Up for sale is my very well-loved 1974 Opel Manta, in Luxus trim, with a color matched Burgundy/Burgundy paint and interior! This is a low mileage (72k original) survivor car that has been fully gone-through to run and drive as good as new, and is ready for the next owner to either drive the stink out of it, or get into the body work and turn this into a show winner. I’m an engineer by trade who is meticulous about restoring things the right way the first time, and all the work done reflects my desire to keep the car as original as possible while getting it as reliable to drive as possible. This car comes with all the parts necessary to turn it into a fully restored, beautiful car. Love the small bumpers on the earlier 71-73 cars? I’ve got em! Scared of the thought of scouring junkyards and the internet for patch panels? Already done!

I bought this car from a woman in West Virginia who had been storing it under a tarp for the better part of two decades. The car was completely unmolested and original but needed a complete overhaul. I’ve spent the last two years going through every piece on the car mechanically and getting it back on the road. The car started life as an automatic but has been converted by me to a manual transmission car with all-original Manta specific parts. Some of the work entailed:

  • Ignition converted to Pertronix electronic system
  • New coil/cap/wires/plugs
  • Starter solenoid relay installed to preserve ignition switch
  • Brand new genuine Weber carb installed
  • Stainless steel header installed
  • Original radiator removed, hot tanked, and painted
  • Almost all rubber coolant/vacuum lines replaced (those that remain to/from the heater core are in excellent shape and are not currently reproduced)
  • New fuel pump
  • New oil pump cover
  • All new fuel lines (excluding hard lines) from tank to carb
  • Fuel tank replaced with perfect-condition tank from a California car donor
  • New brake calipers/wheel cylinders
  • New brake rotors, rear drums turned
  • All new flexible brake lines
  • New master cylinder
  • New tires on original repainted wheels (80% tread remaining)
  • New clutch/pressure plate/pilot bearing
  • Resurfaced OEM flywheel
  • Installed OEM tachometer to dash
  • Replaced old vinyl decal wood trim in doors with custom-built walnut hardwood pieces
  • Installed bluetooth radio in trunk for fully-stealth integration: turns on automatically with ignition and fully controlled by phone
  • New front/rear glass gaskets

With all the good out of the way, it’s clear what the “bad” stuff is- the paint and body. The pictures do a better job summarizing, but here’s the overview as I see it:

  • The paint is faded all over- I think someone must’ve touched up the paint at some point in the past, but it’s hard to say. I buffed out one corner of the car just to see what it’d look like and it came out decently, but it’s never gonna be perfect.
  • The paint is gone on the roof where the previous owner had set a cinder block on the car to keep the tarp on. It’s a shame, but I think the tarp is probably the single reason this interior/car is in the shape it’s in, so small price to pay. When I first got it, I found a rattle can that was fairly close in color and just sprayed the bald spot to keep the rust at bay. I keep the car covered and keep it dry but you can see the temporary fix is starting to fail.
  • Both bumpers are tweaked/pressed in. This car has the massive gas-shock bumper mounts so if you replace them with the small bumpers I don’t see any issues. I have a full original set of the 71-73 small bumpers for the car, with all the necessary hardware (mounting brackets, turn signal buckets, etc). The front bumper looks completely NOS to me, the rear is in very good condition. These are impossible to find and took me almost a year of searching to get every piece necessary!
  • The rear valence is kinked/pressed in at the licence plate light. You can get to the back side of this panel from inside the trunk so it’s a comparatively easy spot to fix (especially since it’s a flat panel so no body lines or curves)
  • Here come the rust spots- both floors have some ventilated spots in the corners. I have sheet metal in-hand to fix these (see below)
  • The front jacking points (where the unibody frame extends laterally out to the edges) are both shot. I have a brand new replacements for both sides
  • There is a rust spot on the passenger side behind the door. I have a cut-off panel from a good california car to replace it (the whole side of the car from the affected area to halfway up the door)
  • There is a rust spot on the drivers’ side rear qtr- I have a brand new replacement
  • There is rust underneath the battery- this is a super common spot for Mantas and most of them are completely shot. This one is still fully structurally sound but has a couple pinholes that allowed some water to drip. I ground out all the rust, puttied in the holes, and rattle canned some paint over it when I got the car.

As you can see, pretty much everything mechanical has been gone-through but the paint/body needs love to get the car to the next level. I HATE body work, and so I accumulated all the parts to do it right, thinking I’d hand it off to an expert to do it. Of course, by the time I had all the parts (finding Opel Manta parts isn’t exactly hitting the Auto Zone!) and had it quoted out, I realised that what I really wanted was to just sell this one to someone who would bring it to the finish line, and find another lost-cause to bring back to life!

This car is an absolute blast to drive, and it’s rock-solid reliable. All the lights work as they should, the gauges read correctly, etc- it’s basically good-to-go and I’d drive it across the country if I needed to (although admittedly, driving this tiny thing with no overdrive above 60mph isn’t the most fun!).

I’m willing to entertain interesting trades for the car if you have something cool! Looking for unique 60s/70s/80s cars, preferably manual transmission, with great condition bodies. Ideally looking to trade up, so interested in anything valued up to $15k for the right car. Let’s talk! Odds are if you’re interested in an Opel Manta, you have something i’d be interested in.

Reach out with any additional questions, and thanks for looking!

Link to album with tons of photos & video of the car idling/driving: