Todd Benson's 1971 Opel GT
Construction Project

Status as of June 14, 1997

3/8" tubing was used to shape the new flairs & air-dam. Then sheet metal was stretched over the tubing and hammer welded into place. The fenders were flaired 2" front and rear.

The stock headlight buckets were replaced with hand-made rectangular pop-ups (electrically operated). The two center scoops were moved out to the sides under the headlights. When up they reduced the amount of travel of the lights to keep the top level.

The stock gas cap was removed and a recessed Mercury Capri gas lid was installed in the rear deck. The rear spoiler was raised 2". The tail- lights were "frenched" 2 inches by extending the back sheet metal and leaving the tail-lights in their stock location.

With a thin coat of body filler the car started to take shape. The back-up lights were taken from a Honda Civic and bolted to the under side. The stock exhaust was replaced by an Ansa unit, to be replaced soon by stainless steel exhaust with catalitic-convertor & monza tips.

We took 1st place in the "Semi Custom Sports Car" class against 2 Corvettes and 3 kit car Manta Montages The air-dam was a little too low but it looked good. Three days after the show we found a curb that was higher than the air-dam. "OUCH!!!"

We put a bunch of hours into this car to get it ready for the show. The paint still had'nt cured out when we got it there.

Time Warp!! After many miles & many years (not to mention a slight fender bender) the GT was in dire need of fresh paint...

In 1992 we repainted the GT with Trans-Am blue-green on the bottom and a gun-metal gray metallic on the top half. Here the GT is parked out in front of the house but up on the sidewalk to avoid getting hit on our narrow street.

I liked the look of this paint job but there were too many other makes out there with the same paint scheme including GM's Corvette (can't have that). This GT's better than a "Vette", it's all steel, it's lighter, it has more leg room, and it gets better gas mileage. And when I'm finished it'll be both quicker & faster!

Several GREAT deals came my way this year that I could'nt pass up so I began (hopefully) the final stage of the GT's conversion. It also helps to have a good reliable work car.
Last September I inherited a 1974 Opel Manta Ralley from Rick Silver, a good friend and fellow Opel fanatic.

A lot of metal was removed from the trans tunnel to make room for the new motor, including some of the frame rail's side metal which was boxed with 1/8" plate. The tubing in front is the new radiator core support. New motor mounts & stock transmission cross-member. This is only epoxy primer.

There wasn't a lot of room for the 3.8 liter Buick turbo V-6 but we made it fit. We set it back far enough to put the fan over the front suspension, just like stock! Even with the turbo we will still be able to use the heater-core. We just have to make new tubes to come out to the side.

Even with the engine as low as we could go without draging it, the carb & turbo still stick up out of the hood. This shot shows how much of the air-dam we removed. The two center scoops between the head lights will be removed soon to be used on the new hood scoop.

You can see how much of the hood had to be removed to clear the carb and turbo. They stick out about 3" above the hood and that's without an air-cleaner.

After removing all of the interior, wiring, and gas tank, work began on the rear suspension. The first thing to do was to remove the old suspension and cut out the sheet metal from between the fender wells. Easy Access! The Uni-Body needed to be strengthened to handle the added weight & power.

A Lincoln Continental 9" rear end was narrowed & fitted with a four link set with 13" Alden coil-overs. The upper & lower body mounts were linked together with the drive shaft loop at an angle. You can see how much of the 1/8" plate steel was used. It runs all the way back to the tail panel.

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I would like to thank Jack Edin for his help in making this web-page possible. Through the use of his scanner, his computer, space on his web site, and his guidance in web-page design (and the animated logo) I was able to bring this information to the world!
I hope this will inspire other Opel enthusiasts to make their dreams come true!!! Sincerely...

Todd Benson
2226 S.E. Tacoma St.
Portland, Oregon 97202

Click Here for GT parts

- Todd's 71GT Construction Page -
- © 1997 Logic Unlimited, GIS Division -
- Last Updated 4/18/99 -