Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Some Assembly Required: 1974 Manta Mirage

If you've always wanted to build a 70s kit car, the opportunities are limited these days.  It isn't just that lawyers and politicians want you to be safe, but also that most of the businesses making kits are long gone, so you'll need to find an unfinished project, like this 1974 Manta Mirage offered for $5500 in Dublin, CA via craigslist. Tip from RockOn!

From the seller:
For sale is a partially completed Manta Mirage kit. The frame and suspension are in place with VW drums all around...but wait there is more to this :)

The Mirage was designed as a mid-engine V8 sports car and has a steel space frame. On this kit, only the fuel tank side pods and rear engine cover are bolted in place at this time. The V8 engine presently in place is just a core used for fitment. I got this car in a trade and just want to move it on before I get carried away with it. The guy I got it from had it sitting as you see it for 33 years. It will be easy to ship as it all can be fitted together easily and the included but uninstalled items can fit inside.

So, why is this kit so great? Because, it has the following key items included to make it easy and inexpensive to complete:

It has the Kelmark transaxle adapter and remote shift linkage

Handmade Manta specific headers,

A brand new glass windshield from England

Manta custom air cleaner cover

Original, never used Manta radiator and electric cooling fan

Motolita steering wheel

New, unused side windows in plexiglass

The special front sub-frame to mount the much more desirable Pinto/Mustang II independent front suspension

Headlight actuator bar

The one piece snap on interior-this has some mouse damage, but could be repaired or used as an excellent pattern

Sweet vintage turbine wheels and vintage Mickey Thompson tires, which are aged out

Original Manta wiring harness

Original Manta assembly manual

Here's your chance to build your dream  

See a better way to relive the 70s?


  1. It's not pretty - but this one seems to go a bit beyond your typical '70s kit car and looks more like a Can Am racer.

  2. Can Am racer with VW beetle suspension and Drum brakes? more like a "widow maker"

    1. Yeah...I thought the juxtaposition of "VW drums" with "mid engined V8 sports car" represented a sort of cognitive dissonance that only seems to manifest in optimistic purveyors of future regret.

  3. Those turbine wheels are FANTASTIC!!!
    I assume with the Pinto spindles it is easy to set up with disc brakes in the front and because of the transaxle w/halfshaft set up in the rear you can probably fabricate some inboard brakes for the rear without having to source new rear uprights... Hmmm... Could be fun. Good thing I don't have a garage.

  4. When I lived in Costa Mesa where these were made it was fun to see them and more fun to hear them. The challenge was for them to go up a driveway, any driveway.

  5. The first time I saw one of these in a magazine, I fell in love. Now I am a little older and understand my mother's response, "Wow, that's not practical." However I can still picture this one in red and looking the part. One day, one day....

  6. Original body measurements were taken straight from a Mclaren M8. Then, the LoVette brothers added the top (their own design).

    Manta Mirage

    -Stan (the *other* Stan, who loves these things)


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