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Hi to all Manta lovers!

I have recently been given the opportunity to purchase a restoration project from one of my acquaintance.

It is a GT/E coupe from early eighties (83 I believe), 2 litre injection with a manual gearbox and sunroof. The car as belonged to one very careful lady owner from new and was very well looked after until I was put to rest in 2000 in the family garage. Until then the car was used daily and covered around 170k miles. Sadly though, 20 years of daily use, followed by a 10-year storage in a very damped garage has had some serious impact on the overall condition of the car, more specifically the body.

I must admit that I never really considered owning a Manta until I saw the car earlier this week, and consequently my knowledge in those cars is very limited. I was therefore hoping that posting on this forum would answer the few questions/doubts that I have before making a serious offer on the car.

A good inspection on the car revealed the following:

Bad points:

  • one rotten sill (outer sill, below the side skirt)
  • two rotten rear wings (at the bottom, behind the wheel) 
  • bubbling/surface rust on all wheel arches
  • Rotten front and rear valances
  • the two front inner wings have also started to go, but look still repairable
  • Some bubbling on the front nose cone (at the weld seams with the front wings)
  • rotten OS headlight mounting plate
  • Potential problem with the differential (I was told it was quite noisy before the car was stored)
  • One headlight (single type) would need replacing
  • Brakes will need complete overall
Good points:

  • Sunroof totally free of rust
  • Interior is very clean, and front Recaro seats are showing very little wear
  • no cracks on the dash
  • Headliner is very good
  • Engine was rebuild a few months before the car was put to rest
  • Good bonnet and boot lid
  • Beside the rusted area, the paint is still looking very good although I do believe that the car was partially resprayed at some point in its life.
  • Foot wells look solid
  • Bulk head is rust free
  • No rust around the front/rear screen
  • All body panels are perfectly straight, apart from the a small ding behind one of the doors
  • The front wings are solid despite the little bubbling on the wheelarches (the two wings were replaced at some point)

I would like to know whether all body panels are readily available and if Manta parts do tend to be expensive. In the case of the rear wings for instance, would I be able to find repair sections or am I looking at replacing the entire rear quarter panels?

Are there any reputable Manta part suppliers out there?

Is the rear differential easy/cheap to refurb? I'm guessing that the noise would have been generated by a worn bearing. Are those indeed likely to go,  or could we be looking at something more serious?

During the inspection, I was unable to unlock the boot so I am unaware of the condition inside. Are boot floor/spare wheel well very sensitive areas on Mantas?

I was also unable to have a good look under the car beyond the sills as the tyres were flat, reducing the ground clearance to the minimum. Apart from the sills, are there any critical area under there that I should be aware of? 

The mileage on this car seems high, despite the fact that the car was serviced regularly and the engine replaced towards the end. Consequently I'm suspecting that the suspensions might need attention. Are those readily available?

Finally, could someone advise on a good buying/ownership guide for Mantas beside the traditional Haynes repair manual?

Many thanks,


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hi and welcome nick

some repair panels http://bap.dominohosting.biz/members/bap/bapdb01.nsf/$$ViewTemplate%20for%20MakeModel!OpenForm&RestrictToCategory=OPEL%20MANTA%20B%20%281975-1988%29

you will be have lucky for the other ones esp rear quaters not cheap and rare you could try here this is in germany though seems he is on holiday http://www.dr-manta.de/eng.htm

as for diff put a wanted add up in this forum and have a look on ebay

the boot floor does rot as do the chassis legs and jacking points all the underside really could do with a prod with a screwdriver.. sure if you post some pictures off you car up

you will get some good advice from the welding nutters on this forum :thumbup

Edited by garymanc
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Hello and welcome. Yes the rear quarters would be hard to source unless it is just the arches, for which there is repair section available. There are sills available through the club which are advertised in the club magazine which you'd get in a membership pack, you'd also get access to the technical questions part of the forum. Other than the haynes manual this site is likely to be the only other option for repair instruction.

You should list many of the bits you need in 'parts wanted' (in the classifieds section) as many of us horde some spare parts and even have spares cars so you'd be able to get things like a headlamp very cheaply. There's the possibility of a spare rear axle too, with that, have you checked the oil level in the diff? Many a noisy diff goes for repair only to find there's a teaspoon of oil left in it hence all the trouble.

If you haven't already, take the wings off the car to get a good view of the inner wings, and with either side jacked up, check the chassis rail 'swan necks' which are the curved inner rails where they past the bulkhead and footwell area. Also the jacking points themselves tend to be a weak point on sunroof models due to the run off. By the sounds of things, if you want a half decent manta by the end of it, yours'll be nothing short of a full strip down and rebuild, which although a longer process and more expensive, can actually be easier than messing around trying to patch over things to 'just' MOT standard.

Anyway, I hope it goes well, Rick.

Edited by Rick-Manta
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hi Nick and welcome to the world of all things Manta, i have attached the link to my b series project as its very current with some good photos of the weaker areas of the car, the thread is well replied to by many of the "welding nutters"...(that must include me i suppose but i am no guru) so will give you some idea who can advice you.

Where are you located??

best of luck

kev ( aka upk)


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Rear quarters could be repaired and an RMJ skirt or similar could be fitted which would hide any repair that didn't look perfect. Much cheaper than sourcing rear quarters. This is what a hatch with the RMJ skirt looks like to give an idea.


Lol, i recognise most of those cars! hehe

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