1985 BITTER SC Coupe

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1985 BITTER SC Coupe

Background

Erich Bitter has quite a resume, including successful stints as a top-level bicycle endurance racer with Tour de France experience, rally works driver for Opel and Abarth, and tuning kit maker, for a start. He also headed a fully fledged manufacturer of beautiful, exclusive, hand-built GT cars combining Italian-made coachwork with the reliability and refinement of Opel-based mechanicals.

Despite near-universal acclaim and the best of intentions, various economic forces saw to it that fewer than 1,000 Bitters of all types were made before the end of production in 1989. Today, Opel continues to offer various upmarket “by Bitter” trim packages, and Herr Bitter himself remains busy at 89, emerging with clockwork regularity to reveal a promising new prototype every few years.

The Vehicle

One of 461 SC coupes built over a decade-long run ending in 1989, this 1985 example represents the model’s most popular body style, followed by a convertible (22 built) and four-door sedan (5 built).

Bitter’s first car, the Opel-based, Chevy small block-powered CD (for “Coupe Diplomat”) was inspired by the Opel Frua, a beautiful, Carrozzeria-styled concept from 1970 that nearly made it to serial production.

Where the CD wore an Italian-styled, German-made Baur body, most SC’s feature German-styled panels manufactured by Carrozzeria Maggiore, a Turin based coachbuilder and manufacturer remembered for their work on the De Tomaso Mangusta, Pantera, and Maserati Mistral.

On the Outside

This example wears color-matched factory alloy wheels and appears to be complete with all standard trim, including the spectacular badgework seen on the rear.

Much like the Ferrari 365 GT4 2+2 that inspired them, Bitter SC’s must be seen up close to best appreciate their low, wide, and exotically proportioned sheet metal. Most SC’s seem to have been gray, silver or champagne in color, but navy blue suits this one particularly well.

On the Inside

Like the exterior, the cabin looks to retain a high degree of completeness - note for example the original brass chassis tag located on the center console. Materials appear to be factory as well, and overall, leather, wood and other fitting seem to be holding up nicely. Hides or timbers cover almost everything inside, complementing interesting mustard color Bitter/VDO instruments.

Underneath

"I want a beautiful, fast car, but I also want to get in it and drive away."

- Erich Bitter

Bitter and Opel worked very closely on the development of SC, and by all accounts their efforts produced a smooth, quiet, and refined GT with excellent handling and mass market reliability.

Based on its contemporary Opel Senator, the SC is suspended by struts in front, trailing arms in back, with coil springs all around. There are anti-roll bars at each end as well.

The auction car is made even scarcer by its optional stroker straight-six, which boosted the standard Opel 3.0 liter, 177 hp unit to figures of 3.9 and 207, respectively.

History Highlights

This car is sold without extensive history, but does include a handful of receipts as well as its original factory maintenance logbook and owner’s manual.

What We Think

Exotic but usable, Bitter SC’s are also rare, attractive, rewarding, and much more mechanically straightforward than most cars even half as special. Though not without its needs, this one could make quite an impact in one’s collection for a relatively small outlay. Estimated $4,000 - $8,000.

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO ALL BIDDERS

It should be noted that this vehicle has been on static display for a number of years and there is no history available beyond that displayed in our photography section.

We have not started or driven the car so cannot vouch for its mechanical viability or functionality. It will require recommissioning prior to road use and is sold ‘as seen’.

Due to California emissions laws, please note that this vehicle may only be sold to an out-of-state resident for use outside of California or to a licensed automotive dealer.

Please note that the title for this vehicle is in transit.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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Seller

usbond

  • Location: Gardena, CA, United States
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 22218
  • Chassis Number: W09526219FSB09196
  • Engine: 3.9L Straight-Six
  • Gearbox: Auto
  • Steering position: Left-hand drive
  • Colour: Blue
  • Interior: Gray / Leather
  • Estimated Price: $4,000 - $8,000
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