RE: Opel Manta GTE: Spotted

RE: Opel Manta GTE: Spotted

Tuesday 12th May 2015

Opel Manta GTE: Spotted

Very rare, very cool and very cheap as well!



It's hard not to feel some sympathy for Vauxhall/Opel sometimes. With this current classic car boom apparently boosting the values of even not especially notable old cars (see Β£20,000 for a 944 Turbo Cabriolet), to see old Vauxhalls still languishing seems a little unfair. See the Chevette HS featured recently available at considerably less than an equivalent Escort.

Strong font
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Yes, Lotus Carltons appear to be creeping up but have a look at this Manta. It's a GT/E with just 67,000 miles, three owners, a recent Β£3,500 refresh and respray plus a seemingly perfect interior. They don't come up for sale too often and even less frequently in this sort of condition. The price? Β£2,995.

Already that sounds criminally cheap, but where better to look for some context than its Ford nemesis from the 80s? Here's a Capri that's just a year older with 70,000 miles and also in very nice condition. It does have a V6 compared to the Manta's four-cylinder but is it really worth more than three times as much?

It's hardly as if the Manta was a substandard rival either. Motorsport Magazine described the Manta as 'a delight' on a winding road, the stiffer springs, Bilstein dampers and stiffer rear anti-roll bar over the standard car really paying dividends it would seem. The 2.0-litre engine wasn't praised quite as highly, its iron block and head making progress much more reliant on low-end torque than revvy power.

Dependable if not especially exotic
Dependable if not especially exotic
The Manta of course has motorsport pedigree too, even if its Group B career wasn't the most successful. For the full homologation appeal this would be a Manta 400 rather than a regular GT/E but with just 200 produced the chances of finding one must be slim.

It looks, from here at least, superb as well. Are the 80s still cool? If so the upholstery, the graphics and the small wheels are going to work perfectly. And look at those brochures!
So it would appear the Manta is a true unsung hero, the kind of car that should command more attention and money in the current climate. Put your prejudices aside and enjoy it cheaply while it's still possible!


OPEL MANTA GT/E
Engine:
1,979cc four-cyl
Transmission: 5-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 112@5,400rpm
Torque (lb ft): 119@3,400rpm
MPG: N/A
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1983
Recorded mileage: 67,000
Price new: Β£6,444
Yours for: Β£2,995

See the original ad here.







Author
Discussion

VladD

Original Poster:

7,270 posts

211 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
My wife used to have a GTE Exclusive coupe in blue. Lovely car.

Just like this:


simon1987

400 posts

81 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
thats nice

GTEYE

1,411 posts

156 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Looking at the rust bubbling through on the bonnet, I'd say £3k is actually too much.

Some terrible photos in the ad too.

soad

30,396 posts

122 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Needs more horsepower.

Krikkit

16,318 posts

127 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
GTEYE said:
Looking at the rust bubbling through on the bonnet, I'd say £3k is actually too much.

Some terrible photos in the ad too.
Have to say I agree - looks like a terrible respray. Still, a lovely car, I always wanted one of these when I was a kid - is there a cooler name than Opel Manta?

Domf

286 posts

101 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
I had a Red Coupe GTE for 4 years in the late 80's always handled better than the Capri. But lacked power, I remember some people replaced the iron lump with the then new Astra 8v or 16v engine. I once drove a GTE that had the fuel injection replaced with huge webbers that was scary at any speed. The coupe is one to have if it's going to be a classic, I remember they couldn't ship the runoff 87 models and some dealers put on full irmscher rally bodykits,given the then MK2 Astra GTE was the desirable model from the Opel/Vauxhall group

cirian75

3,251 posts

179 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
GTEYE said:
Looking at the rust bubbling through on the bonnet, I'd say £3k is actually too much.

Some terrible photos in the ad too.
Have to say I agree - looks like a terrible respray. Still, a lovely car, I always wanted one of these when I was a kid - is there a cooler name than Opel Manta?
willing bet the rear aches are all filler by now frown

soad

30,396 posts

122 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Krikkit said:
is there a cooler name than Opel Manta?
Yes, Marcos Mantis.

99t

778 posts

155 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
These can and do rust for fun. Later cars worse than earlier ones seems to have been the case.

Looking at the pictures I reckon this one is 6 months away from looking very scabby indeed.

Also the engine in these has very few redeeming features being heavy, coarse, thirsty and not remotely powerful.

I spent my motoring formative years in Mantas, and although I loved them at the time, I wouldn't have another now. If I found a relatively rust-free Monza on the other hand...

sinbaddio

1,435 posts

122 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
When the opportunity arose to run one of these many year ago, I swerved it and opted for an older mk1 Scirroco. Probably one of the few good decisions of my motoring career!

VladD

Original Poster:

7,270 posts

211 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
sinbaddio said:
When the opportunity arose to run one of these many year ago, I swerved it and opted for an older mk1 Scirroco. Probably one of the few good decisions of my motoring career!
Strangely my wife got her Manta GTE Exclusive after her Mk1 Scirroco GTi bit the dust.

matt1269

592 posts

120 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Always think of this Opel Manta



J4CKO

28,216 posts

146 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
I bought a 1986 one in 1990, the rear valance was st and Vauxhall replaced it under warranty.

I have some good memories of mine, a red 2.0 GTE hatch, I wanted a coupe but they were pricier but were better looking.

The interior was a weird mix of some rather nice grey Recaros and a dash that seemed to have been sourced from a 1970's Chevette.

It handled ok, but felt like a big dollop after a MK1 Golf GTI, the brakes were crap, unvented disks at the front that used to get a bit hot and fade with enthusiastic use.

The engine, well, my thought process was that my mate had bought the 1.8 Berlinetta which had a nice engine, a perky 90 bhp (felt like a bit more to be fair) so the GTE must be way better with an extra 200 cc and its fancy fuel injection, well it was faster, but not by as much as you would expect and it wasn't exactly what you would call a rev monster, I think Vauxall/Opel lifted it from a Bedford Van, slapped some Bosch FI on it and said that would do.

Really, seeing as they had fitted the Vauxhall 1.8 OHC engine I don't see why they never plonked a 2.0 GTE variant of the same in it with 130 bhp, or, even better the 16 valve engine with 150 plus bhp which was a popular conversion but I suppose that is how it had always been and by the late eighties the Calibra was in development.

The 2.0 GTE was nowhere near a 2.8i Capri, it really was more a Capri 2.0 Laser competitor in the late eighties dinosaur stakes.

I do love them but was a bit underwhelmed with mine, a coupe with modernised brakes and suspension, perhaps a couple of hundred BHP sympathetically restored would be a fine thing.




TT Tim

4,141 posts

193 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
A mate had one, when I had a BMW 316 E21 and it was a shed. deadful thing, Red exterior and Red interior, every time you got in it the interior trim attacked you, bits fell off, bits broke, bits rusted, awful, truly awful.

prior to that he had one of these:



and that was lovely!

Tim

Steamer

11,194 posts

159 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
matt1269 said:
Always think of this Opel Manta


And I have found memories of Brooks' 'Heat for Hire'


forzaminardi

1,916 posts

133 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
I like the idea of it and I thought Mantas were good-looking cars in their day, but the small wheels, low glass area and bodykit give it very odd proportions now and the detailing is dated in a way that isn't nostalgic. I can't put my finger on it, one assumes to have survived this long and look in pretty good nick it must be pretty solid, but it looks like it's about to fall apart. On a like for like basis, the Capri might be very similar, but it's about a million times cooler. I think if you showed the Capri to someone with no real knowledge of cars they'd say "that's a pretty cool old car", show them the Manta and they'd say "that's a pretty sh*t old car".

Plasticedd

9 posts

64 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Seeing this reminds me that in the late 1980's I ran over a dog in one of these, remarkably the dog passed under the front spoiler and out of the back emerging relatively unscathed, a tribute to the GTE's passive safety system.

Spannerski

127 posts

57 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
My bro had an 87 black 3dr one back in 88.
Lovely, simple, good looking car.
Totaly underrated even in it's day.

Reminds me of my two Audi Coupe GT5's an S and an E.

When cars were simple and reliable.

j4ckos mate

1,654 posts

116 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Mine was this colour but a berlinetta 1.8s,

it went rusty not long after i bought it, and had lots of problems with the wiring,

on one occasion the fuse box seem to melt a little and a row of fuses just sort of dropped about 1 cm in line from the others, another time, the alarm went off, i turned it off, still was going off, i pulled the wires out and it was still going off,
it was getting a live feed from the hazard lights

Monty Python

4,475 posts

143 months

Tuesday 12th May 2015
quotequote all
Think I'd pay the extra for this one:

http://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C572934