RE: Opel Manta GT/E: Spotted

RE: Opel Manta GT/E: Spotted

Tuesday 4th December

Opel Manta GT/E: Spotted

The Manta doesn't enjoy the same fabled reputation as the Ford Capri - making it considerably cheaper to buy



It was only a couple of months ago that we spotted a Manta 400 in the classifieds. With its Group B rally pedigree and fantastic 80's styling it had us at hello - but it was also £84,995. Which is rather a lot. What if, though, for a fraction of that amount, you could purchase a sliver of the Manta magic to call your own?

With a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine putting out 112hp and 119lb ft of torque, the Manta GT/E may not boast the same power as the 400, nor the same flared arches and aggressive stance, but its 1,060kg weight meant that 0-60 took a fairly respectable 8.5 seconds and top speed was 120mph.


Speed wasn't even the Manta's main attraction, though. It's chassis setup was famously superb, meaning that it couldn't be touched when it came to ride or handling; certainly not by the Ford Capri, which relied on a Cortina-derived platform for its underpinnings. Where the Capri had the edge on engine choice and outright performance, the Manta's lead in dynamics and engineering lasted right till the end.

Which makes it all the more surprising that, when we last saw a GT/E on these pages, Matt was lamenting the fact that, unlike the Capri, Mantas didn't seem to be enjoying much of a renaissance. Whilst the Fords were going for over £10,000, the Manta languished below £3k back then. Today's is listed at a comparatively lofty £4,800 - although it does have nearly half the mileage of the previous car and, of course, Capris have also enjoyed a healthy price bump of their own over the same period.


But nevermind, because underappreciation of the Opel means someone else's loss can be your gain. This example looks to be in great condition, as you'd hope for a car of such relatively low mileage. It's recently had the front calipers rebuilt, along with new discs and pads, new fuel tank, pump and lines, new shocks and springs and about every kind of oil you can think of. The interior looks to be in great nick and the seller even makes a point of highlighting that everything on the dash, right down to the cigarette lighter, still functions as intended.

So, as prices of fast Fords climb ever skyward, the Manta GT/E looks more and more of a bargain. As a dynamically excellent 80s icon, it may not stay that way forever, though. Catch it while you can.


SPECIFICATION - 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: 1987
Recorded mileage: 35,000
Price new: £6,444
Yours for: £4,800

See the full ad here

Author
Discussion

loudlashadjuster

Original Poster:

3,089 posts

120 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Prefer the shape of the berlinetta, but I'd have one of these over the frankly woeful cooking Capris any day.

cookie1600

1,034 posts

97 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Loved my nearly new '84 black hatch GT/E. Never really quick, but capable enough and still had plenty of room for car bits in the back and enough oomph when towing the race car as well. I considered it a step above the Capri 2.0S in many respects, including a few more horsepower.

I seem to remember paying around the same asking price as this one, all those years ago.

BFleming

751 posts

79 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
I used to get a lift to work in a Manta coupe as a teenager (the liftback's weren't as popular where I grew up) and it was a riot. A car that had many coats of paint and filler holding it all together, but it moved and handled so well. Fond memories of that.

rallycross

9,388 posts

173 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
That car looks to be in amazing condition, and still a good looking car today, I always liked the seats, the 6 dials dash and the 3 spoke steering wheel on my early SR shaped one.

|https://thumbsnap.com/nEr6eHcr[/url]


This one on ebay looks like it might be a lot of fun with a 6 cylinder engine fitted.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/opel-manta/254007646632...tongue outf:0


[url]

s m

16,940 posts

139 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Prefer the coupe shape to the hatch but, yes, they've only just started to go up in value
Advertisement

adetri

24 posts

162 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Fantastic to see and this one looks very original. Always really liked these when they were new and looking at one again now, it still has something about it - and also a bit different (and more modern in many ways) from the Capri it competed against. Enough power at 112BHP for a car of this weight.

Nice interior and dash on these cars (Recaro seats - how I envied cars which had those back in the day!). Both the hatch and the coupe GT/E look good in my eyes.

Straightforward mechanics, manual gearbox, rwd, good looking alloys (but with sensible tyres for a decent ride) nothing complicated at all but easily useable on a daily basis - perfect antidote to today's cars.


RicksAlfas

9,233 posts

180 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Fond memories of these. My Dad had two. A 2.0SR two door in rust brown on a V-reg and a 3-door GT/E in gold with gold everything on an A-reg. It was when colour coded was a new big thing and they really went for it! biggrin

J4CKO

25,770 posts

136 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Mine was the same year and spec as that, colour, interior everything, makes me nostalgic, met my wife when I had it, was obviously the clincher.

Cooking Capris werent great, I had a 1.6 LS and that was ok when new to driving, but going back to a 1.6 laser after a Golf GTI made me realise what a wheezy dollop they were, 2.0 was better, 2.8i was the one to have though.

Manta was a bit quicker than a 2.0 Capri. but not much, preferred the way Capris handled and a Golf GTI ran rings round both, a MK2, or even Mk1 Golf made these feel as antiquated as they were.

But, they looked good, less good in hatch form but Coupes were £500 dearer.

Would love another but would need to be modified as they are pretty slow and woolly as standard.


irocfan

17,708 posts

126 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
rallycross said:
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had one of these in blue (exclusive blue?) waaay more appealing than a Capri/XR/GTi etc. Really can't understand the lack of love, especially with a 400 as a 'halo' version

Reeves_and_Mortimer

30 posts

18 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Looks like a bargain to me. Can't imagine there are many of these left in this condition.

s m

16,940 posts

139 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all

Helicopter123

4,483 posts

92 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
What size of wheels are those?

Piersman2

5,326 posts

135 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
loudlashadjuster said:
Prefer the shape of the berlinetta, but I'd have one of these over the frankly woeful cooking Capris any day.
Agree. Back in the day I had an 'x' reg Berlinetta, in the same red as the OP car, coupe style body with side skirts, rear spoiler and little bib spoiler under the front end. It was a gorgeous looking car but I've no photos of it and I can't find any pictures of anything quite the same on google.

Got rid as it would take longer to warm up than my commute to work around Aberdeen was, and that car did NOT drive nicely until it was properly warmed up. Took my life in my hands every morning as I tried to launch across a dual carriageway with a cold engine that would do it's best to stall half way across.

But, it looked bloody lovely, especially to a 19 year old me! smile

RicksAlfas

9,233 posts

180 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Helicopter123 said:
What size of wheels are those?
On the GT/E?
6 x 14.

JamesMK

536 posts

187 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
My second car was a 1.8 coupe - always regretted having that instead of the GT/E which I really wanted.

BFleming

751 posts

79 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
PH did an Opel Manta GTE spotted article back in 2015, it's here if you fancy a read: https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&...

I lifted this from that article, mostly as I think it's fab - the ads that used to fill car magazines back then...
Miglia 888 said:

J4CKO

25,770 posts

136 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
RicksAlfas said:
Helicopter123 said:
What size of wheels are those?
On the GT/E?
6 x 14.
I remember marvelling at the massive 205 tyres mine had on at the time.

smig12345

7 posts

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
I always loved the looks of these back in the day. They were always a pretty rare sight compared with Capris. The price of this one seems like a bit of a bargain.

mfp4073

1,171 posts

110 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Back in the 80's my mate had a Manta coupe, it was a lovely thing, it really looked quite dramatic to my eyes, mind you we almost killed ourselves in it, but happy days indeed. It's a shame mainstream cars today look so crap in comparison. Don't get me started on the Opel Monza GSE, that blew my mind !!!!!!!

Rossy58

5 posts

13 months

Tuesday 4th December
quotequote all
Had the badge engineered version, (Vauxhall cavalier coupe), for 9 years. Great car and very reliable. Also had a Capri mark1, another stylish car which stood out from the herd. Compare those with the myriad of similar hatchbacks on the road today.