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Vendor
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Huh. Looks like the fire started in the rear, and spread to the interior? It probably was a nice car before then.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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I'll bet the fire started right after it was rear ended. I lost mine to a very similar collision, but no fire. If it's anything like mine, the doors still worked just fine. I'm amazed at how strong the Manta body is.

So, I have a few questions...was it owned by anyone on the forum? The listing says 74, but the front valance looks more 71-73. The wheels are not to my taste but do not look cheap. So if they swapped sheetmetal and bought nice wheels, what's under the hood?
 

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Vendor
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Those look like BBS wheels, and can fetch a good price. I suspect you are right about a rear-end collision starting the fire. The passenger side rear is obliterated. Strange that there is no pic of the engine, since the front of the car still looks intact.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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A funny, cautionary story about rear ending a Manta...mine got hit off center and to the right. Very similar to the Manta in the ad. I got hit going to look at a $400 GT. Anyway, if you drew a line from the center of the license plate to the backside of the right rear wheel, that back corner was pushed up in front of that line. gas tank was intact. I know this because I could see it. Trunk lid was probably tweaked, but you couldn't tell. Aside from the bumper popping off the car, if you stood on the drivers side you couldn't tell the car had been hit.

Anyway, I bought the $400 GT to swap over engine/trans/brakes....I needed a car! The Manta motor was ripped of the motor mounts by the impact. Swapped everything over. Even put in a new clutch and rear main seal while doing it. Its a little awkward trying to break loose the flywheel bolts while the motor is hanging on a hoist. The crank kept rotating, the engine kept swinging, the wrench kept slipping.

So I eventually got everything in the GT. primed the oil system with the distributor out. Put it in, timed the distributor and disconnected the ignition system to crank over the motor and make sure there were no problems. Even had some oil pressure. Everything was good. Hook up the ignition, fuel in the carb, and fire it up!...only....no. Nothing. Starter didn't turn. Didn't click, didn't anything.

Plenty of power going to it when I turned the key. Okay, swap starters. Same thing. At some point I realised it was not a starter issue. The motor was locked up! Solid. No noise, no drama, no rotation at all. Forwards, backwards, any gear, didn't matter. Take off the valve cover..all the valves were there. Took off the oil pan...1 and 4 rods/pistons were solid, no movement. 2 and 3 I could wiggle the rods.

Whatever it was was up top. Dropped valve head? Dropped valve seat? An errant nut or bolt in the combustion chamber? If any of these were true, why are both 1 and 4 solid? Only thing to do was take the head off and see what damage was waiting for me....

Took the head off and the crank/pistons moved. Turned the head over to see the damage...as with the theme we have going....nothing. No bits, no marks, not shiny hammered anything. Valves and seats are all where they should be. No extra parts either. Just a bunch of powdered carbon on top of the pistons. Brushed that off and.....still nothing. Not finding anything, I did what anyone would do...I put it all back together and it was idling before I could even let go of the key.

So, my only conclusion is this, if your manta happens to get hit in the back hard enough to yank it off the motor mounts, then it probably smacked the firewall. This in turn knocked 225,000 miles of carbon loose in the combustion chamber. Which of course poses absolutely no problem until you turned and tilted the motor enough for it to gather together and wait until the exact right moment to carbon lock your motor. Just like compacting sand, it wedged in somewhere and locked it up.

Even though the car ran great for another 10-15k, I do not recommend this as a way to decarbonize your motor. There are better ways. However, if you get a motor out of a rear ended car, you might want to have a look inside...
 

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Detritus Maximus
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Wow...now that's so long you'd think it was Russian literature!
 

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1969 Opel Gt 1.9 Automatic
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297 Posts
Wow! That car is destroyed. I wonder how the engine looks. The wheels also don't look to burnt they could be saved. Copart is a pretty cool website where their are some destroyed super cars on their like this Mclaren GT. I have saw a few Opel gt's on their in the past year too.
https://www.copart.com/lot/42933971/2021-mclaren-automotive-gt-tx-houston-east

And this is what it is supposed to look like.
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I'll bet the fire started right after it was rear ended. I lost mine to a very similar collision, but no fire. If it's anything like mine, the doors still worked just fine. I'm amazed at how strong the Manta body is.

So, I have a few questions...was it owned by anyone on the forum? The listing says 74, but the front valance looks more 71-73. The wheels are not to my taste but do not look cheap. So if they swapped sheetmetal and bought nice wheels, what's under the hood?
It is a 74 with the big bumpers deleted. Last time I saw the car it had a 1.9 CIH with the stock 4 speed. The wheels came from Gil I believe.
 

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Vendor
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That's so sad. I know the car and its owner. It was very nice indeed. I hope he's ok. The car won best Manta at The Opel Nationals in Rohnert Park in 2015. It was also in Vegas in 2018.
I found a couple "before" pics on the site. A very nice car indeed. I couldn't tell who the owner was from the thread, but perhaps some others who attended can recall.
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Opeler
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96 Posts
wow that is so sad. hope he is ok from the wreck. in the pics it looks like the German manta ray emblems are still on the front fenders.
 

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Detritus Maximus
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It is a 74 with the big bumpers deleted. Last time I saw the car it had a 1.9 CIH with the stock 4 speed. The wheels came from Gil I believe.
I really hate to say this....but it's a good argument for not deleting the big bumpers.
 
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Someone had sent me a few pictures of this car a year or two ago at a car show in Hayward, CA. Very sad to see :( It was a gorgeous Manta.
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1970 Opel Gt - Purchased July 1972 - Chartreuse - restored - 3000 miles as of 02-16, 2021 -
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649 Posts
That is one fine looking Manta. I looks a lot smaller than I recall. Grew up in a small town in NC and remember seeing 2 other Opel GT's before I purchased mine in 1972. For what ever reason I do not recall seeing a Manta but had a good friend that had a baby blue Opel wagon. And I really like the fact that the bumpers are missing on that Manta - that really increases the cool factor a lot. Good job DO'Brien.
 

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Opeler
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1,505 Posts
Wow! That car is destroyed. I wonder how the engine looks. The wheels also don't look to burnt they could be saved. Copart is a pretty cool website where their are some destroyed super cars on their like this Mclaren GT. I have saw a few Opel gt's on their in the past year too.
https://www.copart.com/lot/42933971/2021-mclaren-automotive-gt-tx-houston-east

And this is what it is supposed to look like.
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I couldn't help but notice the dichotomy of the two vehicles parked here in Copart. A McLaren and a John Deere riding mower. Is this the greatest vehicular contrast of all time?
 

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Opeler
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This really makes me sad. Such a beautiful car.
 
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Über Genius
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9,373 Posts
C'mon guys.

It'll buff out.
 

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1969 Opel Gt 1.9 Automatic
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297 Posts
I couldn't help but notice the dichotomy of the two vehicles parked here in Copart. A McLaren and a John Deere riding mower. Is this the greatest vehicular contrast of all time?
They even have boats on copart for sale.
 
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