In German, Bitte means please. As Nice Price or Crack Pipe knows, Bitter means rare and cool executive coupes, including today's SC which has a price that may please.
Former racing driver Eric Bitter formed Bitter Automotive in 1971, importing Italian cars including Abarth and Intermeccanica. As has been the history of German/Italian ventures, a falling out occurred between Bitter and Intermeccanica, leading the German to find a less argumentative partner in producing executive GTs- namely himself.
The first offspring of Bitter's eponymous company was the CD- a long and lithe coupe with a massive all-glass hatch, and based on the Opel Diplomat. The company's success in taking the staid and boring Diplomat and creating the sexy suppository-shaped coupe was not lost on the upper management at Opel, and when the Diplomat went the way of the Third Reich, they were more than happy to provide their aryan brother with both the chassis and the engineering assistance necessary to turn the replacement Senator into the Ferrari 400i-aping SC.
This 1985 Bitter SC is one of only 450 SCs ever to make their way down the assembly line in Italy (yes, the bodies and interiors were built by "Bitter Italia" after his deal with German specialist Baur fell through) and originally commanded upwards of $55,000 new. This '85 rocks the stroked 3.9-litre, 210-bhp Opel cam-in-head six, which makes the car good for a 9-plus second dash to sixty and a top end of about 130- with a tail wind. The interior is an amalgamation of German Opel parts and buttery Nappa leather, aping more the over-stuffed barcalounger look popular in Italian sedans of the era. The first 79 cars were assembled by OCRA in Turin, but that company suffered from being a little too stereotypically Italian, using recycled steel which was already rusting before being stamped into Bitters. Also Turin-based, but with a better reputation, Maggiore received the contract to build the remainder of the cars. Maggiore were concurrently stamping bodies for both Maserati and Bristol, so Bitter was in good company. Interiors came from Turin-based SALT.
Bitter shipped the cars, sans drivetrains, from Italy to Austria for mating to their Opel mechanicals. In total, only about 250-300 SCs ever made the additional trans-Atlantic swim, and it's hard to say how many of those haven't succumbed to the tin-worm or the can't find a set of brake pads so I'll just park it-isms here in the U.S.. In fact, for many in the states Opel itself is an unknown commodity, as foreign sounding as Calphalon or single-ply toilet paper.
This Bitter is in decent shape, having hidden in a bunker for ten years. The interior boasts what is possibly the ugliest dashboard cover ever, and it's missing the seat fold lever, but what the hell, those are minor annoyances. Other than that it looks ready to hit the Autobahn. Before that happens though, the seller suggests boiling out the gas tank and de-varnishing the fuel lines to make sure your first turismo is not less than grand. And once it is you'll have something rare as a justifiable Grammy award, and probably less embarrassing to admit to owning. The SC, while not a beautiful car, is at least handsome in its own way, and how many cars have hidden lights these days?
So, would you scratch up $8,995 for a car that is both bitter and sweet? Or, does neither the car, nor the price please you?
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