Nov. 20, 2012 12:06 a.m.

Hi all,

As the title says. I've done all the googling you can do on an Opel Manta and found ... there's not much on the internet (or the GRM forum) on this car! That out of the way, experiences? Concerns? Pros/Cons?

I've found one (guess which) that looks in great condition. Kinda want to do a vintage rally build? Ala GRM's Saab.

Also: If there's anyone in the Canton, OH area that can go take a peak at a car for me, please message me!


Sources Found thus far:

EvanB PowerDork
Nov. 20, 2012 12:34 a.m.

I don't have any info but I hope to see it at a rallycross next year.

Nov. 20, 2012 12:39 a.m.

You didn't happen to attend the last RallyX near Cinnci? Just noticed you are located in Ohio. I was in the big white ugly Subaru Forester with the expedition rack.

EvanB PowerDork
Nov. 20, 2012 12:42 a.m.

Yep I was in the red Miata, I was meaning to come say hi during the lunch break but you disappeared.

daytonaer Reader
Nov. 20, 2012 2:18 a.m.

My father bought one new. Said the startability improved.with an aftermarket webber carb. Reported it was underpowered and had trouble on the hills. It was the 4 speed stick. He replaced it with a Aires wagon with the 2.2carbed-3 speed auto monster to put it into perspective..... He was never into sporting.potential, but thought it was neat. Reported the battery tray rotted out. Paper-boy he sold it to wrapped it around a tree.

His was bright green with a flat black hood.

ultraclyde Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 5:19 a.m.

I had a barn-find Kadett that never got running. The aftermarket / replacement support is pretty dismal on Opels, especially if it's not a GT. otoh, there is a small but very dedicated enthusiast base and the Manta is a dead sexy piece of kit.

oldopelguy Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 6:45 a.m.

Plenty of help at

I wouldn't call them underpowered, strictly speaking, just not maybe as well powered as some. The best handling car I have ever owned, and lots of racing potential up to and including a cannonball.

mad_machine MegaDork
Nov. 20, 2012 7:23 a.m.

they came in 1.9 and 1.1 litre engines.. the 1.1 is anemic at best

Nov. 20, 2012 7:42 a.m.

They were so dominate in showroom stock i believe they were banned. They made good race cars.

BoxheadTim PowerDork
Nov. 20, 2012 8:57 a.m.

There at least used to be a massive performance aftermarket for them in Europe so you might have to look for speed parts over there.

Nov. 20, 2012 9:12 a.m.

I just keep day dreaming of a TT13B rotary or 1.8 Miata Manta. It's such a good looking car IMO.'s forum is a usability nightmare. I'm sure there's good info there, but I'm going to have to dig a bit to figure out the lay of the land.

Thanks for all the info so far!

wlkelley3 Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 9:30 a.m.

Yeah, is difficult to use. Those of us on there I guess are use to it. Just choose a page that seems closest to what you want to ask and someone will see it and reply. There is also an old yahoo egroup for Opels that still gets some traffic. Manta's are more preferred to turn into racecars, better flexibility and room to make the racecar mods and additions (rollcage, etc).

Nov. 20, 2012 9:36 a.m.

According to this wikipedia article, it only came with the 1.9 in the states?

"The Manta was normally equipped with a 1.6–1.9-litre CIH engines, although in Europe a small 1.2-litre motor was also offered. All Mantas sold in the U.S. had the 1.9 L and larger heavy duty radiator (an option on European models)."

Is that correct? It sounds as though the smaller displacement engines are to be avoided....

EvanB wrote: Yep I was in the red Miata, I was meaning to come say hi during the lunch break but you disappeared.

Yeah, I felt a headache coming on (unrelated to the rally methinks), and didn't feel like driving the 2.5 hours home with a migraine in the dark. Your car sounded quite the part. Between it, that really well set up golf, and the rx7, I would've thought I was at a stage rally and not just a rallyX.

wlkelley3 Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 9:47 a.m.

The 1.2 is probably the 1.1 that came in the Kadette. Didn't come in the Manta in the states. Manta's sold here had 1.9, some later ones may have had a larger version like 2.4. Don't think so but some were converted to that by owners. Rare. The 1.6 was what the 1.9 was derived from so probably in earlier Opels, like Kapitan or Admiral or Diplomat.

The cam-in-head design is a bit different than ohv, kind of a mix between ohc and ohv.

Nov. 20, 2012 10:24 a.m.

Does anyone know if the 1974/75 "safety bumpers" swap easily to the thin ones?

oldopelguy Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 3:20 p.m.

The bumpers are easy enough, you just have to fab up brackets and find the front signal lights, but you may have to cover some holes related to the bumper shocks.

Only came with the 1.9L here in the states, and '75 was EFI if you find one. Very similar to the VW EFI of the time, so not really too bad to work on if you know what you are doing. Back in the day folks didn't, so a lot were converted back to carb if something went wrong.

mad_machine MegaDork
Nov. 20, 2012 4:26 p.m.

I always liked the looks of the Manta.. very pretty car

DeadSkunk Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 5:23 p.m.

Nov. 20, 2012 5:34 p.m.
DeadSkunk wrote:


mad_machine MegaDork
Nov. 20, 2012 6:27 p.m.
DeadSkunk wrote:

that looks like a steinmetz Manta

DeadSkunk Dork
Nov. 20, 2012 7:07 p.m.

In reply to mad_machine:

That's what it is. I saw one in one of my recent British magazines and it was gorgeous in yellow.

Nov. 20, 2012 7:18 p.m.

Unless something goes sour I should be going to pick up that minty one posted in the 2012 forums.....

Build thread or tears (on missing it/it not at all being what the owner said it would be) to ensue. Will keep you guys updated.

Nov. 21, 2012 11:52 a.m.

had one a LOOOOOONG time ago......

Very nice car... decent chassis, light weight.

The 1.9 liter engine isn't all that bad for the late 1960s, but there are far superior swaps now available.... a well tweaked on 4AGE would do me fine.......

Now for inspiration... the MOST OUTRAGEOUS Manta EVER built anywhere.......

92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
Nov. 21, 2012 12:49 p.m.

^I came in this thread to post that.

93EXCivic MegaDork
Nov. 21, 2012 1:17 p.m.

That video took me to this. V12 Manta.

1 2

You'll need to log in to post.

Also on Grassroots Motorsports

So You've Drilled Through Your Own Hand

1 day ago in Articles

Congratulations! You’ve joined the elite club of people who have drilled through their own hand while working on their car.

Who Needs a New SA2015 Helmet?

1 day ago in News

We're giving away a RaceQuip helmet!

Win a Trip to the Bridgestone Winter Driving School

2 days ago in News

The drawing closes on November 6.

From the GRM Vault: Oddballs of Autocross

2 days ago in Articles

In the sport of autocrossing, sometimes different really is good.

The Dork Stickers Are Back!

2 days ago in News

They're free with a discounted subscription this month only!

Motor Werks Racing: Stupid-Fun Porsches

3 days ago in News

We stopped by Motor Werks Racing to take a look at their fleet of swapped Porsche 944s.

Reader's Ride of the Week: Restomod Europa

3 days ago in News

A British classic with a modern twist.

From the GRM Vault: Moving on Up

4 days ago in Articles

How to step up from regional events to national and pro competition.

What Did We Break?

5 days ago in Project Cars

We get to the bottom of our rallycross Focus's ruined geometry.

The Best of Both Worlds: Cars and Planes

5 days ago in News

Prepare for sensory overload at Sebring International Raceway this December.

Watch It: Rotary Miata Makes First Autocross Runs

1 week ago in Project Cars

It's been a long time coming, but it performed well.

Get Your Kicks in a 996

1 week ago in Articles

1999-2004 Porsche 911 Carrera tech tips.


Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More