Opel Kadett GT/E

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While Vauxhall was using the Chevette on the British Championship, Dealer Opel Team (DOT) in Europe was Rallying the Kadett GT/E. Introduced into Group 1, 2 and 4 Rallying in 1975 the Kadett had a 4-cylinder in- line front mounted longitudinally at the front. Engines were 150bhp 8-valve, 207bhp 8-valve engine, this was replaced in 1976 by a 240bhp 16v engine which proved to be very trouble some and was named the ‘night mare engine’. Reliability of this engine was that bad that it was rare that the car lasted a whole rally. The car’s début was in 1975 at the hands of Walter Rohrl on the Sanremo Rally. Walter did not finish the event as his transmission broke. The car also failed to finish the RAC Rally that year as well. However one of the main weak points of the car was the torque tube rear suspension which was also a weak point on the Ascona. With every increase of power of the engine there was another step of unreliability further down the drive line. Much was expected of the new 16v engine in 1976, however the engine was so unreliable that the most of the works cars failed to finish and most points scored by the Kadett went to private entry’s running 8v engines. 1977 was not much better with a host of retirements for driver s Jean-Pierre Nicholas and Walter Rohel. In April 1977 Tony Fall took over the Eurohandler Team from Helle Bein and attempted to sort out the cars trouble’s. The 16v engine was abandoned and the old Group 2 engine from the Ascona was fitted to the Kadett. And the car was sent to the Acroplois Rally but still failed to finish. At the end of 1977 Walter Rohrl left the team at the end of 1977 disillusioned with the lack of reliability. In 1978 the FIA banned 16-valve engines, so the Kadett was entered in Group 1 and Group 2 on various events. The Opel Ascona 400 was just round the corner.