Opel Manta

The Opel Manta is a five-seater car of Adam Opel AG. The first manta (Manta A) came in September 1970 on the market. The car is the coupe version of the two months later featured midsize sedan Opel Ascona A with the same platform. The coupe with water-cooled four-cylinder front-engine, rear-wheel drive was launched as a competitor to the already since the end of 1968 built Ford Capri on the market.

The Manta A was initially offered with three different CIH engines: two 1.6 -liter versions with 68 hp or 80 hp and taken on by the Rekord C 1.9 -liter version with 90 hp. 1972, a 1.2 -liter OHV engine was added with 60 hp.

When the last Manta B rolled off the line in August 1988, his technique became obsolete with the coming of the Kadett B 1967 Rigid axle (central hinge axis ) and produced since 1965 CIH engines, although in the last years of construction already with uncontrolled catalyst and 5 speed gearbox was fitted. For Opel Manta was a success: Both model series together 1,056,436 cars were built.

  • Manta 2.1 L
  • Manta 2.2 SR
  • 2.3 The Manta A in the U.S.
  • 2.4 Special Manta A
  • 2.5 Technical data
  • 3.1 facelift
  • 3.2 Specifications

Model history

Under the working title "Project 1450 " at the end of the 1960s, a competition model for the end of 1968 launched Ford Capri was developed at Opel. It went in September 1970 in Timmendorfer beach presented forth Manta coupe, whose limousine version Ascona was introduced two months later in Turin (Italy ) in November 1970.

The origin and the name Manta

Ford founded the Ford Mustang in the United States the beginnings of the pony car era: One ( by American standards ) compact and lightweight middle class vehicle (usually a coupe or convertible), which was equipped with a relatively powerful engine and therefore appropriate performance (especially acceleration values ) enabled.

The compact and shapely Mustang was following its introduction in the spring of 1964 with great success in the USA. This success was repeated in Ford Europe and developed a coupe with the name Capri, from the beginning of 1969 also sold well. However, here was the engine not so abundant from, it was more of the external form, which accounted for the success.

The success of the Mustang or the Ford Capri could rival General Motors not stand idly by, and so, unveiled in the autumn of 1966 Chevrolet Camaro was designed at relatively short notice in response to the Ford Mustang, while Opel Manta should compete with the Capri.

In autumn 1962, a model of the Chevrolet Corvette named Stingray ( stingray ) was provided. Analogously, the Opel Manta Manta Rays for namesake.

Target group

From the beginning, Opel advertising tried to stylize the technically strong style similar to the Ascona sedan to the sporty Manta men car.

The shape of the low belt line, a long hood and short rear gave the Manta a sporty look. The car thus followed the trend at the end of the 1960s:

  • Sporty foil made vehicles with higher performance and appropriate driving behavior.
  • Cars with greater comfort for rider and passenger.
  • Individual form that stood out from other vehicles.

Specifically, Renault and Fiat had already sporty models in the range, but the Abarth or Gordini versions for the mass market had no independent bodies, but only more powerful engines: the reverse path followed by Opel with the Manta. Initially it was in the display advertising Manta with the slogan " Manta - developed from the European automotive tradition " presents later with: " Opel Manta Because one really knows their driving, or because you understand what the driving. " And " Opel Manta.. If you ordinary cars are too boring. "

The target group consisted primarily of young people. Opel offered the first three engines an alternative to the traditional-style models like the record or the Ascona.

The rather weak engines (especially from 1972 offered for 8,528 DM car with the 60 bhp 1,2- liter engine of the Kadett B ) could not keep up with the sporty looks step. Various tuner tried to change this by installing six-cylinder engines of the larger Opel models or with turbochargers. Only the offered from spring 1974 Manta GT / E with 105 hp was some Autotester a good engine in the eyes.

Manta A (1970-1975)

Opel Manta (1970-1975)

The Manta A was from a self-supporting steel body with stoßnachgiebiger rear and front end. From September 1970, the versions Manta, Manta Manta L and SR were available.

The independent suspension of the front axle consisted of unequal length wishbones with coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar.

For the rear axle, the central axis of articulation was used with coil springs of the Kadett B 1967. This Starrachskonstruktion was referred to by Opel as a " tiller axis". The rear part of the propeller shaft from the universal joint was performed in a support tube, which was rigidly connected to the differential housing.

The Manta A a fully synchronized four-speed transmission with short gearshift lever on the center console was installed, which was referred to in advertising as the "sport shift ".

The Opel Manta was delivered in all versions as a five -seater sports coupe. Particularly striking were the long-drawn, front -hinged hood and the rear end with four round taillights, the wide doors with frameless windows and the black grille with four round headlights. While Manta Manta and L were still delivered with hubcaps, the Manta SR had standard radkappenlose steel " sport rims ". The occupants of the Manta sat in a safety cell with energy-absorbing collapsible steering column. The seats were strongly shaped and afforded a high comfort. For an additional charge, a vinyl roof was available, but which promoted the corrosion, as accumulated moisture under the bond.

From January 1975 new emission regulations require fuel with a lower lead content. As the first German manufacturer Opel adjusted its engines in the new Directive. The benefits paid decreased the 1.6 -liter N of 50 kW (68 hp) to 44 kW (60 hp), the 1.6 -liter S by 59 kW (80 hp) to 55 kW (75 PS), and the 1.9 -liter engine had taken 66 kW ( 90 PS) only 65 kW (88 hp). The 1.2 - liter engine with 44 kW ( 60 PS) remained unchanged. As of June 1975, however, the performance of the 1.9 - liter engine through the use of downdraft gasifier register Zenith INAT was 35/40 again increased to 66 kW (90 hp). 498 553 pieces produced: from the Manta A total of were. The cheapest Manta cost about 8,300 DM

Manta L

When Manta L the L stood for luxury. For L- Amenities include chrome fittings, glove compartment, engine compartment and trunk lights, Tilt windows for the passengers in the back seat, wheel covers, electric clock, various fittings lighting, ashtrays, cigarette lighter, Interior security mirrors, chrome exhaust pipe, etc.

Belonged to the motor selection above with manual and automatic transmissions (for the 1.2-liter S engine, there was only the manual gearbox).

Manta SR

The Manta SR was a " rally " version of the Manta L for the sports-minded clientele. It differs from the other versions by wheel discs with a different form, a matte black hood and black side stripes ( " rally stripes "). To instrument include a tachometer and an additional console with timer, ammeter and oil pressure gauges; the passenger sun visor of the SR has no make-up mirror. The SR was only offered with 80 -horsepower and 90 -horsepower engine, the latter performs a change in the total translation to improved acceleration values ​​and increased hill climbing ability; for the SR features the automatic transmission was not offered.

In March 1974, the Manta GT / E supplemented the series. Its 1.9-liter engine developed thanks to electronic fuel injection (Bosch L- Jetronic) 77 kW ( 105 hp ), which gave the GT / E a top speed of 188 km / h ( according to factory specifications ). Compared with the Manta SR has the GT / E broader black side stripe, black window frames, special GT / E logos, a front spoiler and the body is slightly lowered. Because of only one-year construction period, only 5252 pieces were from the GT / E sold - for 12,500 DM - which ran last copies as Manta Black Magic with a black finish and yellow / red stripes on the front spoiler and side line from the band.

Distinctive: the divided round tail lights

Opel Manta GT / E (1974-1975)

Opel Manta "Black Magic " (1975)

The Manta A in the U.S.

From October 1970 to July 1975 the Manta 1900 ( model 1971 /72) and Opel Manta was sold ( from model year 1973) in the United States under the name Opel. On offer were called the Sport Coupe base model, the rally as athletic put up variant and from autumn 1973, the luxury with more features, Cordstoffbezügen and four-spoke steel sports wheels. All models were powered by Opel's 1.9 -liter four- cylinder that made ​​at a compression ratio of 7,6:1 here 76 DIN hp ( 56 kW ); for model year 1975, the aircraft received a Bosch fuel injection and got away with it on 82 DIN hp ( 60 kW). In total, sold about 170,000 in the U.S. by the 1900- series (including Ascona A).

Special Manta A

A performance-enhanced model with the model name TE2800, was manufactured by the Belgian company Transeurope Engineering, which filed for bankruptcy in 1975 in an edition of 79 pieces by the 2.8- liter engine of the Commodore was built into the Manta. The engine produced 143 hp at nearly 200 km / h. The price was just under 20,000 DM TE was sold through the company Irmscher. The English Dealer Opel Team (DOT ) developed the DOT Turbo Manta, which was presented in 1974. Only 28 copies were built, of which about 7 are obtained, because the manufacturer of the turbocharger bankrupt. Opel even tested a turbocharged version of the 1.9 - liter engine based on the " Lowlead " engine of the U.S. Manta 78 bhp and built for testing about 10 pieces. But the unsatisfactory response at low speeds and then the abrupt onset of the turbocharger ( especially dangerous in curves, as the slight Manta quickly broke out ) meant the end for the turbo Manta. No road-legal Turbo Manta is known.


Manta B (1975-1988)

Opel Manta CC (1978-1982)

After the vacation in August 1975, the Manta B was standing in the wings.

Like his predecessor, he also was the coupe version of the simultaneously presented Opel Ascona B again and was technically much the same with him. Both models were based on the chassis of their predecessors, but this was revised.

The Manta B had a longer wheelbase and a more elongated shape, large rectangular headlights and a built- in body roll bars. First, there were the remarks Manta, Manta L, Manta Berlinetta, SR Manta and Manta GT / E. The engines ranged from 40 kW ( 55 hp) for the 1.2 N up to 77 kW (105 hp) in the 1.9 E of the GT / E. Optical characteristics of the GT / E were again the standard front spoiler, the painted matt black bonnet and black window frames. He had a sporty suspension with gas -filled shock absorbers. Inside, there was a sport steering wheel and additional instruments. When Manta SR, only the central area of ​​the hood was painted black.

The advertising campaign for the launch proved an embarrassing flop. Opel had ads with lyrics like "I dreamed I had the Champion wrested the Grand Prix at the new Opel Manta ", or "I dreamed that I was traveling through Monaco in the new Opel Manta with Caroline " can be switched. As then, numerous potential customers to Opel wrote that they will not buy the Manta because of this advertising because they are afraid to make a fool with this car, the advertising was stopped immediately.

For the model year 1978, the 1.9 S and 1.9 -E engines were replaced by engines with 2.0 liters of displacement. These engines were also available in the Opel Ascona and models record to use, the injection motor also in the Kadett C Coupé. The performance ranged from 90 hp (2.0 N) about 100 hp (2.0 S) up to 110 PS (2.0 E). The latter was up to the end of production of the Manta B of the most built-up with distance between the motor and enthusiastic testers with its appearance with the performance of that approach submitted to the nominally much stronger Capri 2.3 S and this exceeded. The new engines possessed hydraulic tappets, which made adjusting the valve clearance superfluous.

As an additional model variant came from October 1978 added the Manta CC (Combi - Coupé), possessed of similar to the Opel Monza a large tailgate. Him there were in the same equipment and with the same engines as the sedan Manta. The CC was in each case by 450 DM more expensive than the corresponding notchback variant.

As of April 1979, the new OHC engines also held in the Manta series feeder. These motors found primarily in 1979 featured Opel Kadett D use. Feature of the new engine generation were cross -flow cylinder heads made ​​of light metal with an overhead camshaft, the engine block was still made ​​of cast iron. In Manta, a 1.3-liter engine with 60 hp and 75 hp were initially offered. The 1.6 N, 1.9 N and 2.0 N engines with 90 hp also remained in the program. Remained in the offer and the 2.0 S and the 2.0 E. New entry-level model was now the Manta GT -J. Visually, it was broadly the GT / E, he also had a standard front spoiler, black window frames and could be optionally ordered with a matte black bonnet. Inside, there was a sport steering wheel and additional tachometer, oil pressure gauge and voltmeter. The GT -J also had a sporty chassis, but only with oil pressure instead of gas -filled shock absorbers at the GT / E. Recognizable was the GT -J at appropriate lettering and distinctive side stripes. It was available was available with the 1.3 S (75 PS) or the 2.0- S engine (100 hp).

The spring of 1980 brought a small facelift with it. Externally, the new models are distinguished by black, plastic-coated bumpers of its predecessors with chrome bumpers. The Manta 2.0 S SR (74 kW/100 hp ) received on rear panel matte black paint, which extended between and around the tail lights. The injection engine, there was now not only in the Manta GT / E, but also in the "civilian" versions (Manta E).

For the model year 1981 the engine range offered for the Manta was very extensive: 1.3 N OHC (60 PS), 1.3 OHC S (75 PS), 1.6N (60 PS), 1.9 N ( 75 hp), 2.0N (90 PS ), 2.0 S ( 100 hp ) and 2.0 e ( 110 hp). However, starting in May 1981, the Manta only 1.3 S, 2.0 S and 2.0 E engine was available. Cheapest model was the GT -J 1.3 S with 75 hp ( 14,845 DM), the most expensive model of the Manta CC Berlinetta 2.0 E with 110 hp ( 18,423 DM).

At the Geneva Motor Show, the Manta 400 was introduced in March 1981: It was the successor of the successful rally car Ascona 400, which was Walter Röhrl 1982 Drivers' World Champion. The Manta 400 was actually a pure competition car that had to be offered but due to motor sports regulations of the then Group B in small quantities for the normal market. The Manta 400 was powered by a 2.4 -liter engine with light alloy cylinder head, four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts. Standard was made by the 960 kg lightweight rally car 144 hp, depending on the configuration it could also be up to 275 hp. Disc brakes on all wheels (front ventilated ) and a limited slip differential was included. The Manta 400 was built until 1984. It caused 245 copies. To select the buyer was the so-called " narrow " body or the rally Breitbauversion with fiberglass fenders on the front of the car and fender flares are also made ​​of fiberglass on the rear wheel wells. Went hand in hand in the Breitbauversion also a change of tires on the rear axle up to 285er tire on a Ronal 15 " rim on the front axle, a 225 mm tire was installed. These mixed tires and the fender flares let the car look very beefy and menacing appear. in addition, a prototype of the Manta 400 was built on the basis of the CC. leaned This visually to the Irmscher i2800 and had all the technology of the Manta 400 on board.


In May 1982, was the " new Manta " at the dealership. Behind it hid only a facelift, the optically leaning at the rally version of the Manta 400. The front now had four air vents instead of two. At the front of the Manta now wore a front bumper in body color, just a plastic bumper on the rear. The tail light housing were now black, not brown.

The GT / E plastic side sills and rear spoiler were added a varnished. The times black hood and racing stripes were over, chrome parts were sought on the new models now in vain. There were wheels in a new design and a slightly revised interior. Since autumn 1981, Recaro sports seats in the GT / E standard.

Manta and Manta CC could be ordered in the remarks GT / J, and Berlinetta GT / E. The following engines were available: 1.3 S OHC (75 PS ), a new 1.8 -S OHC engine ( 90 hp ), 2.0 S ( 100 hp ) and 2.0 E ( 110 hp). Best Manta was now the GT / J with 75 hp ( 16,145 DM), most exclusive model of the Manta CC Berlinetta with 110 hp ( 20,295 DM).

From the autumn of 1982 there was a 5 -speed transmission available in the GT / E was now standard. The 2.0 E engine was now equipped with the Bosch LE -Jetronic and had an electronic ignition and fuel cut. From the autumn of 1983 were only the Manta GT and Manta GT / E in the offer. The Manta GT replaced the previous GT / J and was now the entry level model. The 2.0 S engine was omitted.

From the autumn of 1984 was called the Manta GT / E, as Adjustment to the newly published Kadett GSI, GSI Manta now. Still available was the Manta GT, the engine line-up remained unchanged. Lowest bid was the Manta GT 1.3 S with 75 hp ( 18,155 DM), at the other end of the scale, the Manta CC GSI was ( 22,470 DM).

From April 1985 you could see the Manta GSI Buy Exclusive, who was not available as CC. This refined by Irmscher special model had special upholstery in the interior as well as a three-spoke leather steering wheel. The front adorned round twin headlights. Available were initially only the finishes Monaco blue or Dakargold. The alloy wheels have a special design ( Charcoal with silver rim), a three-piece rear spoiler was painted as standard. Between the taillights there was a black screen, and the flag was integrated into the rear bumper. For an additional charge, a rear skirt was available, which extended from wheel well to wheel well.

In the summer of 1985, new upholstery fabrics were introduced, otherwise there was no change.

From autumn 1986, the 1.3 - S engine was omitted. Now there was only the Manta GT 1.8 S with 90 hp and the Manta GSI with 110 hp on offer. Best Manta was the GT 1.8 S ( 20 725 DM), noblest Manta GSI Exclusiv ( 24,550 DM).

From the summer of 1987 finally you could order only the Manta GSI 81kW (110 PS ), also as CC. Only the special edition Exclusiv was more than trim still in the program. Alternatively, the 2,0 -E engine was also available with unregulated catalytic converter ( Euro standard E1), he then made ​​107 hp.

In the meantime, were some other special models on offer, all of which have been refined by the company Irmscher and were partly to relate also on the Opel dealer. Thus the Manta i200, which in white paint with blue- red side stripes ( Rothmans decor) and a large rear spoiler was available. Were built according Irmscher 3074 copies. He was endowed with a lightly tuned 2.0 -E engine which made ​​92 KW ( 125 hp). In addition, there were exotic Irmscher special models, such as the Manta I240 with a 2.4 - liter engine. Were built about 600 copies. Particularly rare was the Manta i300 with the 3.0 -liter six- cylinder from the Senator / Monza, originated from the only 27 copies.

In August 1988, finally, the production of the Manta was finally set after a total of 1,056,436 copies. With 13 years of production of the Manta B was the longest-lived Opel model produced.

Was succeeded at the 1989 IAA presented and sold from June 1990 Opel Calibra, the return to a middle-class sedan, the Vectra A, was based.


Cult vehicle and stereotypes

Especially the Manta B was in the 1980s and 1990s, a cult object of tuning friends and at the same time the Manta driver clichéd the epitome or even a synonym of a tuning - lover.

Cinematically were Manta and their drivers with Manta, Manta and Manta - The film set monuments, often with a rather ironic derogatory character. Songs - for example, by Norbert Manta and the cowards - and countless jokes Manta Manta emerged over the driver as one of the most common and most hyped stereotypes for these types of chav. Foxtail on the antenna, six-pack in the back seat and blonde, a professional hairdresser, in the passenger seat belonged to the cliché. The Manta driver spoke Ruhr Valley slang, has (had ) a low level of education, macho behavior, wearing cowboy boots, held in any weather the elbow out the window and had a lot more consideration other than embarrassment properties. "Wow " and " ey" were regarded as the preferred interjections from his jargon.

In recent years, the presence and popularity of Manta in the German tuning scene is rapidly declining.

Stock in Germany

Credited the stock of Opel Manta is in Germany on 1 January (until 2000: 1 July ) of selected years, according to the Federal Motor Vehicle Office. Before 1 March 2007, the fleet comprised, in addition to the number of vehicles registered, the number of temporary closures. Since 1 March 2007, the vehicle population contains only the " flow of traffic " including the season mark.

After the final report of the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control 18 Opel Manta were scrapped in favor of the scrapping premium between 27 January 2009 and 31 July 2010.