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1977 25k SR Berlinetta coupe


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I've just become the 2nd proud owner of a 25,000 mile Manta. I went to see it for the second time last night, got it up on the ramps and after much chin rubbing made the seller an offer he promptly accepted!

I was told about it on Tuesday after a mate of mine said he'd heard about it through the grapevine. The bloke who'd told him about it wanted it for rallying, and I couldn't let that happen could I?!

The car was bought new in 1977 by a local doctor as a retirement present for his wife. She decided the steering was too heavy so in 1981 he took it over in his name using it occasionally and always putting it back in his garage. In 1992 he laid it up when he bought something with power steering. 5 years ago he decided to pull it out of the garage and get it through an MOT. He replaced all of the brakes and shocks but fell ill just after the test. He's now decided to sell the car as he's in his 80s and won't ever drive it again.

Anyone with any common sense knows 70s cars rust. Well not this one! Up on the ramp last night I went over all the rot spots with a fine toothed comb and couldn't find a mark underneath, the only fault on the whole car being the dull paintwork. The engine starts on the button (though its due its second service!), the gearbox slurs away merrily, the interior is spotless, there's never even been a radio fitted!

I'm collecting the car tonight and it's booked in for an MOT on Monday

Pics to follow!

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Seeing as its been such a miserable weekend I didn't get a chance to take many pics - I took it straight from the sellers place and into my nice, dry garage. The drive home was brilliant! It drives as new with lovely, light, positive steering, surprisingly sharp brakes and an amazingly smooth autobox. All the lights work despite not being used for 16 years and even the headlamp wash/wipe does its job properly

In the cold light of day the paintwork on one side is pretty crappy but its booked in for a proper full respray at the start of December. The engine bay was covered in wax which means the paintwork is mint, as is all the wiring, heater insulation and even the washer bottle which is still gleaming white plastic underneath!



The interior is lovely apart from one fag burn in the carpet, just under the front passenger seat. It's never had a radio fitted, just a cubby hole instead.

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The mudflaps are off to be replaced with a full set of 4 proper Opel embossed ones. The chrome wheel trims and wheel nuts will be off to Coventry for rechroming once the last show in November is done

Here's a half tidy engine bay:


And some of the glorious red interior





Some potential but non-existent rot spots:




I'll take more gloating underbody pics when I can get it on a ramp

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Yeah the car is pretty sweet. It's nice to buy a car and not need to do any welding on it! I've got a winter of serious detailing ahead of me though - all engine bolts will be replaced with S/S, the air cleaner and cam cover will be repainted, wheel trims, nuts and bumpers rechromed, wheels repainted, trim polished etc etc. Oh and once that's all done I'll be going mad with the rust proofer!

I'm taking the mudflaps off my Rekord van but eBay has turned up some GM items for not a lot of money.

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  • 2 months later...

Time for an update!

I've had the underneath stonechipped and 2-packed white.

Sorted an electronic ignition conversion thanks to Paulmanta

New Weber ready to go on

Auto will be junked in favour of a much nicer Getrag 5 speed

Bumpers and wheel trim rings off being rechromed (costing me more than the car!)

Booked in for a full respray in 2 weeks

5l of Bilt Hamber Dynax waiting to be pumped into every nook and cranny!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Since the last little update things have moved on. I've replaced all the brake lines in cupro-nickel and fitted Goodridge hoses too. Up front it now has Carlton vented discs and Brembo twin pots which look identical to the standard twin pots through the slots in the wheels. The only downside is that I've had to fit 15mm wheel spacers all round but it's ended up looking better for it, filling the arches a bit more.

I've also had the rear axle off, stripped and painted it in gloss black and touched in bits on the shell where the 2 pack didn't get. It looks bloody great underneath now. The only thing I've got left to paint under there is the front wishbones, which I'll do once the car is home and the brakes are bled properly

It's in the bodyshop at last and the lads who are doing it are doing a bloody fine job. We've had the paint (PPG Deltron at 97 smackers a litre :mellow: ), Du Pont LE primer (at £50 odd a litre :blink: ) and are now waiting for some PPG Koba filler primer to arrive. I haven't had the bill for that yet though :(:blink::o Here's how it looks at the moment


I've also had the bill for the chrome plating which nearly made me vomit but mercifully that's the last big bill to pay out. It's just little bits like refurbishing the wheels and repainting the rocker cover, air filter housing etc. I've also bought some new genuine mudflaps (though the jury's out on whether to fit them), an original tool kit, genuine carpet over mats and thanks to Stradacab a new front fog lamp fitting kit. I'm waiting to find a correct pair of lamps before I fit that though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

More pics from the prep work. All those patches are dents, creases and chips :o




The car is now white all over and looking fapping fantastic! The guys I gave the car to have really put a lot of effort in and come highly recommended. More pics:


That's just in primer. They've mixed lacquer in to give a shine to make finding blemishes easier.


Flatted down and ready for paint





You can't really see in this pic but the lines and finish are nigh-on perfect. after seeing the amount of pin dents and creases that were hidden by the trim I didn't think it would be as good as they've got it.


I'll be dragging it home this weekend and re-fitting all the trim and running gear before taking it to get tuned up (because of all the new bits on the engine) and then back to refit the interior. Fun fun fun!

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