America’s Only Lean Green Mean Machine


            It would be easy to say that Tom Adkins is an Opal man. He bought his first Opal when he was serving in Vietnam and had it shipped to Bethel, OH.
            “I drove it for years. Put 144,000 miles on it and never had a problem,” he said, admitting that he sold the car only when he started his family and needed more room.
            But it wasn’t until he was 50-years-old that he bought his second. “It was a complete off-frame restoration,” he said. But even after taking the time to restore the car he ended up selling it.
            Now, even after 11 years, he’s still holding on to his third Opal GT, the only 1969, 98% factory original, green with buckskin interior, 1.1 liter GT in the United States.
            Like all Opals from that bygone era, this one still has two very important qualities: fuel economy and speed. The 1.1 liter single barrel engine drinks gas to the tune of 54 miles per gallon and though Tom says he’s never tried too hard to open it all the way up, he’s comfortably had it going 85 to 90 mph. “It likes to go fast,” he said.
            Tom’s run the car on a number of race tracks just to see how it would do, including Charlotte, Talladega and Indianapolis among others. Most of the time, though, he simply drives it around his suburban Cincinnati home and takes it to car shows where it has won numerous awards all over the east coast, Midwest and south; from Boston to Detroit to Dallas.
            “It has 23,990 miles on it,” he said of this one time Hemmings Sport and Exotic Car magazine cover model. “It had 13,100 when I got it.”
            Other than new tires and regular fluid changes, Tom said that he’s invested a grand total of $56.11 in his Opal. “I put in a new radiator hose and brake hoses. That’s it.”
            But what would any Opal guy expect from a 1.1 liter GT?

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