1985 Bitter SC 3.9

If you drew an imaginary line between the family trees of the C107 Mercedes-Benz SLC and the E31 BMW 8 Series, therein would lie the somewhat odd but quite interesting Bitter SC. Open the door, and it’s obvious that the Bitter was also the envy of the 1980s Maserati interiors which resulted in the perhaps even more ill-conceived TC by Maserati. But the level of luxury found in the Bitter speaks to a period when personal luxury coupes were all the rage, and most of them were equipped like the SC – full of wood trim, luxurious leather and electronic features, motivated just enough to pass the plebeian Golfs and Mercedes diesels that litter the Autobahn. Of course, in such a luxurious coupe you wouldn’t want to do anything as pedestrian as change your own gear – you’d have people who would do that for you, and Bitter was happy to oblige with it’s Opel (nee GM) derived drivetrain. History has treated these personal luxury coupes fairly poorly; the L6, the SLC and the Bitter SC all have languished in value while their higher-performance or topless cousins have accelerated away into the auction blocks. Perhaps that’s an unfitting tribute for what was a top-flight luxury coupe from the 1980s, one man’s attempt to match the mystique of legendary brands like Ferrari and Mercedes-Benz. It was a noble attempt, but as they say, it’s often lonely at the top:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Bitter SC 3.9 on eBay

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1982 Bitter SC

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.

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1985 Bitter SC 3.9

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:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Bitter SC 3.9 on eBay

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Heap of the Week Twofer: 1985 Bitter SC and 1989 Alpina B10 3.5/1

While we usually don’t like to show cars that are not at least good examples of the respective marques that they represent, occasionally some oddballs pop up that are just too good to pass up. Today is such a case, with two unique vehicles popping up on Ebay that rarely get seen at all. Unfortunately, both are in need of a fair amount of work, so depending on your comfort level I wouldn’t really consider either of these cars a turn key, collector vehicle as they stand. However, with the right about know-how, determination and a fair amount of work I think both of these cars could be resurrected to their former glory; certainly, both would bring smiles at shows wherever they went. Let’s look first at the rare duck of the two, the Bitter SC:

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1985 Bitter SC

As John DeLorean found out with his ill-fated sports car that lasted for all of three model years, starting your own car company isn’t easy. Such was the case with Erich Bitter, a name which is rather obscure outside of the most hardcore auto enthusiast circles. A former race driver, Bitter took mundane Opel mechanicals and created low production sports and luxury models which were sold in both in Europe and the US. The company started out with the CD in 1973, which was originally an Opel design study. Later, in 1979, Bitter unveiled the SC, which was based on Opel Senator mechanicals. One quick look and you might mistake it for a Ferrari 400i. Under the skin it was anything but, with an Opel inline-6 under the hood and an interior lined in leather dotted with GM switchgear. Under 500 coupes were built over ten years, with 22 convertibles and just five sedans. A few made their way into the US via Buick dealers such as this SC for sale in New York.

Year: 1985
Model: SC
Engine: 3.9 liter inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: 66,540 mi
Price: $13,400

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Bitter SC on eBay

1985 Bitter SC … 66,540 Original Miles

Engine: 6 Cyl, 3.0L
Transmission: 3 speed turbo hydramatic transmission
VIN: W09526219FSB09175
Exterior: Blue
Interior: Tan
Body Style: Coupe

This German Beauty comes to us equipped with automatic transmission, power brakes, leather / heated seats, fog lights, power windows, power door locks, Blaupunkt tape / AM / FM and air conditioning.

Engine is in good shape, does not smoke, does not leak, nice and quiet. Transmission feels Perfect, shifts without any problems, without delay, and without noise. Suspension is in excellent shape, Car tracks nice and straight. There is no evidence of any electrical problems.

The exterior is in excellent shape for a 1985. The car has absolutely no rust anywhere. Leather seats, carpet floor and glass are all in great shape. Interior of this car is nice and clean. This Bitter has 4 matching brand new tires that are mounted on good straight rims. Upholstery has been redone by our upholstery shop, they have taken extra care to match the original design
Our mechanics have performed regular maintenance as well as replaced the exhaust on this beauty. It will be sold with a clear title and it will be sold as-is, where-is.

Throughout my life, I’ve only come across a few Bitters in person, and all have been the later SC models. The last few I’ve seen have been rather whipped, so it’s refreshing to see one that is rather well preserved. Autoweek recently featured a comparison of the SC against the 400i, and they listed a price of $26,000 for a pristine example of an SC. It’s always hard to nail down a price on a car you don’t see everyday, but the last few SCs I’ve seen in good shape have been ranging in the $8,000 to $15,000 territory. A coach built coupe based on mainstream mechanicals isn’t for everyone, but to some collectors, the SC represents a lot of exclusivity for the money.