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Hi everyone,

I'm in Warminster, Wiltshire and have just renewed my membership for a second year having returned last year after approx. 14 years away. I originally joined when there were club meets in the New Forest and Weymouth area with Andy Murrell from Poole. I have a 1.9 'Luxus' A Series Manta, which I bought around 1985 and until 1997 I drove almost everyday. It sadly has been stuck in my garage since then as the renovation of our 200 year old cottage took over. Decided to try and get it back on the road and finish restoring it as I see from the club site it was 1 of only 400 produced - now I feel bad!! Having trouble at the moment trying to find someone to help with the bodywork repairs and respray, I have had 3 quotes so far ranging from £5,400 to £13,000 + vat and I have to supply the panels!!!!!! Is these right?? Doesn't include engine, trim etc!! I'll post some pictures soon.

Alan Biggs

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Simon P on here (the membership secretary) runs Suffolk County Mantas, another option to look at. I know he's got a fair waiting list (as I suspect Retro Power have too) but his work is top notch. Not sure about anyone closer to you though.

What colour is your Luxus, I currently only know of two others that definately survive, a Signal Red one up in Derbyshire, and a signal blue one that's recently appeared from the Isle of Man. I think there may also be a silver one around which was a special order, but I last saw that one about 6 years ago.

Edited by 1900SR
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I did try Retropower and they quoted £20,000 + vat for a full restoration!! I have just emailed Suffolk Mantas so will wait and see what he says. My Luxus is red and to hear they are few and far between is really sending me on a guilt trip!!

I only paid about £450 for it many moons ago and tried my best to keep it going over the years but nows the time to get serious - not £20000 worth though.

Sorry - email address for Dan would be very much appreciated - thanks

Alan

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Okay will do many thanks. I have just been sorting through my spares etc as I broke another very rusty Manta yonks ago. Can't believe what I found with some parts in duplicate. What's worrying is I don't remember where some of them came from! I will have to make a list and sell what I don't need - how many headlights and accelerator pedals do you really need?

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Well I am doing all the work myself, buying all the materials and to be honest I have given up counting as the numbers are scary

$20k from retro power is probably a realistic number (assuming they have seen the car) the cars that I have seen come out of there are stunning, you pay for what you get

I work in the construction game myself and funnily enough I do all the tender pricing and financial management of projects, I hear the "oh my god how much?" all the time and its better to have a realistic number than a low number and cost blow outs, believe me.

So I would take the $20k number from them and believe it, if anyone comes up with numbers much less then that its probably going to end in tears and you down 20 grand, if your not planning to do any of the work yourself.

Then again you could do half a job to meet the funding limitations, my experience of that is people end up spending a lot more in the long run when they start needing to rip it all out and start again, plenty of cowboys out there who will take your money, deliver it possibly on budget but never as good as you want or expect it to be and you end up with that sour taste in your mouth.

My project is a full strip down to bare metal and rebuild, rebuild engine and basically every nut, bolt, bush and washer and I reckon I will spend $20k on that and that's not even with any labour, business overheads.

Have a look at some of the full rebuilds done on here, then ask the owner how much he reckons he spent, that will be the ultimate sanity check on what your going to end up spending. Maybe you might be better offloading the whole car and idea before you start throwing money at it?

On a side note, how did the reno of the 200 year old cottage go budget wise?

Edited by opelmantagsi
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what we have estimated for is a typical, full nut and bolt restoration to return an 'as-new' car to the customer, based on a description and photos supplied by Alan. Anyone who has undertaken this type of project will understand that this is actually a fair estimate. What i want to avoid is the trap many fall into of starting the project thinking it'll be possible on a few thousand, only to spend that money and then have to abandon the project half way through, thus wasting the money spent thus far! Keep in mind that all estimation is based on our hourly rate of £25+VAT and I estimate parts based on cost price which can be sourced by the customer, or by us if you wish.

On a different note, I wish Alan all the best with his project - be great to see another 'A' on the road :)

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Just going back to the original question about whether the prices seem right, the critical thing to know is what extent of job you are getting. Of course, welding up some obvious rot and a respray of the exterior and engine bay would be a totally different entity to stripping the car to a bare metal shell, repairing all metal back to factory (no visible repairs) and painting the car from that state, ie. inside and outside all panels, bodyshell etc.

What you really have to decide is whether you are doing this as a long term investment, or just to get it on the road to enjoy the car once again. I can appreciate either approach (I'll certainly admit my own cars fall into the latter category!!). In my experience the mistake is to take the middle ground and try and do the project 'fairly' well, but not go the whole hog. My advice would be either just make it solid and shiney on the outside, and enjoy it, or jump in to the project with both feet and do the full restoration.

If you need any more advice, give me a shout, or as mentioned above, SImon Peckham or Drew Turner - both with proven work in the Manta world ;)

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OH DEAR!! I didn't mean to ruffle a few feathers! I full appreciate everything that has been said and fully understand what the end result will be and in no way question Retropower's standard of work and as they say, it will be better than a new car. I am self emplyed myself and know only too well how jobs turn out to be much more than the original enquiry. I have to be realistic in how much the car is really worth and should I decide to sell the car in the future, how much will somebody be prepared to pay for it? I also have the mother of all bank managers to convince - my wife!!

I have however, started to strip the car down and will probably leave it on it's wheels etc so that it can be moved and I have begun to give the car a thorough inspection around the bodywork to see exactly what needs doing, so far I have been pleasently surprised so fingers crossed!

Apologise if I have upset anyone! I was going to reply to Retropowers emailed quote about the costs and how I can help in reducing them - Alan

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Also forgot to say with regards to cottage, it cost £57,000 approx. 15yrs ago wev'e spent approx. £35,000 over these years on an extension giving extra bedroom plus new electrics and insulation, garage, garden, windows, kitchen, woodworm treament etc and it's approx. value now is £170-£175,000.

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I would suggest that if a full nut and bolt restor is prohibitive that addressing the visible work to get the car roadworthy (which can of course be done to the invisible standard if required) is a perfectly good way to get a car on the road and then address work as it appears probably on an every two to three year bases depending how good the rest of the car is.

Not every car has to be factory fresh. Most important thing is for them to still be around, in one piece and road worthy.

reality.jpg

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I would suggest that if a full nut and bolt restor is prohibitive that addressing the visible work to get the car roadworthy (which can of course be done to the invisible standard if required) is a perfectly good way to get a car on the road and then address work as it appears probably on an every two to three year bases depending how good the rest of the car is.

Not every car has to be factory fresh. Most important thing is for them to still be around, in one piece and road worthy.

reality.jpg

Agreed.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Now I'm smokin' EJO around this year, some (probably a very few) might have seen it at Billing before Noah floated past.

To be a "nice" car by my standards It needs two wings, arch repair, sills tidied and the inner wings welding properly. But the point is I'm enjoying it, people love to see them on the roads and it looks OK unless you get very close!

I'll probably do the work this winter. With the whole resto stuff you have to understand that unless you spend mega money you aren't going to have a new motor. I always settle for a reasonable comprimise (atthough I'l lucky that I can undertake a bit of work myself)

IMG_4922.jpg

Hopefully you wouldn't be too embarrased to ride it that if I turned up to give you a lift..?

Good luck with the car whatever you decide and please keep us updated.

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Okay will do many thanks. I have just been sorting through my spares etc as I broke another very rusty Manta yonks ago. Can't believe what I found with some parts in duplicate. What's worrying is I don't remember where some of them came from! I will have to make a list and sell what I don't need - how many headlights and accelerator pedals do you really need?

please if you are going to sell some of these headlights can you give me a call on 07882323360 and i'll prob buy them off you- if they will fit an A series- i have no spares and all of mine are fixed units so if you have any that have the option to swap the bulbs about that would be even better!

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Hi Ed - I have just had a look and I have only three headlights that are still in their housings, 2 full beam and 1 dipped with side light. Unfortunately 1 of the full beams lamps has rusting on the reflector inside. I'm not sure if they are the type you want but they do take the removable bulbs (the halogen type). I will give you a call to discuss further if you wish but it might have to be towards the end of the week as we are goind away for a few days. Hope this is OK? I will also take a pics and email if you want?

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