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'78 one owner Manta SRB Auto

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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.

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Blimey,,,, That is one absolutely brilliant little story.

The odds of things happening as told in that story of yours must be astronomical.

I'd buy a few lottery tickets if I were you, seems like you have the odds on your side at the mo.

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Guest

Thanks for the welcome guys. I have posted a couple of low quaity pics of the car but it's close to identical to the SRB manual for sale at the moment on the forum. It was supplied new to the owner with rostyles (although I think that Jones pinched the factory supplied ATS wheels for anther customer who wanted a later model) but I have now replaced these with ATS wheels that I had refurbished and shod with Firestone tyres. The car is a non-sunroof and the only rust is at the back of the passeger door (near the latch, not on the outer skin) and a bubble at the bottom of the n/s/f wing. Still beautiful and a pleasure to drive. I've now done just over 200 miles since the engine rebuild and want to do 4-500 before setting off for Le Mans on the 11th. The car will be in the 'Houx Annexe' campsite so if anyone reading fancies a chat please come over for a beer - or eight!!

post-44-1212320561.jpg

post-44-1212320609.jpg

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Welcome to the club, that's a nice looking car you've got there. it's interesting that you used to work at Jones of Chelmsford, as I've got a 2.0SRB hatch that was supplied by them. Unfortunately I didn't get any history with the car, although I belive the guy I got it from had quite a lot it didn't get passed on.

Mantahatch.jpg

Andy Jones the East Mids area rep also has a "Jones" Manta, and this one has only covered about 9000 miles!

DSCN0025.jpg

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This is a real trip down memory lane! JHK 3V was first registered to Jones as a demonstrator and guess who did the PDI on it?? ME!!! The car was used by a chap called John Youngs who was the service manager and I must confess to being really naughty one day and swapping the Varajet II carb with the one off my Cavalier 2.0GLS of the time. So if you look closely you might find your carb is older than your car!! And did you know that JHK 3V was featured by Classic Car Magazine a couple of years ago? I am sure that I have still got the article which covered the centre pages, let me know if you haven't seen it. And by the way, JHK 1V was an Opel Rekord and 2V was a blue Ascona!! I wonder if either is still around?

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It's fantastic that you remember JHK3V. I'm afraid that it's in very poor condition at the moment, but is stored in a garage awaiting the time I can get it back on the road. The car was owned for a while by Peter Simpson, who writes for Car Mechanics and Classic Car Weekly. He does a bit of trading and bought JHK from a dealer who'd taken it in px, and put it up for sale. It was featured in a chasing cars feature in Practical Classics. He then sold it via e-bay to a guy from the Grantham area. I'd put the opening bid on but had been outbid. A few months later the guy put the car up for sale again and I bought it for £170. The car was running very badly, and it was allegedly the carb at fault, so I managed to source a brand new varijet and fitted that. The running problems turned out to be the dissy cam seizing due to lack of lubrication. When I got the car the interior was one big ashtray, and every edge on the body had the paint taken off. It had a botched glassfibre repair to a rear arch, and a rotten front valance and wing. I ran it until the MOT ran out then put it in my mum's garage where it is now. I have collected a few parts for it ready for the day it re-emerges.

Just after i got it it was featured in a buying guide in Classic Car Weekly, I think they used stock photos from when Peter had it. You can see where it's been photoshopped on the valance if that's the article you've got.

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welcome dave

especially the one about swapping the carb

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Gud on yer Dave ,

Sounds like you've got a thouroughbred there . thru n thru ....

Betty.......

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Sorry to drag this old thread especially as its my first post, but does any of the guys with mantas bought from jones of chelmsford have a rear window sticker on their cars? Im looking to get one reproduced.

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No rear window sticker in JHK I'm afraid, but it does have the original dealer plates on it.

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I wasn't in the club in 2008 when this thread was written, what a great story. Wonder if the writer still has the car and is a member of the club? Anyone know?

I used to be part of a rally team in the late eighties that attracted some 'minimal' sponsorship from Jones of Chelmsford, and one of our team mechanics had previously worked there and was called Dave strangely! I wonder, could it be the same guy, unlikely. I lost touch with him about 20 years ago when he moved down to Portsmouth way.

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No rear window sticker in JHK I'm afraid, but it does have the original dealer plates on it.

cheers anyway, I have the dealer plates tax disc holder and headed receipt but just have no idea what the sticker should be like.

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Do you have any photos of the car? Sounds like the one I have in the garage, One owner '78 SRB Auto hatch in Silver ^_^

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I have two

79 srb auto hatch in gold very sound

81/82 srb man hatch in brown which i just bought but is is going up for sale soon

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81/82 srb man hatch in brown which i just bought but is is going up for sale soon

Is that the one in a dealer on ebay that sold really quickly? Post some more pics of that it looked like a nice car

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Hi yes it is, away to put it up for sale soon will take some pics today it will be on here first then ebay.

It looked a lot better in the pics and sellar not as honest as me, needs more work than i thought and have too many cars so has to go.

Up soon.

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On 16/05/2012 at 13:14, smiffy220 said:

I wasn't in the club in 2008 when this thread was written, what a great story. Wonder if the writer still has the car and is a member of the club? Anyone know?

 

I used to be part of a rally team in the late eighties that attracted some 'minimal' sponsorship from Jones of Chelmsford, and one of our team mechanics had previously worked there and was called Dave strangely! I wonder, could it be the same guy, unlikely. I lost touch with him about 20 years ago when he moved down to Portsmouth way.

Thread resurection after many years, I now own this car and is still pretty much in the same condition having still only covered 70k

silver b 4.jpg

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On 01/06/2008 at 15:33, 1900SR said:

 

 

 

 

DSCN0025.jpg

Just as an aside, are there any survivors in this colour? It was pretty rare back in the day and was only available in the runout year (X plate cars). Ditto Anthracite and a light metalic blue. 

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I had one in the same colour Carnelian red BGH 902X but that died in 1987 in a head on crash.

2 hours ago, Trooker said:

Looking great! I hope you got all the original paperwork too.

Yes all the paperwork came with the car, i bought it from the original poster of the thread he owned it until this year.

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2 hours ago, Monaco Blue said:

Just as an aside, are there any survivors in this colour? It was pretty rare back in the day and was only available in the runout year (X plate cars). Ditto Anthracite and a light metalic blue. 

As far as I know BHJ is still about, although in Ireland.

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