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  Bitter CD

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Country of origin:Germany
Produced from:1972 - 1979
Numbers built:395
Introduced at:1973 Frankfurt Motor Show
Designed by:Frua / Bitter
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAfter racing cars for a long time, Erich Bitter focussed on importing various lesser known Italian cars to Germany. Among these were Abarth and Intermeccanica. Disapointed by the quality of the Italian products he set out to build cars under his own name. This coincided with the cancellation of the Bob A. Lutz proposed 1969 / 1970 Opel 'Dreamcar' project. Fearing it would conflict with the Chevrolet Corvette, the production plans of the Frua designed, V8 engined coupe were shelved.

Still reluctant to give up, General Motors offered the design to Bitter for him to further develop and eventually produce. It was decided to keep the design and use Opel Diplomat mechanicals; an Italian design with German bits and pieces was the ideal combination of beauty and quality. Bitter did not have a production facility themselves and had Baur of Stuttgart construct the cars. Baur was very well known for their low volume production of mostly cabriolet bodied variants of existing models.

The production version of the Bitter CD was first shown at the 1973 Frankfurt Motorshow and production commenced a year later. The CD featured a shortened Opel Diplomat chassis and a '327' V8. A great advantage was that the CD could be serviced at any Opel dealership, of which there were quite a few in Europe. The production target was set at 200 cars per year, but the oil-crisis crushed the market for high performance cars like the CD.

Despite disapointing sales, Bitter did not give up and by 1976 254 examples were produced. In 1979 Opel axed the Diplomat and this effectively meant the end for the CD as well. In total 395 very high quality cars were produced, which is not that bad at all for a low volume manufacturer. Bitter continued their cooperation with Opel with the Opel Monza based SC, launched in 1981. Bitter eventually went belly-up in 1986, when funds had ran out.

In 2003 a new chapter was added to Bitter's book, with the launch of the CD II at the Geneva Motorshow. Like its predecessor it was based on a General Motors product, the Holden Monaro and again features a powerful V8 engine and Italian inspired design. Production of the new CD is planned to start in 2005.

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