1981 – 1989 Bitter SC Coupé (03)

1981 – 1989 Bitter SC Coupé (03)
Formel 1 Monaco
Image by Georg Sander
Bitter is a premium sports-luxury automobile marque originally produced in Germany and later Austria. Founder Erich Bitter, a former race car driver turned automobile tuner, importer and ultimately designer began crafting his own vehicles after business ventures with Italian manufacture Intermeccanica ended.

The Bitter automobile company initially produced vehicles between 1973 and 1989, selling them in Europe and the United States. Several prototypes were created by Bitter in later years with an eye on possible low-volume production, but none of those plans came to fruition until the Vero in 2007.

Like the CD, the SC was based on Opel’s biggest contemporary model, this time on the Opel Senator, and was sold from 1979-1989 as a coupe, sedan and convertible. The SC was powered by a fuel-injected Opel 3.0 l-I6 (177 hp) or a stroked 3.9 l-I6 that developed 207 hp (154 kW). Body design seems to have been heavily influenced by Ferrari`s 400i.

The first SC model to appear was the Coupe (1979), followed by the Convertible (1982) and the Sedan (1984). Production lasted until 1989 with 461 Coupes, 22 Convertibles and only 5 Sedans built.

In 1984 it was announced at the New York Auto Show that Bitter would enter into a limited marketing agreement with General Motors in North America to market the sedan in the United States through participating Buick dealerships. A major reason for the venture was GM hoped to take back market share that was being lost to BMW at the time, but concerns were the Opel line was too entry level for the task. Ultimately, less than a dozen Buick dealers, mostly in the metro New York City area, would bear Bitter signage and few Bitter cars were actually sold in the U.S. [www.automotiveforums.com/t665140-gm_muscle_performance_li… 1973_1985.html]

The ultimate failure of the Bitter brand was rooted in its business model. As was popular in the late 1970s and 1980s, rebodied vehicles from other manufactures gave rise to smaller automobile companies. The Bitter vehicles were based on components from Opel. This approach became unpopular in the late 1980s and doomed the brand.


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Der Bitter SC war das zweite Modell des deutschen Herstellers Bitter. Es löste den Bitter CD ab und basierte ebenfalls auf Großserientechnik von Opel. Die offizielle Vorstellung des Bitter SC Coupés fand im Frühjahr 1980 anlässlich des Großen Preis der Formel 1 von Monaco statt, bei dem er als Safety Car seinen Einsatz hatte.

Der SC wurde ab Anfang 1981 produziert und war im Laufe der Jahre in drei Karosserieversionen lieferbar. Neben dem Coupé, dem Volumenmodell der Serie, wurden ab Frühjahr 1984 eine Cabriovariante sowie ab Spätsommer 1985 eine viertürige Stufenhecklimousine mit der Bezeichnung SC Sedan angeboten.

Bis zur Produktionseinstellung im Spätherbst 1989 wurden insgesamt 488 Exemplare des Bitter SC-Serie hergestellt.


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