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Manta 400 "adz 4575"

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Hi all! just seen this car on flickr, unfortunately I havnt been blessed with seeing it in action :(.


I know that ADZ was used by GM for the works cars and that Gerry Michaels(the jammy git!!!) owns ADZ 31 and ADZ 4330 (Heat for Hire Cars).


Also a friend of ours, Paul Kynaston in Exeter owns WIA 9855 (also in Heat for Hire colours) aswell as an Ascona 400.

photos can be found at http://www.historicm...allyday2010.php he also has a few remanufactured Manta 400 bits including a 'works spec' manta 400 crank shaft @ £2200 ex VAT :blink:

I wondered if anyone could enliten me on the history of this particualr car?

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  • 1 year later...

Hi, I bought this car in the mid 90's from a guy in Linlithgow. The car was built for a private customer at the tale end of the eighties and was built by Gerry Johnstone. The shell was built by Safety Devices as a phase 3 long link forest shell but with the roll cage as used in the light weight tarmac car. I spoke to Tony Fall years ago who confirmed the shell spec and the original 400 kit was 'works spec' with the removeable nose. The car came from Jerry Johnstone with phase 3 axles but was powered with a 190bhp 2.3 single cam slant four vauxhall lump running twin 48's with a BMW 5 speed Getrag gearbox, dogleg first with direct top. It had steel doors with metal frames, perspex windows with sliders and full deep tint perspex window kit.

When bought the car had been lying outside under a tree for a couple of years and was pretty rough but did run and drive, it was white with blue and red(similair to heat for hire stripes) along the bottom, My mate and I stripped the car did some welding to the shell, the shell was sand blasted and primed before being partially painted in red with the intention of being painted AC Delco colours. The correct gauge of tube was sourced and the extra diagonal was added to the cage along with a tube between the rear wheel arches for the attachment of harnesses.

Various parts were sourced while I owned it and when I sold it about 2003ish there was an ex Sidney Meeke ascona axle,brakes,9x15 split rim speedlines,8x15 splitrim cross spokes and 8 Ronals, 6inch, 7inch and 10inch wide.

The prep on the car was stunning even if the shell was pretty tired by that time, all the original prep was Tig welding including the double skinned underside with the shell being forrest spec. The front suspension was solid mounted on machined billett aluminium blocks with rose jointed Bilstein shocks with750lb intermediate springs and 1000lb tarmac springs. The rear axle was five linked, straight link set up with panhgard rod, everything was rose jointed including the shocks apart from the long bush attaching the bottom arms to the axle, the bottom arms and front wishbones were fully reinforced to make them into hollow section rather than pressed items like standard.The rear springs were 280lb progressives and there were 2 diffs, one was a 5.1 :1 plate type ZF slipper and a 4.7:1 power lock.

I sold the car to Billy Gower as a bare shell, Billy built up to a rolling shell and it was then sold on to Ian Adamson who completed the car and used it on the McRae Stages about 2005 in an all red livery. An accident forced retirement, the car was laid up before being sold to Alistair Cunningham who rebuilt it to the amzing standard it's now in.

I don't have a lot of photos left, most of them are of the car stripped, but I will try and post them if anyone's interested. Rab Crow will remember the car from my time in the club back then.



P.S Found that this one has just been sold by Jason Lepley Motorsport, pictures of the car can be found on his website.

Edited by stevie@millsport
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  • 4 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Hi Chris glad you like. The car is just about turning a wheel again and will definitely be out for the RAC historic championship next year starting with red kite on February 2. Although the car isn't full historic this championship caters for semi specs. The car should be competitive against the escorts just hope the driver is up to the task too. It's undergone a full rebuild with a 230hp motor (redtop) via a 4 speed ford to ford atlas -still looks like an opel though!

A few guys on here have been helping me (especially Robah) and he's hoping to join me on events too, between us we will keep the club up to speed with activities and event reports.

Regards. Simon

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To add Jon Ballinger is out in his car next year and we have a test planned late jan to shake both cars down. Be interesting to see how our conventional set up compares with his de dion axle set up ( diff mounted to floor) while axle tube floats up n down

Try and get some pics up as and when

Cheers Simon

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sounds great! Jon entering RACC is he? be good to see some mantas in the forests again!! I've heard Geraint Mills may be out in his next year- do you know if Adrian Allen is planning on a comeback?

also- might be worth contacting Paul Kynaston for spares etc.

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Hi Chappers Jon is talking about it but he likes BTRDA too I hope to persuade him. Don't know about Geraint he's busy at work apparently. Adrian's car has been broken for spares so again unsure

Either way there is defo one manta out. I'm itching! Wil u make the southern rounds? The mid wales is such a spectacle and not to be missed especially as it's a round of BHRC as we'll.

If you are about make sure you come and say hello

I'm in contact with Paul and hopefully he has some bits for my spares

Cheers Simon

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Hope to get to a few- dependant on when I find a new car currently don't have one! Hoping to get to a few welsh rounds hopefully red kite possibly mid wales- spectator stages were a bit lame last year wasn't gunna drive over just for 2 stages!

hoping to be at : Red Kite and or Wydean, Mid Wales, Somerset, maybe Neath? Would be good to see pics ;)

you know if Paul is back out for BHRC or RACC in Ascona or Tiger? haven't seen him in a while

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