Sunday, March 30, 2014

5k: Needs New Shoes: 1974 Opel Manta A

The Opel Manta is a lightweight two-door sports coupe that shared a chassis and power-train with the Opel Ascona sedan.  The early (1970-75) Manta A was one of the better handling cars of the era and won many races/rallies not due to its engine, but due to its 2100 lb curb weight.  What better car to put a Buick alloy V8 into the front?  Find this 1974 Opel Manta A for $5,400 in Gainesville, FL via craigslist.  Tip from Rod S.

The body and paint on this car look really good and the bumper delete looks great.  Had the owner's original plan of putting a Buick 215 into it come to fruition it would be has idiotic wheels on it
--the seller puts in the oft seen... "I don't need to sell it." Then why advertise it?

The 1.9 liter inline-4 is good for around 104 horsepower and 142 ft-lbs of torque.  Unfortunately it is mated to an automatic transmission and will be horribly slow...and not fun.  What this thing needs is a serious re-power and different wheels.

Inside looks okay, the steering wheel is cool and minimalists will love the kind of basic way they addressed home made door cards. 

See another car that just needs an engine, transmission and new set of wheels?


  1. Someone PLEASE buy this and throw those wheels away!!!

  2. How the heck do you even get the tires to seat onto the bead?

    Anyway, I agree that the no-bumper look goes well on this body. Too bad about the automatic, although without it, this car probably would have been used up decades ago.

  3. Lose the shoes! Looks pretty clean but the respray and trunk spray hopefully does not hide rust issues as that was an issue with these. The parts to convert to manual are out there and a worthwhile swap. They do fine with a stick and although it is fun to have more power, they are capable just with the 1.9. There is enough listed as small issues hopefully the seller is realistic and comes down to a price more appropriate. Always wanted one but not in a place to take on another orphan that needs some work LOL.

  4. The seats look like they (might) be from an Opel GT. Love the paint/body, nix the wheels and swap in more power when you're hanging the clutch and installing the new transmission.


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