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Rally-bred Manta 400 for auction

Published 24 November 2017

A rally-bred 1984 Opel Manta 400 in show condition is going under the hammer next month. The car, one of 245 built for homologation purposes, is one of the lots in Classic Car Auctions’ December sale.

After World Rally Championship success with rally driver Walter Rohrl in the earlier Ascona 400 model, Opel Motorsport team manager Tony Fall had hoped the Manta would continue its winning streak – but it was halted by the Audi Quattro.

Bit the Manta 400 enjoyed major success at European level with the likes of Guy Frequelin. Plus there were epic battles between Jimmy McRae and Russell Brookes in identical Manta 400s as they fought it out for the British Open Rally Championship

This road-going Manta 400 enjoyed a more sedate life, watching rather than partaking in rallies - but it was converted by a Vauxhall dealer to right-hand drive. In 2005, after nearly four decades asleep, the car changed hands and was restored.

Opel Manta 400 (3)

Almost every part of the car was stripped, sandblasted and powder coated. The engine and gearbox were also rebuilt. But the car did retain all of the original features unique to the 400, including the Cosworth-developed 2400cc 16-valve fuel-injected engine, five-stud Ronal wheels, and Irmscher full exhaust system.

Other distinctive features include factory wheelarch extensions, rear spoiler, grey and yellow decals and original, mint condition Opel Blitz upholstery. An evaluation by the Manta Owners’ Club scored the car's condition as concours A1 in all areas, and it has been given a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to £50,000.

Richard Greenhalgh, Classic Car Auctions classic car specialist, said, ‘We believe that only 12 examples were produced in Astro Silver making this one even more desirable - especially with an indicated mileage of just 28,000 miles.’

The car is accompanied by a history file containing the original import documentation dating from 1984, receipts and photos of the car throughout its restoration, and an old MoT dating back to 1990, which shows the mileage at 18,414 miles.

Opel Manta 400 (4)

To find out more about the 1984 Opel Manta 400 visit classiccarauctions.co.uk.

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