Opel Manta

pic: Influx

There's a lot of chatter here and elsewhere about what makes a car definitive of its era. For the 1980s, cars like Porsche's 959, the Audi Quattro and the Escort XR3i usually get the shout. But having stumbled upon a beautifully crisp, body-kitted Opal Manta last night in the frozen wastes of East London - we reckon we've a new addition to our list.

Interestingly this Germanic cousin to a legion of less rakish Vauxhall kin kept its ‘Opel’ badge in all trims and engine sizes: with rear end drive and by all accounts a lively suspension and steering set up (with roll bars and rack & pinion respectively). Engines ranged from 1.2 all the way up to 2.0.

The car we spotted (perhaps a GTV?) had been customised with a light hand (we think) although in a form : with period correct alloys, Recaros and a cleaned, kitted exterior that look as if it could well have emerged from the factory a few months ago.

Bravo, dear owner, and if you spot this post, please get in touch to receive some print magazines from us....

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com/ Brian Driggs

    Love the old Mantas. I lived in Germany in the early 90s and saw more than a few of them (sprinkled among the Kadetts).

    A couple years ago, my Dutch partner interviewed a Manta rally team in Belgium. Epic sideways action in the pictures. I'd love to see one of these things running wide open, preferably sideways, belching tire smoke or gravel from the rear tires.

    http://gearboxmagazine.com/lh-historic-team-porsche-911-and-opel-manta-rallying/

    Thanks for sharing, mate. Love this kind of stuff. Stories of real people doing real things with vehicles they actually own are always the best. Keep going fast with class.

  • Michael Fordham

    Thanks Brian: stay tooned for more everyday classics. It's all about the drive rather than the luxury, eh?

  • http://gearboxmagazine.com/ Brian Driggs

    Absolutely, Mike. It's all about built - not bought. Always enjoy your work.

  • Mark

    Briefly met the owner today, said her dad used to rally them...