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Lapsed Manta owner looking at buying one as a "useable classic"


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Hi everyone this is my first post to introduce myself and ask a question.  I used to own a Manta in my youth and used to rally it on occasions.  I'm looking around at Mantas for sale and want a "useable classic".  i.e. a second car that I can use for the odd local journey 2 or 3 times a week in my local area when the main family car is in use.   I would also go to the odd classic car show.  Having fond memories of my old Manta I would really like one again but it would need to be a practical car.   Am I being too ambitious buying a car that old and wanting to use it in this way ?  Do any of you use your cars as a daily drive ?

EDIT : I'm looking at something from the 80s, a B Series

cheers

Paul

Edited by Beeblebrox
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I don't know what age of Manta you are thinking of, for the usage you're talking about you could use any of them I'd say, but the B2 cars would be better at it. I think it would be a case of keeping on top of the metalwork condition, especially if you're going to use it in winter when the salt is about. I do sometimes use my Manta A for trips to the supermarket or into town, but I tend to keep it safe in the garage if there's salt about. About 12 years or so ago we had a GT/E hatch that was used pretty much as a spare car, we were living in the sticks and if anything happened to a daily one of use would use the Manta for commuting or whatever.

 

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9 minutes ago, 1900SR said:

I don't know what age of Manta you are thinking of, for the usage you're talking about you could use any of them I'd say, but the B2 cars would be better at it. I think it would be a case of keeping on top of the metalwork condition, especially if you're going to use it in winter when the salt is about. I do sometimes use my Manta A for trips to the supermarket or into town, but I tend to keep it safe in the garage if there's salt about. About 12 years or so ago we had a GT/E hatch that was used pretty much as a spare car, we were living in the sticks and if anything happened to a daily one of use would use the Manta for commuting or whatever.

 

Thanks, yes I'm looking at a B2 car, something from the 80s.  I can imagine that rust is something to keep on top of !

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Welcome Beeblebrox,

I use my Manta b GT/E as much as possible in the spring/summer months. I’m averaging approximately 3000mls per year with it. I’ve been on longer journeys with it roughly 250 miles which amounts to a 4 hour journey, 500 mile round trip with no issues at all, that was last year’s big journey. This week I’m away to drive up to Orkney and take in the vintage rally there including a ferry crossing at Gills bay, that’s again roughly 220mls up the road. The Manta cruses nicely on the roads, sits easy at 60-70mph and keeps up with modern traffic. I do miss cruise control and air conditioning but when you’re driving a Manta you soon forgot about that and just enjoy the car for what it is. If it’s a daily driver you would definitely need to keep on top of servicing and maintenance, stock brake set up is a lot different from modern cars possibly requiring a different driving style and more stopping distance. To be honest even from new I don’t think they were the best at keeping rain out and soaking carpets so I do try and only drive in dry day’s, security when parked I think would be another concern, but yes I think a well look after Manta re maintenance could easily make a daily driver. 👍

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There is a red hatch on Ebay at the moment which looks reasonable, you would need to take a closer look at the usual rust areas of course any repairs to Swan necks will need putting right sooner rather than later, not cheap if you don't have the skills yourself.

If you have the money there is a particularly lovely coupe on Ebay which is looking for a new home, sad in that it was Dan's who was a good friend to many on here but I'm sure he would have wanted to go to someone who would cherish it like he did.

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We use our 1987 exclusive when ever we can in the summer months, either for popping into town or for much longer journeys, like going for long weekends to Cornwall etc.

As mentioned above, they are perfectly happy cruising all day at 70 on the motorway, but they're much more fun taking the scenic route.

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I use my Manta GSi hatch year round in the way you describe. I’ve put 10k on it in 4 years, a significant amount of that has been as a teen taxi but like Mike I’m happy to use it for longer runs, I nipped up to the VBOA rather late the other Saturday, it was approx 300 mile round trip so I took a few tools, a spare ECU & a 2p just in case 😊 but got there and back fine - it’s a comfortable motorway cruiser. 

Mine will never be a show car but it’s important that it’s reliable and I have fun driving it. It needs welding from time to time and I’ve tried to keep it up mechanically, improving things as it’s gone on, including making the brakes feel more modern.

Condensation can be a bit of an issue in the winter, I’ve had ice on the inside of the windscreen but that’s just part of the experience 😂 if you have a garage it’s so much better. 

Take your time and do a bit of research, I knew mine wasn’t going to look amazing on top but I’d found history of the car in the club & knew that it wasn’t about to fall apart underneath.

I’d suggest you spend as much as you can on the best available car unless you’re an expert car body guy with loads of space and spare time. 
 

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ive had my cavs now for over 35 years and have always used them in rotation as daily cars in rotation with each and other of my cars. including winter months too.just keep them well washed underneath and a full check over every spring to rectify any winter salt damage.

no reason why not to use as a daily. power is as good as most modern cars and despite what some say the lights are fine and to be honest ive not noticed any issues with brakes .( i do drive many a new vehicle through work to compare with !)

as mentioned though,and this is the important bit .THE main important bit. any car of any age realy  but something 35 years old or more needs to be fully understood as a working machine and maintained properly and checked thoroughly for any issues ,faults,corrosion etc.

these cars ( like most pre 2000stuff ) do rust and will continue to do so even if perfect when bought,restored or repaired. ok maybee not as quick as people will have you beleive but you just need to be aware.

keep up to all this and you will be rewarded with driving something unique and special and reliable that will not let you down and not give any nasty suprises at mot time.

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On 03/08/2022 at 19:03, TheRealExile said:

There is a red hatch on Ebay at the moment which looks reasonable, you would need to take a closer look at the usual rust areas of course any repairs to Swan necks will need putting right sooner rather than later, not cheap if you don't have the skills yourself.

If you have the money there is a particularly lovely coupe on Ebay which is looking for a new home, sad in that it was Dan's who was a good friend to many on here but I'm sure he would have wanted to go to someone who would cherish it like he did.

Cheers,  i think the red one is the one im going to look at

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5 hours ago, Beeblebrox said:

Cheers,  i think the red one is the one im going to look at

A few people in the club know that car and the owner is a member too. I think it is great value for the price.

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20 hours ago, Irmscher Man said:

A few people in the club know that car and the owner is a member too. I think it is great value for the price.

I bought it !!!  ( C611KVV)  Can't wait to get it on Monday 

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13 hours ago, Beeblebrox said:

I bought it !!!  ( C611KVV)  Can't wait to get it on Monday 

Nice one, well done. I thought it would find a good home fairly quickly. Nice mantas like that don’t hang about nowadays.

welcome to Manta ownership!

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