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Erich Bitter Automobil GmbH (Bitter) is a sports-luxury car manufacturer based in Germany and subsequently Austria. After commercial endeavours with Italian manufacturer Intermeccanica ceased, Founder Erich Bitter, a former racing driver turned automotive tuner, importer, and eventually, designer; began building his own automobiles. Bitter specialises in rebodying other manufacturers' automobiles, and the company's first vehicles were sold in Europe and the United States between 1973 and 1989. Following that, many prototypes were created with the intention of restarting low-volume manufacturing, but none of those ideas came to reality until the release of the Bitter Vero in 2007.
Between 1973 and 1979, the Bitter CD was a three-door hatchback coupe powered by a 227 horsepower Chevrolet V8 with a 327ci engine. The CD was initially displayed in prototype form at the Frankfurt Auto Show on September 9, 1969, as the Opel Coupé Diplomat ("CD"), which was adapted from the sedan version. Charles M. "Chuck" Jordan created it with the help of George A. Gallion, David Holls, Herbert Killmer, and Hideo Kodama, as well as Erhard Fast (Director of the Opel Design studios 3 for Advanced Design from 1964). The tail was influenced by Erhard Fast's design for the 1969 Opel Aero GT. Opel explored building production versions in response to the favourable response to the CD prototype.
To streamline manufacturing and keep prices low, the doors would use a normal opening mechanism, while the bumper bar, windshield wipers, and other pieces would be drawn from the Opel Diplomat. Robert "Bob" Lutz, the Head of Opel at the time, commissioned Pietro Frua to expand the concept and build two road-going prototypes. David R. Holls was the one who persuaded Erich Bitter to construct the Bitter CD in 1971.
Bitter GMBH was created in 1971 to commercialise the CD as a consequence. He founded his enterprise on a 1-acre plot of land in his hometown of Schwelm, Germany. Bitter, however, resorted to Baur GMBH in Stuttgart, a successful independent small-scale producer, because he lacked the requisite funds and other means to build up his own production facilities.
He chose them because of their capacity to develop high-quality prototypes and limited production vehicles for other German automakers. Bitter based his initial CD designs on Frua's before making changes closer to production. The primary architectural differences between Frua's CD and the 1969 Opel CD were a shortened read end, a redesigned windscreen, and reduced chrome application. Dave Holls and the Opel design team improved the design by adding a tiny front spoiler, a wider grille, taller bumper bars, and by extending the bottom border of the rear side windows upwards over the C pillar to the rear hatch. Final prototype testing was carried out at the Opel Test Facility in Duden, as well as load duration tests by Bitter at Baur's Hydropulseur facility.
The Baur team also worked on considerable constructive and product development work, including the creation of a hard foam prototype. Their responsibilities soon expanded to include the production of the CD's body panels, shell assembly, interior fitting and trimming, and the installation of the Opel Diplomat's mechanicals. The Bitter CD was a big hit at the 1973 Frankfurt Motor Show, as Erich Bitter got 176 orders for his sleek new coupe. However, the oil crisis at the time caused most orders to be cancelled. Despite this, Baur GMBH began manufacturing late that year. Bitter's goal of selling 200 units every year was never met, and the company only sold 395 units in all. In 1974, the purchase price was 58,400 DM.