Growing up, I would hear my father talk about the 1972 Opel Manta Rallye that he owned, complaining about issues with vapor lock but praising the car for it’s solidity and good looks. Opel Mantas are a very rare sight on US roads these days, and if you see one on the road, it would most likely be clapped out. This very original Manta, then, is more rare than the proverbial hen’s teeth.
The seller states:
There is only 45,500 miles on this classic sports coupe, a 1974 Opel Manta! Opel pursued a unique sales approach for their line in the U.S. Market causing only a few Opel models to be sold in the U.S. Opels were imported by GM and sold through Buick dealerships but not their own dealership network, so they were limited in what makes and models they could sell here.
This 4-cylinder automatic is in good running condition and has been maintained on a yearly basis (with all receipts and records of that maintenance available for inspection). This car is being sold because the owner is deceased. It was originally purchased it May 10, 1976 in Ohio with 15,800 miles on it. The owner then moved to Ames, Iowa to live with her sister in June 20, 1997 and the car had 40,433 miles on it at that time. On October 20, 1997, it was rust protected by Ziebart. On August 24, 1998 it had some body work done (don’t know specifics of what). It was then painted on May 28, 1999 and paint protected by Ziebart. It was maintained by a local garage during the subsequent years. It was in storage from fall 2008 until fall 2009 when I moved it to my house. I put a new battery in it and took it out a couple of months ago, August 2010, and have been driving it off and on. There are no engine noise or leaks and no tran noise or leaks. In addition, there are no other odd noises. The air conditioner fan works but I have not put any coolant in it. There is no rust on the outside however the jack points have some rust and behind the battery, the inner fender line has a rust hole.
The only thing that detracts from this car, is, you guessed it, the automatic transmission. Other than that, there’s a lot to like about this offering. There’s no telling what this car is valued at, as they are so rare in this country, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was sold for over $5,000. With the introduction of the Buick Regal (aka Opel Insignia) to the US Market, this would be a great time to pick up this cult classic from GM’s German arm.
It was such a cult classic in Germany during the 70s and 80s, in fact, that a movie was produced in 1991 called “Manta Manta,” with the plot centering around modified, later generation Mantas. Here’s a video of the first five minutes of the movie: