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1800 Berlinetta Hatch


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I've had a lovely Saturday afternoon out picking up the next project, a very original 1800 Berlinetta hatchback in anthracite. It was on ebay a couple of weeks ago and thanks to the advent of 4G internet in Swansea I was able to win it while still in the pub.

First impressions are good, she's actually in better shape than I was expecting. The previous owner bought the car ten days before I was born in '87, I'm only the 3rd owner. A reasonably comprehensive resto was done in the early '00s, including new front wings, full sills and a respray. Sadly about ten years ago the fuel tank spring a leak and that was that. Lucky for me I just happen to have a spare tank lying around :D

The chassis rails, jacking points, rear arches and sills are all excellent. I haven't had a proper poke around yet but I can't see much that would prevent it from getting an MOT. Just needs a full service and some filler in the nose cone for now then I'll get her running and off for an MOT. Who knows, I may even make it to Billing in a Manta this year!


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Do i spot a red interior? i think it was called teracota, can't be many Manta's left with this interior.




I may even make it to Billing in a Manta this year!


 YES !!! i'd like to see this Manta there,



advent of 4G internet in Swansea I was able to win it while still in the pub.


 With your previous record around alcoholic refreshment is this a good thing??? i can envisage you winning several things you won't have a clue about next morning !!!

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There were some red interior parts going on eBay and I don't think they sold. Item numbers 111633327425/111636017933/111633329260.

Perhaps you could send the seller an email to see if he still has them for sale.

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Had a little poke around this evening. She now has a new set of plugs, leads, dissy cap and rotor arm and I'm just waiting for a battery to charge so I can have a go at firing her up tomorrow.

One very pleasant discovery is that the battery tray and washer bottle tray have never been touched and don't need any work at all. In fact I'm yet to find any structural rot whatsoever. Result!

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Had a little poke around this evening.


 I have no wish to know that !!!


 Got it running, Great !! more than just a hope of it making the great Plains of Billing, plenty of space in a hatch, it will only take three return trips to get all your beer to Billing !!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Step four - by the time you come back the following day feeling well rested and ready for more, you should find that everything's turned a rather fetching shade of purple.



Wash it off, then move to step five.

Step five - gob the whole ugly lot full of P40 fibre glass filler. If you've got really big gaps to bridge like I did, shove a bit of cardboard behind to stop it falling through. Wait for it to set then go at it with a sander.






Step six - chuck some standard P38 filler on. Quick, before it rains.



Step seven - okay, it's raining now. Go indoors and eat some curry instead.

Stay tuned for more from Dodgy Bob's Bodyshop :D

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 some of the rust eaters are quite good, if you just want a quick fix for now it should be ok for a while, nice to see your making progress keep adding photos, looks a nice car, i had a manta gte coupe in this colour, i loved it wish i never sold it.


 have you got the paint sorted, if not i totally recommend this 2k paint if aerosol painting,

if you give them a call (mda bi tec) they are one of the biggest car body paint suppliers in the mids.

give them your cars paint code they will mix you some met paint to with a perfect match. 


also they sell a great filler primer, but only use one coat.





Edited by droop snoot hp firenza
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It's a bodge yeah but if someone wants to go all concours with it in the future they can always whip the cone off and fit another so you aren't really ruining it anyway.

Alternatively it could have stayed in a field or, worse still, someone could have pulled the engine for the sump.

Good on you for rescuing it Rob, by your standards this is a minter and it will be great to see you in a Manta at Billing. Not many about, unloved and well worth saving. Looks like a nice car

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I agree with james, good on you for getting it back on the road, else I would imagine it would just have been another breaker if left longer.

Just reminds me of the many novas ivw had slapping the fibreglass paste and bog on to tart it up and just drive em, I was quite proud of my efforts back then

Edited by Paul Barrett
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Well done there Rob, made me chuckle! Brings back memories back in the day when some repairers did that sort of repair every time, and couldn't understand when the customer came back a month later moaning about the rust bubbling back through. 


Good to see you in your own manta at billing

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Thanks for the kind words guys! My thoughts have been echoed almost exactly, it's not a permanent concours job but it'll look a lot better than before and it'll get another one back on the road. I'm responsible for the deaths of a few 1800 hatches over the years, need to get me some good Manta karma back by saving one at least! And of course it'd be nice to have a Manta on Puddleduck for the first time this year.

Had it running for a good long while this afternoon, all seems much sweeter than I was expecting given the time it's been off the road. The tank has been repaired, a breather pipe had snapped off many years ago so I've had it blanked for now, plenty of others left to use. Just need to get the tank back in, probably replace a few fuel pipes, finish the nose cone, check over the brakes and get it in for a test. Watch this space!

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