Opel Manta (1970 – 1975) Review

Opel Manta (1970 – 1975) At A Glance


+Great looks, nice handling and steering, coupe looks and four-seats

-Rust, low values compared with more elaborate rivals such as the Ford Capri

The Opel Manta might have been based on the Ascona, but it beat that car to market by two months. It was launched into the coupe market, taking on the Ford Capri Mk1 in the newly-emerging European Pony car market. As well as combining the Ascona's sensible platform engineering and drivetrains, it was a clear evolution of the GT's styling. The Manta's engine range spanned 1.2- to 1.9-litres, and was offered with four-speed manual and three-speed automatic gearboxes.

A small number of turbocharged models, the Turbomanta, based on the plusher Berlinetta, was built and sold in Britain. A total of 33 examples, with five of them being prototypes and the ones used for public relations. It was based on the 1973 SR powered by a 1.9-litre S-spec engine, uprated to 156bhp from 90 via a Holset 3LDG turbocharger. The project wasn't progressed by Opel in Germany, but Dealer Opel Team picked up the project, building a further 28 examples. As Q cars go, the Turbomanta was one of the best, as it looked like a standard Berlinetta, aside from subtle Turbo badging on the rear wings.