The little things we forget over time. Like the fact that the Manta was sold here as the Opel Rallye in its first year (1972). Why? Beats me.
There was the Manta. The Manta Rallye. And the Manta Luxus. I liked the Luxus most of all with its more comfortable interior.
Yes, starting in 1973. In 1972, it was called the 1900 Rallye.
The gorgeous but fragile in the sun Manta Luxus corduroy interior (1973 & 1974 in the USA) was quite upscale for the time period and car price.
Much better looking than the usual Opel vinyl interior in these cars.
Pity the devaluation of the dollar made the Manta Luxus rise up so much in price.
The front seat backs were wafer thin–so different from our Buicks. And they reclined. I wanted one badly when I was too young to drive.
Once Again Paul and I agree on a car.
My 72 junkyard unit was a 1900. Confusing, as a neighbor had a 1973 badged as a Manta.
The ad doesn’t show a regular Manta – it shows a Manta with rally-style black bonnet and extra lights, so in ’72 they weren’t selling the basic Manta.
I never associated the Manta A with any rally prowess – the Manta B was a different story.
If I was 15 years older, this would probably have been my first new car. Fun to drive, good quality, not expensive, good-looking….I could go on.
I have a big soft spot for these. A 1974 Manta was my first car back in 1982-3. My brother also had one, but it didn’t have the big bumpers so it must have been a 72 or 73. I guess? They were a revelation after the family LeSabre and Pinto.
We did all of the usual things to them: Weber carb, Ansa exhaust, etc. There was a catalog from a place called C&R Small Cars that we used to order from.
I could never figure out why my brother’s car had more zip than mine… only much later did I realize that my ‘74 must have had power-sucking emissions equipment that his didn’t have.
It’s possible there was a trademark issue with the Manta name that wasn’t sorted out until the following year. Wouldn’t be the first or last time that happened. (Beretta, Futura, Mirage come to mind).
I think this is all random speculation, frankly.
In fact, on my computer, it has to be, as no ad is showing up! Anyone else have this problem?
All I remember about mine was the location of the battery box. In the back of the engine bay, but directly over the fuse box, located under the dash next to my feet.
Corrosion was abundant.
….and while my Rallye was anemic in the power department, the gearbox was bullet proof.
The one I had for not quite a year was a Rallye, unfortunately with the B-W automatic. Winter (in Tennessee) began in earnest about two weeks after I’d bought the thing, and said automatic would kinda freeze up and refuse to downshift or go into neutral when I stopped, thus stalling the engine. The car was also all but unmanageable on glare ice. I eventually sold it to my brother, who lived on a farm up near the KY border; as his two previous cars had been AMC Gremlins he was used to incompetent handling on ice, and managed to avoid putting it into any ditches.
I love the way they look, although the first one I knew personally was a Luxus, owned by a woman I’d worked with in California. I thought the blue corduroy upholstery was as perfect and elegant as it could be, and have not changed my mind in the 40+ years since.
Had the later “Rallye”version with the big bumpers. Bought it at about 7 years old for cheap. Probably the best all-around car I ever had even though it always had to live on the street. Only real problem was rust – that’s what killed it. No converter. I remember being among the last to be able to use cheaper leaded fuel. Regular Bosch ignition. Had some spares that I bought from J.C. Whitney for my ’70 Volvo 142 that had been wrecked and was even able to use the plugs that were only one heat range hotter than spec. Perfect for my grocery-getter. Other parts were sometimes an issue. Improvised. Couldn’t do that today. My lady friend liked the sporty looks.
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