Guest Posted June 1, 2008 Share Posted June 1, 2008 Hi all, just thought that at the risk of boring you all to death I would tell you a little story about my Manta B and how and why I have just joined the OMOC. I served a light vehicle technician apprenticeship at Jones of Chelmsford (which was an Opel Main Dealer) from ’79 til ’83 and throughout the eighties had numerous Mantas, Cavs and Monzas. When children started to appear, more ‘sensible’ cars were needed and that was the end of my Manta days – or so I thought. I ended up working in Canada until made redundant in 2001. Back in good ol’ Blighty I decided to go back to my routes as a mechanic / auto electrician and stuck a load of ads in newsagents windows to generate some business. An American guy phoned me that lived in the UK for three months of the year – summer of course – and in Florida for the other nine months. He had brought a Lincoln Towncar back with him and needed the lights sorted so it would pass a UK MOT which I did. He went on his way but two years later he was back with another Lincoln Towncar for me to rewire. This is where it gets interesting! We were now friends and during the course of our conversations it emerged that Bob’s wife Wilma owned an Opel Manta. This Manta had been bought new by her in 1978 from Jones of Chelmsford, three months before I joined the company. My eyes lit up like lightbulbs at this revelation and when I got to see the Manta the next year things got even better. The service book was still in its little holder on the passenger side kick panel and in it were all the names of the mechanics that I had worked with some 26 years earlier. And in March 1980 I had serviced the car myself! The car was in totally original condition, never welded and three, yes three, layers of mats on the beautiful blue carpets. I told Bob that I had to have that car and whenever they wanted to sell it they must let me know. They could name their price. Two years later (2006) they decided that they should consider getting a car with power steering and last year when they came over I found them a Ford Focus automatic – and I took possession of a one-owner, 68000 mile Opel Manta 2.0SR Berlinetta Auto (that has never seen a British winter) on 4th Sptember 2007. It came complete with every old MOT certificate, 27 in total and masses of paperwork including the original purchase invoice from Jones Of Chelmsford. And then I found another little gem – in the eighties my wife was assistant manager at a tyre exhaust and MOT centre in Witham, Essex, and at the same time Bob and Wilma lived (in the summer) in Witham. Amongst the paperwork there are handwritten receipts for MOT’s and exhausts written by my wife! I also have about six sets of keys, all manuals, original brochures and a log book showing ‘none’ in the previous owners section! Anyway, I have now rebuilt the engine of HVX 598T as the compression in cylinder #3 was non-existent and the car is going to Le Mans on 11th June. The driver will have a permanent grin on his face!! Thanks for all the tech help that I have received since joining and I hope I haven’t bored you all to death! Cheers, Dave. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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