Jump to content

1975 Manta S Coupe Project


Recommended Posts

Following on from Mr Virco's request for someone to take his early B project - a request I literally jumped at - here's the start of the long process of getting it back to new again.


From a quick poke around I've found rot in one rear quarter, top of the A-posts, front footwells, bottom of both front wings, NS door bottom, battery and washer bottle trays and both swan necks. The sills and arches are both solid. Because its such an early car it deserves to be done properly so the plan is this......


Get it running - at least I know it will go and it'll make it easier to get from my place to my old mans workshop (on trade plates!) Ian has made a start on it but I'll replace all the consumables and get it sorted before the next step...


The interior is coming out and a good mate will retrim it in the correct houndstooth cloth. Spiney_norman has some early low-back seats to replace the Recaros in it at the moment. The door cards and parcel shelf have been cut but my trimmer mate will be able to remake both - luckily they're just cardboard and vinyl! I've got a correct GM radio which will replace the period and very cool looking Alpine 4-speaker job. The sunroof turns out to be a genuine GM accessory so my initial plans to reskin the roof have changed.


As you all know, the bodywork is the time consuming part and rather than cheating and using the as-new shell I have stored away I'm going to repair the original panels instead. The only thing that worries me is that its had a respray at some point so it could have some nasties under the Brilliant orange. A quick go over with a magnet suggests not but you never know! I'll start this once the interior is away being finished. It'll need to go down to bare shell and once welded I'm gonna paint it myself. I haven't painted a car all over for about 7 years so I'm quite looking forward to it  :) All the things I learned on UTH (the correct level of gloss on the lower front panel, where to use seam sealer etc) will hopefully be put to good use on this 'un!


The engine, box and axle will both be stripped and given a freshen up as they've covered over 100k. I'm going to resist the temptations I had on UTH when I stuck on a new Weber, 5 speed box, leccy ignition and all the things that would make life easier for me. It'll be exactly as it left the factory, to give as authentic a driving experience as possible. All mechanicals will be new - doing what I do for a living makes this process a lot easier and means there's no excuse!


The finishing touches like new bumpers and original Rostyles, correct early door mirror (thanks again to Norm) are in hand. I'd like to say it'll be done by Billing 2015 but anyone who knows me knows my penchant for breaking deadlines so I'm not setting one! If you'd like me to get it finished, working parties are welcome!


Pics will follow soon - its chucking it down here so I don't want to get the car wet by dragging its cover off..........


  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Interesting about the Sunroof, the car was briefly own Len kiff, avid Renault restorer and one time owner of the lime green B that went to Robbie Stinson.


 He aquired the Orange B from a distant relative who emergrated to Spain for several years and took this Manta with him, it was during its stay there it aquired the sunroof due to it being so 'damn hot out there!' this i believe to be during the eighties,


 so it is possible that this was an Opel dealer fitted sunroof upto ten years after it was made, so if you wanted to make this Manta 'factory fresh' then it may need to have the sunroof deleated but then if it is a genuine GM item and part of the cars history it could stay.


 As for getting the engine running, i did the usual checks but it refused to fire up, i suspected the carb had become clogged / seazed, if you have a know good carb try it, might fire up without further work.


 The paint is an issue, i am certain that it has not undergone a colour change yet the paint code doesn't match up, i believe the Orange was called signal red ( confusingly ) and this is paint code L529, the original VIN plate has the code L509, don't know what colour this is.


 Also the rear panel is painted black like a Cavalier, someone has given this a respray but when the boot rubber is lifted i am sure there is a trace of GM Satin black like the front intake area, this could be what GM intended the Manta to have, the body panels have swage lines in the right place, perhaps the stylist or bean counters had it left body colour, maybe because the Manta has a high level number plate so the black is hardly visable and deemed not worth the effort / expense, if it is original, which is possible because the finer points of the design had not been settled when this Manta was made, then it would make an interesting variation from the standard Manta colour finnish.

Edited by MANTAMAN
Link to comment
Share on other sites

L509 comes up on my mixing system (another perk of the business!) as brilliant orange, also known as signal or bright orange depending on the country. My system is European so I don't know what it was officially called here but it's definitely the right colour! It should be a lot brighter than it is now though. It's obviously faded badly in the Spanish sun.

As for the sunroof what you say does make sense, Ian. The GM logo on it is a later type but hey ho - it makes for a nice, airy cabin so it'll stay!

The car is at mine in Glanamman so if you're passing, call me first and I'll pop home Julian!

Glad this ones getting a bit of interest anyway. Hopefully I'll do it justice!

I'll let you know if I decide to sell Dave, don't worry 😉

Edited by entwistlecymru
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an old Ascona Brochure in my collection and there is a picture of an opel dealer with a p reg mants parked up outside.

I cannot identify the trim level but I am sure the rear panel is painted black. Maybe certain models did have a black infill (if so someone could verify with an early Mant brochure) or perhaps it was done on pre launch or very early cars and then deleted on grounds of cost? Decontenting was used back then too!

Anyway, the black infill made a welcome return on the 1981 GT/J!

Edited by stradacab
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The sunroof isn't a surprise, most of europe in the 70's upto mid 80's didn't have many cars with an aircon option, so most car dealerships did have an 'authorised' sunroof manufacturer. If it was in the brochure or not, you didn't have to order it for the car new.


Sounds like a challenging project with the awkward corner and hard to reach areas for welding, I'm sure it'll look stunning when finished.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First registration spring 1978, so it is possible it was build earlyer.

My GSI has got first registration 1988 and was build november '87.

@Neil: Nice info those brochures.

About my first Manta: I bought it second hand from the first owner, a 70 year old retired painter.

It is not only the rubbing strips that was different, I had the SR dashboard but the Berlinetta steering wheel.

Maybe a personal option of the first owner?

Later I repainted the car with a GSI-body kit, 2.0Engine with Webers and 5-speed box.

Must have somewhere pictures...

Edited by H-400
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Interior is out at the trimmers but he ain't gonna rush it as we've yet to find the right type of houndstooth fabric. Apart from that nothing! I have a mk2 Carlton saloon to MOT and a poorly mk2 Carlton estate to sort out. Both will be done by Easter so I can get this one indoors and get started properly

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...