Opel GT Greder Sbarro, 1969


In 1968, Franco Sbarro had collaborated with General Motors for the preparation of two Chevrolet Corvette for the 24 hours of Le Mans. Through the Scuderia Filipinetti he had been able to meet Henri Greder. For 1969, Greder wanted to prepare the Opel GT for use in rallies by his team, the Greder Racing Team. The Opel GT, officially presented at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1968, was a very nice car, sometimes regarded as a mini Corvette, but it was not a sports car. The task proved difficult.


Sbarro received two Opel GT he stripped completely. To stiffen the car, Sbarro built a specific tubular chassis, with the help of Chausson in Gennevilliers, France, the latter providing already the bodies for the model series. The steel body was replaced by a glass fibers body, much lighter. The retractable headlights of the original model were replaced by two double optical fixed, much more reliable. The front air intake was slightly reduced. From a technical point of view, the tracks were widened and the front axle was built specifically to measure. Also for the sake of gaining weight, wheels were derived from those of a Formula 2 Brabham were magnesium. The car reached 800 kg in running order, or 50 kg more than expected (an Alpine A110 weighed only 715 kg).


Sbarro, in 1969, delivered two bodies ready to be assembled by Greder. The latter complete only one. The events of 1968 in France, the low production capacity of Chausson, multiple commitments Greder competition made the Opel GT involved in race in... 1971. Two years late. But the main problem came from 2-liter engine Crossflow,never reliable. Henri Greder hoped an engine with double overhead cam, which will never come. The Opel GT was under powered to be competitive deal with Alpine A110 which then dominated. In 1972, GM askedHenri Greder to focus on a new model, the Opel Ascona and the GT was buried. One of the best sporting achievements of the GT Greder was the 10th-place Lyon Charbonnières 1972 with Jean Ragnotti driving.

A certain lack of professionalism, hesitations and mechanical problems have prevented the Opel GT Greder to shine in competition. A missed test which should have benefited from more robust support from GM, particularly in dealing with Alpine, really unbeatable at that time.



text Philippe Calvet, automatic translation (so be indulgent !)



Thanks to Pascal Grimault of Club Entraide Opel GT: http://www.entraideopelgt.fr.st.




4 cylinders Crossflow




2000 cc


150 BHP


rear wheel drive




800 kg

top speed

200 km/h (estimation)

(The stock Opel GT 1900 de série reached 180 km/h)





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