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Opel Manta and Manta! (der Film)

Opel Manta A

If you, as a car, bring it to the point where your name is used as a movie title? Then you are a winner. Manta! (from 1991) is one such film. A film from the time when Opel's Manta was a high-quality 'Sjonnie & Anita car'. As in the header for the film: Bertie is the proud owner of an 'aso-car', an Opel Manta, the Porsche of the proletariat. He makes a bet with the tough owner of a souped-up Mercedes. And it is not entirely without danger. The English title for the film was 'Racing in the street' by the way. Boring…

The Manta is one of the most 'infamous' Opels

He plays the leading role in many jokes and in feature films such as New Kids and as mentioned earlier in Manta, der Film. But the questionable image is not justified. Without all that spoiler work, the Manta is simply a beautiful classic.


The Opel Manta appeared in 1970 and was intended to compete with the Ford Capri - another affordable, sporty-looking coupe based on a family car. The Manta was developed together with the Opel Ascona; so both cars have a lot in common. The Manta was available with 1,6- and 1,9-liter four-cylinder engines from the Opel Ascona and Rekord. And it was equipped with a rigid rear axle ... Not really sporty. From 1972 there was even a version with the 1,2-liter engine from the Kadett, with an output of 44 kW (60 hp).

Reputational damage

The Mantas sold well, but from their third owner they often fell prey to the growing taste of the target group that helped the model to its poor reputation. According to the joke makers, these were low-skilled people with a preference for cowboy boots and blonde girlfriends with the largest breast size. * The power of the cult is evident in the fact that there were a lot of 'Manta Witze' jokes around. The idea was that the drivers were stupid Sjonnies and their friends blonde Anita's (often hairdressers). The jokes about the cars themselves were about the endless widenings, lowerings, spoilers, clean appearances. The stupidity of the drivers, about blondes ... You name it. And then they say that Germans have no humor.

Manta Witze

The shortest: "There is a Manta in front of a university building". The phenomenon of Manta riders carelessly putting an elbow out of the window was reinforced as:

“How do you see if a Manta rider has a Manta with an automatic gearbox? Then his left leg protrudes from the side window. ”

“Why are Mantas three meters high going to be built? Because then you can lower it even more. And Mantas only 90 cm wide? The rider can both put his elbows out of a window.

“How do you empty a disco in the Ruhr area at once? By shouting: The police are dragging a Manta outside! ”

"Why is there a bloody streak on the wall of a Manta garage? Because the rider forgets to pull his elbow in. "

Or in 'Originalton': “Ein Mantafahrer fährt über die Grenze. Der Grenzbeamte hält ihn an und fragt: "Haben Sie was so lost?" Der Mantafahrer vernes. Daraufhin Offnet der Zollbeamte den Kofferraum, sieht einen Pokal und fragt den Mantafahrer: "Und was ist das ?!" Der Mantafahrer antwortet: "Ah so, badger! Ich habe bei einem Mathematikwettbewerb taken. Die Aufgabe hieß 3 mal 7. Ich habe mit 19 den dritten Platz.

But where Manta's were once beautiful, well-behaved sporty cars, there were also people who taught them to run. And that made Manta's very serious rally and track cars.

Original and sporty

The Mantas as boy racers for the less fortunate have been recycled a few times now. But beautiful original Mantas? Those are sought-after classics. What about the powerhouses and Battle Mantas? They are as impressive as they are wanted. In Dirksland, at the Hesselink garage, a few of those machines are cherished just as much as they get old fashioned.

* Ein Mantafahrer sieht eine Blondine mit großem Busen. There is a view, see the Ausschnitt des Kleides nach vorne, schaut hinein und sagt: "Schöne Schuhe!"

Also interesting to read:
- The Opel B Manta
- Opel Rekord E2. Plush, no fuss with the better equipped Opel
- Opel Ascona A. Successful asset in the seventies middle class
- Opel Kadett GT / E. Rare and peppery coupe
- Elegant Opel Manta A

5 Comments

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  1. Manta Manta and Manta “der Film” are best enjoyed in all their Teutonic humor & charm from that time.
    I think the New Kids are at least terrible and why did those super asos have to be put in a Manta?
    Anyway, the sporty part now, with a well-prepared Manta you can still keep up in motorsport, and occasionally win something yourself, for example on the slaloms of team Wimedo. http://www.wimedo.nl .

    was signed, Kees van Rumpt - Convinced Dutchman & Manta fanatic!

  2. 60 hp from the brave Kadett engine to 103 hp from the 1900H engine that was only available in the SR versions. Of course, the Manta was an Ascona with a sporty carriage. That was smart, because the quality, finish and reliability were proverbial. And they were stunning.

    Then we have not heard or seen anything, and that is called Transeurop Engineering. That was a small Belgian company that spooned the Commodore's 2800cc six-cylinder into the Manta A, after a whole myriad of modifications to the body and suspension. Opel itself had of course also thought of this but for marketing reasons did not continue. After all, a Commodore Coupé would be sold less for every Manta 2800S. Ford equipped its Capri with six-cylinder, up to and including 3 liters.

    Sporty? No. Fun? Yes and beautiful too. With the Manta CC you got a handy third door so that the car became an all-rounder and that heavy rigid rear axle was then found fine by everyone: it tracked straight ahead and dribbled a bit on the cobblestones and cobblestones. If you knew that, you could live with it.

    • I want to ride a Transeurop like that again. There was once one at Jetten. But that was a long time ago. And I feel sorry for all modern drivers who are kept out of every danger zone with twenty + digital assistance systems

  3. Dolf when you talk about movie stars what do you think about: Electra Glide in blue from 73? That will be a hit right?

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