It’s Summer and your new classic ride is waiting for you.
I have been the proud owner of this 1975 Opel Manta since June of that year.
I even have the original sales receipt and sales reps business card from Dorschel Buick / Opel.
Over the years I have invested in both upgrades and general maintenance to keep the Opel both
looking good and running strong.
There is a notebook with a multitude of paid receipts and a bunch of stuff logged into my brain that
was done to the Opel over the years. I’m sure there are a few things left to be done to make this
Opel your pride and joy.
I will attempt to list a number of projects that required vast sums of money to bring the Opel to it’s
current state.
Body work – Firstly I should note that the car has never been in a collision.
Although the Opel was under-coated when new the affects of a few Western New York winters
required repair to the sub-frame. “U” shaped steel pieces were fabricated and welded into place to reinforce the framework. The front fenders were replaced with new as the bottom sections behind the wheels were rusting out. Both the drivers side door and hood were swapped from a North Carolina (NC) car that was made into convertible (not a good idea). I still have the NC front fenders.
Finally, the car was repainted in a silver color that was very close to the original. This is a good paint job but not concours level. The car looks good and shows well mostly because people haven’t seen an Opel Manta in many years.

Engine – During the time the body was being done I also replaced the engine.
A Manta that was my cars twin was given to me by the person who bought my old house.
The water pump was bad and the front end frame was rusting out. Free is good.
High compression .030 over pistons and early version forged rods replace the OEM parts. A “sport” cam was installed that worked with the hydraulic lifters. The heads was machined at a local shop that builds NASCAR modified sportsman frames and the whole thing was put back together by a guy that built engines for Don “the Snake” Prudhomme. I replaced the steel valve cover and oil pan with aluminum pieces from the Opel GT. A set of Pace Setter Quick Trip headers were installed along with a custom 2 inch exhaust using Magna Flow mufflers. New allen head bolts were installed recently when a crack in the headers needed to be welded. Also, a new fuel pump, high pressure fuel lines and new fuel injectors with O-rings were installed. Although I have a Pertronix solid state ignition module the distributor is still using points and condenser.

Interior – After wiping out my checking account, the Opel was towed back to my house where it sat tucked away in the garage with all of the interior parts in storage. Finally, after rebuilding the disposable income part of my checking account, I had the seats, front and rear, re-upholstered
The original seats were black vinyl. I opted for a cloth seating area with vinyl side panels.
With the seats out of the car it was time to install all the other interior parts. I assembled the parts to replace the interior and had both the NC parts car and my car towed to a friends shop to start the reassembly process. The NC parts car was used for an A / B comparison to reassemble my car and it also donated a pre-resistor module that needed replacing. Now that we had an almost finished car it was time to fire up the motor and take it for a test drive. The test drive never left the shop. We quickly discovered that the oil filter was not the correct one as oil started leaking around the gasket.
After a check of the oil filter part # from the parts car, a cross reference to a Wix filter was made and a trip to the local NAPA store yielded the correct filter. Once installed and checked for leaks we were ready to once again take a test drive. The successful test drive was followed shortly after with a drive back to home base where the Opel sits comfortably in my garage.