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Opel Manta

Opel Manta (Germany, 1970-1988)

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Model History


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Model History

The Manta had its world premiere in September 1970 at the Hotel Maritim in Timmendorfer Strand, near Lübeck at the Baltic Sea in Germany. The smooth coupe featured a manta ray emblem that was based on photos taken by Jacques Costeau, the French marine biologist. The Manta was a vehicle that met a new demand between the conventional coupe and a traditional sedan. It was inspired on the pony cars, a type o vehicle that was very popular in the US at the time.

Since the end of the 1960s more buyers were looking for attractive coupes. In the first half year of sales in 1971, Opel sold 55,399 Manta models.

Together with the Ascona, the Manta shared the floor assembly and the chassis modified for a dynamic drive. Both models featured the new 1.6-liter engines with 68 and 80 hp. For the Manta SR model Opel offered a 1.9-liter S engine that came from the Rekord. It had had 90 hp and was initially reserved for the Manta. Launched in 1972, the entry-level model in the Manta range was powered by a 1.2-liter version with 60 hp. In 1973 the Manta GT/E premiered with a 1.9-liter injection engine and Bosch L-Jetronic and changed the chrome décor for the black matt.

Launched in 1975 the Manta Black Magic was the last special model before the debut of the Manta B. It was completely black with red-orange decorative stripes on the flanks. Opel built 498,553 units of the Manta A.


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Opel entered the automobile business in 1899, selling Opel-Lutzmann cars, the first of them being the “Patent Motor Car”. Partnership between Opel and Lutzman was terminated in 1901 and Adam Opel’s son initiated a new contract with the French carmaker Darracq that allowed the German company to built Opel-Darracq cars. These cars received their chassis from Darracq and their bodies from Opel.

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