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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In cleaning off the pictures on our old refrigerator to make way for a new refrigerator, I found a picture of my first Manta Rallye. Sorry about the spots and tilted picture. 74 Manta Rallye.Jade Mist
Tire Car Sky Vehicle Plant
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Bear with me as I tell this story. It is long. Very long. Not really my story, but my engines story. But it's my Mantas Story:)
That car at 30 thousand Miles was put in the Buick Dealership Shop in Greensboro. I had made friends with the guy that worked on my car. I went back on the shop floor as it was being brought in. The head Mechanic asked me what was wrong with it. I told him nothing, just wanted to win my autocross class. (E stock) I gave the head mechanic a copy of the Car and Driver article where they rebuilt an Ascona. The one that Craig Roberts has now, I think. Rabbit read it, started grinning, handed it back to me and said give me 2 days, I'll call you. 2 days later picked it up. Bought a progressive carb from him, put it on, went back to N.C.State where I was in School. Started winning E Stock out at North Hills Mall in Raleigh.
Wrecked the car, rear ending another car at a stoplight. I totaled the lady's car, did 400 Dollars damage to the Manta. The big bumpers saved our butts. My father called me 2 days later cussing. Raised hell as I was on his insurance until then.
I bought my insurance when the Manta rolled out of the shop. Had the frame pulled and straightened, but she was never right. If you look closely at the picture, you can see the right side is lower than the left.
More to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Part 2
Went back to school and autocrossing on the weekends around Raleigh, winning most of the time. The Tech inspectors got pissed, others I raced against got pissed. They just couldn't understand how I started winning all of a sudden. Went to a race later at North Hills Mall, registered, walked the course and got called in. The tech inspectors wanted another look at my engine. Wanted to see under the hood. No Problem. Popped the hood, took the Air cleaner off and said, Have at it.
There was another guy that had a Manta, but it was an automatic, plus he was a good friend,and they, (tech), put us side by side. No visual difference,except the Carb, and mine was a straight gear. Said ok, Go. I did. Taped up the E brake handle, pulled the rear seat out, spare tire out, went for a drive with the guy who had the auto. Burned a nice one. This was the 70s, Ok? came back, had a blast. Literally. Won and went back to the dorm.
Fast forward. Manta is daily driver living in Raleigh NC, Working for Knight Construction on a tool truck. We,(Knight Construction), relocated State Rd 1008 and 751 as well as building the dam at Moncure, for the Everett B Jordan lake. I was promoted to office manager when the gates were closed at Moncure Dam. Summer of 1975. It was flooding the cut through the back roads I used to get to the Army Corps Office in Pittsboro, Nc. to deliver the weekly report. All using the Manta,of course. as well as commuting in and out of Raleigh, where I lived at the Cardinal Apts, with my wife and another girl. Quit you dirty minds.;) I knew her father. Her father was an Alumni of the school I had just graduated from.
Married my 1st wife, a girl I met in Asheville, while in school at NC State, Dec 20th 1975, left the reception in Asheville N.C. hit I-26, gonzoed, headed for Mass. to spend my hellmoon. Took I-26 to 81 that night (Dec20th) to get on I-81. Due in Gloucester Mass in 2 days.
More to come. Time on rd. 5 hrs
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Page 3. Dec 20 21 1975
Made it to Bristol Tenn that night. Dec 20-21 1975.
Wife was drunk, passed out when we hit the room. I was wide open, thanks to Blue and Clears. Put her in the room and hit the bar, drank a few? Give me a break. It was the 70s. Get up the next day, (Dec 21st 1975) ,hit I-81, pull into a truck stop somewhere in Va to get something to eat. Met up with a trucker I had been talking to since I got on I-81.Yes, I had a CB.
In talking to the guy, I mentioned I was tired and coming down. He passed me a Black Beauty or what was known then as "Coast to Coast". A real one, no counterfeit there. Did I mention it was the 70s?
Coffee picked me right up for the time being, so he said to take it when it got tired. Got back on I-81, nothing spectacular to talk about, Manta was running well. Made it up I-81, Turned right, headed towards Front Royal Va on I-66. Started snowing lightly, followed I-66 into Arlington Va. Started snowing heavier. Took a left and headed for I-95. Made it to I-95, snowing like Schitt, headed towards Baltimore, figured if I made it to Baltimore and the snow was deep I could call my Godmother, wait, my Godmother was in N.C. for my wedding, Damn it.
Ate the "Black Beauty" Was ready to go in 20 min. This was around 1 pm the 21st.
Stopped for the night in Bridgeport Conn at around 3 Am the next morning, only because we were the only thing moving in the snow.
Packed snow, no snow plows in sight, or on the roads. No one, just us, chugging along. No idea how deep it was then, It snowed for the next 2 days.

There's more if anyone wants to hear it. This was 1975. My Manta is still with me, 2021. I have her in the shed.
So it doesn't end until 1991,sorta
Time on road: 19 hrs, only shut down for gas.
10 1/2 hrs normal time (according to Google)
Don't know if I posted this earlier, but I could only be gone until Jan 5 1976, as I had been promoted to office manager in Farrington NC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Dec 23 1975. 8 Am. Road scrappers had plowed the roads. No, I didn't sleep. Remember the Black Beauty? ;)
Left Bridgeport on I-95, roads had been scraped, so it wasn't too bad. Had to make Gloucester Mass. for Christmas. Nothing really stands out about this part except traffic. Dam, there are a lot of rude hell bent people. Run right over your ass. Was tempted a few times to reach in the back seat, but thought no.
Guilford, New london, Westerly, the wife, I use that term loosely now, "I remember this". Where's the map, let me see it, all while driving 70, engine screaming, oil pressure gauge almost pegged, remember this is a Rallye with the "good rear end", only not so good now. Later I would acquire another rear end just for trips.Again no concept of time, just drive like heck. Thought I was gonna cuss huh?After Westerly, there seemed to be nothing. I remember nothing of Warwick, Providence, Pawtucket, Just names. There had to be gas stops, but I don't remember them. I remember Boston as being 2 laned, Thinking it was a straight shot it would be shorter. Boy was I wrong. There was wall to wall traffic. You gotta remember, I was a Southerner, we didn't see a lot of traffic especially in my small town and not her in the country. In the 70s here, when a car went by, 9 times out of 10, they beeped the horn, and it wasn't for the purpose of "shooting the Bird" Up North they lived on the horn. My Wife said take U.S 1. It reminded me of Washington DC. Like a parkway. I took a rt on Yankee Division Highway. She,Wife, said we are getting closer. Yeah, right. Just get me to the In-Laws Dam house, I'm Jonesing now a Bit.. . Then I see Gloucester, Thank God.
The roads had packed snow that had been pushed? ''Do you remember where Harley and Alice live?" Yeah, but it was Summer when Mom and Dad visited. "Oh holy Schit, will it never end?" Then across a bridge, after an hr, "they live in Gloucester?" '' Well I remember it was a circle". After puttering around slowly in the failing light, cold as a witches tit in a brass bra. There it is. Yep and driveway snowed over. We get out and walk in the calf deep snow and knock on the door. Door opens and there are the In-laws. Hey Harley, where do I park the car? Well the basement door of course. Downhill on a slope, Crap. The wife says, you park, I'm going to visit with Alice. So... I trudge up the hill, get in the Manta, and try to ease over the berm. 2 times. Nope, Back up and hit it hard. Find where I had knocked down the berm, hit 2nd gear, Rpms dropped, and we Fishtailed it down to the Basement Door. Hell Yeah. We are Fuc..ng stuck big time. "Hey Harley", as I climb the stairs, "how long is this supposed to stick around?" Deadpanned he says "Spring" and starts reading Yesterday's newspaper.

Well that's it for the night. I was up at 6 it was 5. I moved and shoveled a Grain trailer of mulch with my son today. I'm going to read. There is more, once I dug out, Harleys kids came over, and there are some Really, nice bars there in Gloucester, Not that I remember a lot.o_O For us ''Old timers that might be reading"The Drs gave me Lasik's. Lol. you know what that Does?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That was the first one. I wrecked it in 1974. I rear ended a lady in Cary NC. Totaled the lady's car, just bent the hood up a little on her. Carried her to the dealer in Raleigh, I was at N.C. State for a while. The dealership fixed it, so I thought, but I started wearing out tires on the right front.(Passengers side).
If you zoom in and look closely at the picture, you'll see the right side, (passenger side), is not the same as the Drivers side.
There are some very long, long stories about that Manta, and the Blue one. The Blue one is still with me. I have pictures.:)
I bought all the Mantas in my town. Only mine was a Rallye. Then the buttheads. The County, (if it wasn't a kid friendly forum here) I'd call it like it is, Wanted to declare me a.... Junkyard to collect more property tax. Damn it. Kiss MY......... butt, ;) So, I moved them(Mantas), up to my neighbors real junkyard, and there they stayed. For about 2 Years, I walked through one day and they were gone. He crushed them and they were sold for scrap. I was heartbroken.
 

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That was the first one. I wrecked it in 1974. I rear ended a lady in Cary NC. Totaled the lady's car, just bent the hood up a little on her. Carried her to the dealer in Raleigh, I was at N.C. State for a while. The dealership fixed it, so I thought, but I started wearing out tires on the right front.(Passengers side).
If you zoom in and look closely at the picture, you'll see the right side, (passenger side), is not the same as the Drivers side.
There are some very long, long stories about that Manta, and the Blue one. The Blue one is still with me. I have pictures.:)
I bought all the Mantas in my town. Only mine was a Rallye. Then the buttheads. The County, (if it wasn't a kid friendly forum here) I'd call it like it is, Wanted to declare me a.... Junkyard to collect more property tax. Damn it. Kiss MY......... butt, ;) So, I moved them(Mantas), up to my neighbors real junkyard, and there they stayed. For about 2 Years, I walked through one day and they were gone. He crushed them and they were sold for scrap. I was heartbroken.
Thats horrible, up in Idaho there are tons of junkyards dedicated to old cars where people rip parts off of them as long as they pay for it, I haven't found a manta yet, but there are a few gts. Luckily the government hasnt cracked down on places with tons of cars till recently, but time has really done a number to mantas, your lucky to even find one without a rust infested engine
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ah, I thought you had a manta. They were great cars.
 

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Ah, I thought you had a manta. They were great cars.
Oh no I've got one just getting parts is not easy, not only that I'm picking up someone's project, last guy who had it wanted to put a Ford 302 in it, so the back seat and trunk were nothing but mustang parts, I was surprised how big the trunk was and that there was shag in it
 

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The trunks are huge! I picked a set of Opel wheels with tires at the junkyard one day.
They all went in the trunk...with the existing spare in place.
 

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The trunks are huge! I picked a set of Opel wheels with tires at the junkyard one day.
They all went in the trunk...with the existing spare in place.
Right? I had half a 302 in the back of mine along with a mustang driveline and 2 tires!!
 

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I like to kid the 'car guys' about how the Mopars are generally worth so much more money than equivalent GMs or Fords. They act like the Dodge and Plymouth cars were so great. I remember when if you told someone you were thinking of buying an old Challenger or Charger, or worse, a Dart/Valiant they'd laugh. Everyone complained about them as daily drivers because the front ends wore out and what didn't wear out rusted away then fell out. Same for the interiors.
There was only three things that kept people really interested in them...Hemi, Dukes of Hazard, Hemi, and Vanishing Point, Hemi...


Full disclosure....my dad had a 66 or 67 Charger. Silver with a red interior...that was a neat car. I still am mad I didn't get to buy a 69 Dodge Dart GTS 340 with a four speed that I was looking at back in 89. No rust, 100k on odometer, original motor and carb....$2500.
 
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AH the days when even the not well off people could still somewhat afford what they really wanted lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Sorry so late in posting, but my Son had the day off, and he ran parts with me. Then watched a movie with him and his girl friend drank a few beers.
Where are we going he asks. To get parts son.
Are you going to be long. Nope normal day. He rolls his eyes.
We left at 7 and I'm an hr outside of of town then and late.
Drive to town, hit five places. Then lunch.
3 more after lunch.
Lunch was fun, rolled in to the diner off the freeway, walked to the table, took off my jacket, sat down, took my hat off, phone out of left pocket put it and truckers wallet on the table.
Dad you can't do that. Do What?
Walk to the table? I tell him Ok
Did I mention there were 7 people in the whole dining room and its huge. they block off one area for the appropriate section for Supper, Dinner, Whatever you call it.
The little girl comes over. hands me the menu. The specials are.. I don't even look at it.
Hand it back.
I want breakfast. Where's Mandy.
We are serving lunch sir. Stink eye.
Look at my watch and it is five after 11. lunch starts at 11, Mandy is running around doing something. Hand the waitress back the Menu. I'd like to speak to Mandy, and hand her back the Menu.
She gives me the stink eye, my son does the same and I ask for coffee. Mandy comes over, hey hun you're late.
What time is it. 10 after 11. Can I have my usual and tell,
Les I'm here, come speak to me please. Mandy heads for the kitchen.
Little girl comes over with the coffee and I make small talk,
Mandy comes out with the cook, little girl starts grinning.
The cook started grinning , I wink, "Hola amigo, ¿puedo tomar mi desayuno habitual? (Hello my friend how are you today),\

I said pretty good how are you, he responds in English, pretty good getting ready for the lunch crowd: Yep, Any problem? Nope. I spent 2 years learning that. The one kid that taught me that took me 2 summers to learn.
We don't talk at the barn. We work, there is always a trailer coming,, in from 8 unil dark or barn is filled then move on th
He goes back to the kitchen with the little girl following a few mins later, people coming in then, starting to get full.
Little girl come out, says, I will be right back, brings me my breakfast, 2 eggs over easy, bacon, 5 stripes, not too over cooked, Just right toast and a bowl of Grits. Les is not Spanish,
he's Cuban, he and his mother immigrated from there when he was young.
Ps. I always tip. 15 percent of the total
If you are from the South, You will understand what a filling breakfast that is. I go there when I am in town and not rushed I eat between 10 and 11 and my stomach is rumbling
Take a guess what I pay before tip, I was shocked. 5.79 and i add a 2 dollar tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thats horrible, up in Idaho there are tons of junkyards dedicated to old cars where people rip parts off of them as long as they pay for it, I haven't found a manta yet, but there are a few gts. Luckily the government hasnt cracked down on places with tons of cars till recently, but time has really done a number to mantas, your lucky to even find one without a rust infested engine
Shame, but you have Junkyards. Somewhere. We don't. The E.P.A. got most on the eastern coast and I understand it, damn sure dislike it. I like Junk yards.
 

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Shame, but you have Junkyards. Somewhere. We don't. The E.P.A. got most on the eastern coast and I understand it, damn sure dislike it. I like Junk yards.
If you ever come up to Idaho there are a few in Nampa, Middleton, and most importantly Wendell, although I haven't looked for mantas I should, always nice to have spare parts
 
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