Opel Manta Berlinetta (1974). Belated boyhood dream of Frits.

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The Manta was an innovative step for Opel. It wasn't just an old model that disappeared; a completely new model came onto the market. The Opel Manta was new, elegant and sporty. An attractive compartment in which four people could sit comfortably. There was a growing market for coupes, and the Manta quickly became popular for its looks and power, reminiscent of a sports car.

Love for vintage cars

Frits' passion for vintage cars runs deep. His warehouse almost resembles a museum in the making, including a beautiful VW Panorama bus and an Opel Kadett A coupe, both in excellent condition. In his youth, Opel Mantas were everyday cars that you often saw on the road. Perhaps for Frits it is a kind of nostalgia for that time; his love for the Opel Manta appears to be undiminished. Today it is a popular collector's item. Frits visits events to meet old acquaintances and talk about their shared hobby. It shows how important childhood memories can be, and how they can influence current preferences for certain brands and types.

The full story

Frits himself can tell the whole story about his impressive Opel Manta: “My search took several years. I wanted the more luxurious version of the Opel Manta, the Berlinetta with a 1900 cc engine. The appearance has also always appealed to me. The luxurious vinyl roof fits perfectly with the seventies.”

Beauty treatment

Frits: “Although the car already looks beautiful, I am still going to give it a new beauty treatment. I want to optimize the technical aspects as a winter project. When I'm working on my classics, I'm completely focused on this hobby. The hours fly by unnoticed, and those are the happiest moments for me. At those moments, the world revolves solely around the Opel Manta Berlinetta. I think I have retained the child within myself and am throwing myself into this adventure with enthusiasm, my belated boyhood dream.”

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5 comments

  1. The Manta is an often unfairly maligned car. The film 'Manta Manta' makes people laugh. Like the joke that the Manta was available in a 75cm wide version. 'Then the driver could hang his arm out of the window on both sides.' Also that he had a magnet on his engagement ring. 'Then his hand wouldn't slide off the roof when he drove his arm out of the car again'…. 😅Lots of jokes have been invented, but it doesn't do the car justice. I absolutely loved those double round headlights the most. I think the Manta's snout is worth its weight in gold. The 1.9 engine had some 'oompf' (!) I miss them in the streets. And everything in the Manta (and in any case also its brand brothers from other types) is in an intuitive place in the Manta. Exactly where you expect it.

  2. I also own one, in brown and equipped with an automatic transmission. The first owner apparently had some money to spend.
    Unfortunately, the ghost of rust has been wreaking havoc under the vinyl.
    I hope someone can be found who can repair the roof, because I'll leave the tip to saw off the roof at the window frames and replace it with another one.
    Then someone who can reupholster the roof and someone who can provide the driver's seat with the original and correct color of fabric (also brown).
    Once all that is done, I still have to contact the RDW, because the car received a replacement license plate in the mid-80s and it seems that it is possible to get the original one back.
    Judging from the surviving Mantas that were admitted around the same time, it must be somewhere around this issue: 41-13-ZD. (note: not this one, because it is still driving around)

    • Just search for car vinyl roof replacement and you will come across several who can take care of that for you. You can remove the old vinyl yourself.
      The rest is specialist work, or you have to be very handy, have sufficient self-confidence and be prepared to pay an apprenticeship fee.
      Repairing rust holes in the roof and covering them with vinyl usually requires different specialists.
      A vinyl specialist may be able to advise you on finding a good welder.

  3. Lots of Opel GT content, but also usable as a family car.
    As always, the first series, like this one, is a lot more attractive than its successor.
    How I miss the time when they could be found at every scrap yard, just like Ford's Taunus and Capris. For some change you could then equip your bare car with expensive accessories.

  4. Beautiful, special article, with a longing for the past. A cousin of mine had 3 of them in the '70s/'80s, but they were already ripe for demolition and often (in his case) the engine was replaced by a 1.6... So he was cheated twice... 😂 Too bad, but on the counter often touched 2, but may have deviated due to the SR wheels being too small. Beautiful, dangerous and rash times.

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