In the United States, there are stereotypes associated with drivers of certain types of cars.
For example, if you drive an air-cooled Volkswagen, people may assume you are a hippie. If you drive a BMW, people will assume you are both affluent and inconsiderate – the type of driver who would change lanes without signaling. And finally, if you drive a Honda Civic or other “tuner” car, you might be associated with street racing punks.
I have recently learned that such car/driver stereotypes are not unique to the U.S. In fact, there’s a popular one in Germany about Opel Manta drivers: that they are dull, lower-class, macho guys who drive aggressively, love their cars, and have a blonde girlfriend who works as a hairdresser.
Today’s post is about an interesting little car from Opel, the German arm of General Motors. The Opel GT was a small, sporty car with an inline 4-cylinder engine that was produced from 1968 to 1973.
There were two engine choices available: a 1.1L engine and a larger 1.9L engine. The 1.1L engine made 67 horsepower and 62 lb-ft of torque and was coupled to a 4-speed manual. The 1.9L engine could be ordered with an optional 3-speed automatic transmission if desired. Buyers overwhelmingly chose the larger motor, causing Opel to discontinue the 1.1L engine after 1970.
It used to be that owning a supercar was special, no matter which one you had. But in today’s world, exclusivity is the name of the game. Now it’s not enough to have any old Lamborghini or Ferrari – you’ve got to have the rare, limited-production model in order to really be somebody.
For example, Ferrari limited production of the Enzo to just 400 units. The Bugatti Veyron was limited to 450 cars. The Lexus LFA was a limited run of just 500 cars. Lamborghini is building just 200 “50th Anniversary” edition Aventadors. Not to be outdone by the competition, Aston Martin raised the stakes with their One-77 supercar – a super special vehicle with a $1,000,000 price tag and only 77 copies built.
If there’s one thing you don’t see a whole lot of in America, it’s French cars. I’ve crossed paths with a few Citroens before including the Traction Avant and the Chevrolet V8-swapped DS that formerly belonged to Alice Cooper. Today I present another of Citroen’s automotive oddities: the 1973-1973 SM coupe.
The SM was Citroen’s attempt at making a sporty 2-door car based on the popular DS. Though it was sold in Europe and the rest of the world, the SM was only available in the U.S. for two years, making this a very rare car. Sales in the United States totaled 1,250 in 1972 and 1,150 in 1973, for a grand total of just 2,400 vehicles. The car was not imported after that because it did not meet the newly-enacted 5 mph safety bumper standards passed by the NHTSA.
Kit cars are a particularly interesting niche of the automotive world, and we write about them often here on Generation High Output. At a local car show, I spotted a car that I’d never seen before – a Burton!
A quick Internet search revealed that Burton is an automobile manufacturer in the Netherlands. The company was founded in 1993 by Dimitri and Iwan Göbel – brothers with a shared passion for automobiles. Their main product is a two-seat, two-door roadster based on the Citroen 2CV. The 2CV is one of the most-produced cars of all time and is renowned and beloved for its utter simplicity and reliability.
In the 1980s, Toyota undertook a massive project to develop a luxury car that would compete with the best of the European brands. The company spent years and over $1 billion dollars developing the LS400: the vehicle that became the flagship for the new brand called Lexus.
As the LS400 was being prepped for its 1990 release, Toyota felt that launching an all-new company with just one model was a bit silly. They needed a second car – a smaller model to balance out the product offering – and they needed it quickly.
While Carroll Shelby is most famous for his work with Ford vehicles, he spent much of the 1980s working his magic for Chrysler. Mike featured the Shelby CSX in a previous post, which is definitely worth checking out if you missed it.
In addition to the CSX, Shelby and Chrysler created a high-performance compact car based on the Dodge Omni. Shelby called it the “GLH” for “Goes Like Hell” and it was available in three different levels: a non-turbo base model, a turbocharged model, and the top-of-the-line GLHS model (for Goes Like Hell S’More).
2014 is a very special year because it is the 50th Anniversary of Lamborghini. To celebrate the occasion, the company has produced a limited run of “50th Anniversary” Aventador models. Just 200 cars are to be produced – 100 coupes and 100 roadsters. This particular car is #47 of 100.
The Aventador LP 720-4 50 Anniversario edition has the same 6.5L V12 engine as the standard Aventador, though power has been bumped up from 690 to 710 HP thanks to a new engine calibration.