Bitter & Co History
Automotive manufacturers Schwelm; Germany from 1973 until 2012
Erich Bitter Automobil GmbH (Bitter) is a premium sports-luxury automobile marque produced in Germany and later Austria. Founder Erich Bitter, a former racing driver turned automobile tuner, importer and ultimately designer began crafting his own vehicles after business ventures with Italian manufacture Intermeccanica ended.
Bitter specialises in rebodying other manufacturer's vehicles and its initial production was between 1973 and 1989, selling vehicles in Europe and the United States. Thereafter, several prototypes followed with an eye on resuming low-volume production, but none of those plans came to fruition until the launch of the Bitter Vero in 2007.
Bitter Blazer (1976)
The bitter Blazer was a modification of the Chevrolet Blazer with new Europeanized front end, by a horizontally extending grille and light units from Opel Admiral B were characterized. Added to this was a refined interior. He followed the concept of the Monteverdi Safari . The vehicle remained a unique piece.
Bitter Rally GT (1984)
The Rally GT was a compact two-seat sports car based on the Opel Manta . The vehicle had a removable Targa-style central roof section and had been developed by Bitter and Isdera . Erich Bitter predicted a sales price of 40,000 DM. However, he dropped production of a series production because the supply of technical components was not secured in the long term.
Bitter Type 3 (1987)
The Bitter Type 3 was a 2 + 2-seater Cabriolet , which was introduced in 1988 as a successor to the SC and was intended primarily for sale in the US .
The technical basis was the Opel Omega A , whose bottom section was shortened by 35 millimeters. The body had been designed by Bitter himself; it had front folding headlights and round taillights of the Chevrolet Corvette C4 . The drive was a 3.0-liter six-cylinder provided by Opel, whose performance was stated in a sales prospectus with 177 hp.
Bitter Tasco (1991)
The Tasco was a two-seat mid-engined sports car from Chrysler , which Bitter developed with Japanese funding. The body was designed by Tom Tjaarda. Mass production did not materialize; only two copies of Tasco were made.
Bitter Berlina (1994)
The Bitter Berlina was a four-door sports sedan based on the Opel Omega MV6 , which was similar in basic features to the Type 3 Sedan. Striking was a sloping front end with pop-up headlights. Taillights of the Opel Calibra were used at the rear end . There was only one prototype presented at the 1994 Geneva Motor Show . The admission of the series production failed because of the unsecured financing.
Bitter CD 2 (2003)
The CD2 was a two-door hatchback coupe based on the Australian Holden Monaro and the identical Pontiac GTO . The vehicle was presented in 2004 at the Geneva Motor Show. There were two prototypes. Bitter pursued the concept of modifying heavily motorized Australian GM vehicles for the European market with the Vero model.
The Bitter CD, a three-door hatchback coupe featuring a 227 hp (169 kW) Chevrolet V8 with a 327ci displacement, was built between 1973-1979.
The CD was first shown in prototype form on 9 September 1969 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, as the Opel Coupé Diplomat ("CD") derived from the sedan version. It was designed by Charles M. "Chuck" Jordan (Opel's Design boss between 1967-1971 and later vice-president of General Motors (GM)) with the assistance of George A. Gallion, David Holls, Herbert Killmer and Hideo Kodama, as well as Erhard Fast (Director of the Opel Designstudios 3 for Advanced Design from 1964). The tail was inspired on a proposal by Erhard Fast's for the 1969 Opel Aero GT.
The first SC model launched was the coupé in 1979, followed by the convertible in 1981 at the Frankfurt Auto Show and the sedan in 1984. Like the CD, the SC was based on Opel's largest model at the time, the Opel Senator. It remained in production until 1989.
In 2003, in an attempt to resume its small-scale production, Bitter presented a modern reincarnation of the CD, known as the CD II. It was based on the Australian-made Holden Monaro but rumoured to feature a V12 engine. Investors were sought but the car never reached full production.
In 2007, Bitter resumed small-scale production by launching the Vero at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show. This car was derived from the Australian-made Holden Caprice (WM) sedan (the long-wheelbase luxury derivative of the Holden Commodore (VE)), believed to be purchased directly from Holden thanks to Erich Bitter's friendship with Holden's former Peter Hanenberger.
In 2009, Bitter unveiled a "Vero Sport" at the Geneva Motor Show. Unlike the regular Holden Caprice (WM)-derived Vero, the Sport was directly based on the short-wheelbase Holden Commodore (VE) SS sedan, also sold as the Chevrolet SS in the United States. Like the Vero, the Vero Sport was also discontinued in 2012.