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RGBS

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About RGBS

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  1. Since all parties we had been hinted towards have either ignored us or refused to cooperate, we have decided to terminate our research towards finding the current owners. Still, much was learned in the process and basically what we know is already in this thread or linked to within. I'm also glad that it didn't get sidetracked too much. May it help future seekers of information about the Manta 4WD prototypes. That being said, thank you to everyone who positively contributed!
  2. I have also gotten a reply from the Quaife Engineering employee that first replied to my email: he says that Mick Quaife confirms that he bought the rally prototype from Opel for use in rallycross and sold it not long after since it "was not what he wanted", yet the car was "acceptably fast", per the statement. I am trying to find out more details but it is not easy having to go through an intermediary. This seems to confirm the first part of the story. KGM has yet to reply, which would be great if they did since they are the last known owners of the car before they sold it off. I will, of course, share my findings with the community.
  3. Indeed that is also my thread. I had no choice but to try on two different forums due to time constraints. Mr. Munro's book has a date with the press in June. From experience, this kind of research can be time consuming to filter out the hearsay from the facts. Also, some people have a bad tendency to check their emails very sparingly, thus making the process much longer than it should. That being said, I am still awaiting a reply from KG Motorsport about the Rothman liveried rally 4WD prototype, maybe my email got sent into the junk mail folder due to hyperlinks I often include in them. Anyhow, there's still time... An example of the challenge in separating hearsay from fact came when trying to find a lead concerning the white narrow body road 4WD prototype, it comes from this unlikeliest of places... a slot-car forum: http://slotadictos.mforos.com/21954/11259511-novedades-avant-slot-2014/ The bickering continues on page 2. Basically, all sort of conflicting info is thrown around (mostly by the very same person who contradicts himself a few times), by saying one prototype was driven by Jimmy McRae who crashed with it, had the car returned to 2WD, then sold it. This car supposedly was converted back and forth from RHD to LHD and so on. On page two, this story changes to something else but may refer to the Rothman's liveried rally car; There is much discrepancies in the whole thing and to me doesn't quite make sense. However, the Irish dealer part at the end is correct (KG Motorsport). Besides the latter, I have also sent an email to Quaife but was answered by an employee that seemed unenthusiastic in forwarding my queries to Mick. I will be trying again soon. Again, info that we have via an FFD employee of the time (Robin Price) is that 2 cars were converted by FFD as I've stated before. In fact, you can see both in the German article (the narrow white road version is tilted to show its underneath, the Rothman's rally wide version is in the other pictures). The schematic also shows the road car being RHD while the rally is clearly LHD. They could have been converted back and forth or be the same car (that was my gut feeling) but that goes against other info that we have... mystery indeed!
  4. Question #1 = This has nothing to do with trying to find the original parts. Finding out the entire history of the cars, notwithstanding of either they are or are no longer 4WD, is only for accurate historical preservation purposes. The book will also feature a section featuring CURRENT pictures of all the cars important to FFD's history. Which is where finding the current owners is needed (again, no matter if they are no longer 4WD). Question #2 = It is not my book, it is Bill Munro's. I stated that I was helping in research for it. Free of charge; on my own time, on my own dime. Because I am a Group B fanatic with a knack for accurate information and preserving its history. Question #3 = As far as I know, FFD only directly did the work for the Manta B 400 in their Coventry workshop. However, many other cars in the Group B era used Ferguson bits in their 4WD systems, the list includes; Peugeot 205 T16 (including the Pikes Peak and grand raid (Paris-Dakar versions)), Lancia Delta S4 (in a Hewland casing), MG Metro 6R4, and Ford RS200. Some of it carried over onto the various Group S prototypes; Lancia ECVs, Peugeot 405 T16 (presentation version, grand raid version) which is basically a rebodied 205 T16. Peugeot subsequently gave the 4WD system to Citroën for their ZX grand raid proto in 1991 (again mostly a rebodied 405 T16), a car that won the Paris-Dakar 4 times (last in 1996). This means that the original 205 T16's engineering and Ferguson bits were a successful recipe for 13 years (1984~1996). Pretty impressive. Thank you for the precision of the last part of the German article, it is indeed what it says, I simply uttered it badly. In short, the turbocharged version NEVER happened, that you can be sure of, it was indeed only wishful thinking. However, you forgot to mention the missing link between the 1982~1983 Manta B 400 & 4WD proto and the 1985~1986 Kadett E 4S: the 1984 Kadett D 400. Best info on the latter here: https://rallygroupbshrine.org/the-group-b-cars/group-b-prototypes/opel-kadett-400-group-b-prototype/ EDIT: PS, the Opel Kadett E 4S sported an Xtrac 4WD system, if you're wondering.
  5. Thanks to everyone so far! Also, I do not mind the slight sidetrack (the duplicated history lesson). This will make members of this site have most of the bits straight on the forum. HOWEVER, I must stress that the car was NEVER turbocharged during the time the prototype was being considered by Opel. It sported a "phase 2" (re-tuned) 240 HP normally aspirated engine. The part at the end of the German article that speaks of 350HP refers directly to the specs of the rally Audi quattro, NOT the Manta. Opel did try to turbocharge the "phase 3" engine for the Opel Kadett E 4S project but that was way after the Manta 4WD proto, so it must not be confused one with another. Again, our info (confirmed by a FFD employee at the time) show that TWO cars were built in 1982; one white road (narrow body) 144hp "phase 1" engine, and one Rothmans rally (wide) 240 hp "phase 2" engine, (details already explained in first post). Subsequent informal copies (such as the 86-87 Astra 4S bits converted ones) do NOT interest us. It seems that we are indeed narrowing down the provenance of the original rally one. I am still waiting on a comeback from KG Motorsports.
  6. I sent them an email, thanks! The only Group B club that I know of is the "Rallying With Group B" Club... is it the same thing? I did a quick Google search and nothing else comes up.
  7. Basically, what we need should not replicate what is already known or seen in this page: https://rallygroupbshrine.org/the-group-b-cars/group-b-prototypes/opel-manta-b-400-4x4-prototype/ Hopefully, the topic won't get sidetracked into something else. Current owners (or any pertinent info on the chain of custody) of these cars are our primary concern.
  8. Hello everyone! I am currently helping in research for a book soon to be published about the Ferguson Formula 4WD systems. That research led me to the 1982-1983 Opel Manta B 400 4WD prototypes commissioned from FFD by Opel Motorsport manager Tony Fall. Most of the research has already been done and includes interesting information. The last bout to be done is to find out where the prototypes ended up. One was originally a narrow body, all white Manta B 400, with the basic 144 hp phase 1 engine, the car was most likely RHD. The other was upgraded to rally spec, with the Irmscher wide arch kit, and in the Rothmans livery, sporting a 240 hp re-tuned phase 2 engine, and the car is LHD. Both are pre-facelift models produced in late 1981 then turned over to FFD in 1982. After Opel sold the prototypes off, multiple names came out in my research as one-time owners of one car or the other; Mick Quaife, Tony Maslin, and Stuart Palmeras. However, this might might be incorrect. Other information suggest that both cars most likely were converted back to RWD at one point. If anyone has ANY information as to where those cars are now then feel free to share information, we would certainly like to get in touch with the current owners, and possibly get more information and recent pictures! NOTE: not to be confused with the 1986-1987 Manta / Ascona cars converted to 4WD by using Astra 4S bits, these are not the ones we are looking for.
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