not sure how else to describe it, because admitting it makes me feel a bit dirty. I actually like the third generation early 1970s Chevrolet Nova. Now, I realize that admitting the problem is the first step towards rectifying the issue, but there’s this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that it won’t go away. I’m not even sure why, but some of those late 60s/early 70s GM muscle cars just look…well, cool to me. The GTO Judge, the Chevelle SS, the Nova SS – they just look right in a weird and slightly disturbing way. So to redeem myself, instead of owning one of them, I’d probably sport for a much more rare scaled down model from their European cousin, Opel. Just as the Opel GT was a 3/4 scale Corvette, Opel had a mini muscle car too in the Manta, and U.S. customers had the option of the Manta Rallye that kicked thing up a notch:
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Do you ever see a car and think “Boy, there must be some interesting stories behind those miles”? I do, be they poorly modded 1980s Mercedes-Benz models, tired old Porsche race cars, rusty BMWs posing with canoes on the roof (yes, there’s one on eBay right now) or pretty much any Audi ever. But today, I stumbled across something that you just don’t see often. I’d say ever, but of course that would preclude today, and I try not to be overly prone to hyperbole – so let’s just say that were you to buy and drive this Opel Kadett L Wagon, you would be extremely unlikely to ever stumble across another in your commute. And it certainly must have some stories; the dent on the hood, the woodgrain paneling (that was factory, believe it or else!), the minilites, the….DVD player?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Opel Kadett L Wagon on eBay
The Bitter SC is, to me, a very interesting car. Born from the relatively pedestrian Opel Senator platform, the slinky 2-door coupe seemed to borrow a fair amount of its character from the much more exclusive Ferrari lineup outside. Underneath, though, the looks were not backed up by a sonorous V12, but rather the 3 liter inline-6 (later bumped to 3.9 liters) from the Opel lineup. This was mated to a GM-derived 3-speed automatic. Though the power output was respectable for the day at 180 horsepower, the heavy automatic Bitter was much more a cruiser than a backroad bandit. That was reinforced by the interior, which has a definite bias towards luxury instead of sport. This was not a sports car but instead a grand tourer, and the appointments inside were made to the highest standards of the day. The competition was not the Porsche 911, but rather cars like the Maserati Kyalami and the Ferrari 400i. The SC was an exclusive car, with only around 400 examples produced; but today, they’re a great value in the classic car market.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Bitter SC on eBay
As an automotive blog, we receive our fair share of emails suggesting we feature specific cars. Often they’re popular versions of cars that everyone likes to see; M3s, S6s, M5s, 190E 2.3 16Vs – the usual suspects. But probably once every other week or so someone spots something legitimately rare to see; this past week, we were sent two such gems. One was a rare Mercedes-Benz L319 delivery van – it was in rough shape but all there, and they’re very cool to see, with perhaps only single digit numbers in the United States – thanks to our reader Kurt for sending that one through, it had us dreaming! The other was an equally rare sight these days, but this car represented the opposite end of the spectrum from the Mercedes. Clearly loved and well cared for by the seller, this 1985 Bitter SC features the later, 207 horsepower 3.9 inline-6 and is presented in pleasing Anthracite Grey: