One of our favorite goof off err, research activities here at BoldRide HQ is to head for eBay Motors, select “Other Makes” and see what shows up. This week, it’s a 1985 Bitter SC, with 66,000 original miles. Never heard of Bitter? Read on.
Erich Bitter made his bones racing bicycles and cars. He ended up building a very successful company selling to an automotive cyclist and racing driver who had his own car accessory company before becoming the German distributor for Intermeccanica (another super-cool, obscure European car builder). He was also the regional distributor for Abarth performance accessories.
In 1971, Bitter founded his own car company– Bitter Automobile GMBH– near Düsseldorf. In two years, he’d built his first car, the CD. The CD was one of those ideas that just seems right from the get-go. Take a tried automotive platform (in this case the German Opel Diplomat), fit it with a 327-cu.in. Chevy V8 power, and fit it with a body penned by GM’s Chuck Jordan. German coachbuilder Baur– famous for building convertible versions of the BMW 2002– received the contract to build Bitter CD bodies.
Then came the Bitter SC. It was based on another Opel– the high-end Senator. The SC was available from 1979 to 1989 and was constructed in a range of bodystyles – coupe, sedan, convertible. Unlike the CD’s American V8, the SC used a fuel-injected Opel 3.0-liter inline six, mated to a GM Turbo Hydra-Matic three-speed automatic. Not so sporty, but able to tow a house.
The Coupe appeared in 1979, followed by the convertible in 1981, and finally the sedan in 1984. Production lasted until 1989 with 461 coupés, 22 convertibles and only 5 sedans built. A four-wheel drive version of the coupe came along late in production, fitted with a system developed by Ferguson Research, which was responsible for same in the Chrysler-powered Jensen Interceptor FF.
At 1984’s New York Auto Show, Bitter announced that it would begin selling SCs in the United States under an agreement with General Motors. Not unlike when Opel arrived in the United States in the early 1970s, the idea was that Bitter would be a premium brand sold through the Buick sales network, in an attempt to entice customers back from BMW. A handful of dealers signed on, and only a few cars were ever sold in the United States.
This example features just 65,000 miles on the odometer. The interior looks fantastic, with the cream leather seats and deep blue carpet in remarkable condition. The exterior appears to feature original paint, and the engine bay looks like the 65,000 miles appears to be honest.
For a “Buy It Now” price of $11,000, you can own a car that will certainly be mistaken for a Ferrari 400 everywhere you go. Only with a 3.0-liter mill, it’ll probably be running most of the time.
- Erich Bitter