WAXHAW, NC – On the second Sunday of each month, the Waxhaw Coffee Cruisers gather at the Cureton Town Center in the name of charity, community, and automotive passion. In our monthly video series, we highlight some of the coolest cars in town, and the owners that make them even cooler.
This month the Tri-W News’ featured ride is Mark Glasser’s 1971 Opel GT. This car is Germany’s version of a C3 Corvette, featuring a steel body, a 4-cylinder engine, and a cable-operated rollover headlight system that makes the Corvette’s vacuum powered headlights look outright boring. Visit the Tri-W News YouTube channel to see the headlights in action and catch the full interview from April’s Waxhaw Coffee Cruisers meet with owner Mark Glasser.
This month, donations made to the Waxhaw Coffee Cruisers will go to support the Waxhaw Police Foundation. The foundation’s mission includes supporting the Waxhaw Police Department in creating a safe town for the citizens and businesses of Waxhaw.
While car buffs are notorious for their passion, it is rare to run across someone as enthusiastic as Mark Glasser. It’s even more rare to find an Opel GT, and Glasser has two. In this excerpt from our video coverage of the April Waxhaw Coffee Cruisers meet, Glasser gives some backstory on his 4-cylinder piece of history and tells why it’s one of Waxhaw’s coolest cars.
“It was imported to the United States through the Buick dealership from 1969-1973,” Glasser explained. “It looks very much like a Corvette. It got the name ‘poor man’s Corvette’ because it’s similar in looks, and there’s a reason for that. A man named Clare MacKichan designed it for Opel in Germany. Opel in Germany was partly under the ownership of GM. They pulled him from Germany back to Detroit, and he designed a Corvette Stingray. They got that Stingray out in ‘68 and got the Opel GT out in ‘69.”
Glasser delves into the differences between the cars next, with probably the most significant difference coming from underneath the hood.
“This is German. The Corvette Stingray, of course, is American. The motor in a Corvette Stingray is an 8-cylinder. This is a 4-cylinder. Of course, this is a metal body, and the Corvette Stingray is fiberglass.”
The headlight reveal comes next, and it’s quite a surprise the first time that you see a pair of Opel GT headlights emerge. They just might be the coolest headlights ever made.
“It’s really kind of a neat and unique little car,” says Glasser. There aren’t many of them left. I had one as a teenager, and lo and behold, the Lord works in mysterious ways. I now have two, a ‘69 and a ‘71.”
To hear the full story, and to see this car on the move, check out our video coverage on the Tri-W News YouTube channel. For more on the Waxhaw Coffee Cruisers, come out to a meet on the second Sunday of each month, join the Waxhaw Coffee Cruisers Facebook page, or visit their website at waxhawcoffeecruisers.com.