In 1970 Opel launched the Ascona to replace the prosaic Olympia. Preceding it into the market by a matter of weeks was a stylish coupe version, the Manta, which would prove a strong rival to the Ford Capri. Sharing the Ascona’s floor pan, with the springs and a rigid rear axle, the Manta was larger than the Capri but slower. In 1.2 litre from it was somewhat under powered, but there were 1.6 and 1.9 litre engines available which provided the sort of performance buyers looking for, if not exactly performance buyers were looking for, it not exactly hair rising. The SR version produced 90 bhp. Build quality and handling were excellent, though, and for those seeking a bit more 100 mph, a Bosch injected GT/ E versions were unveiled in 1973, capable of 117 mph. As the decade wore on Opel looked towards rallying success to boost the Mantra’s cachet. A rally homologation Manta 400 became available in 1981, powered by a Cosworth twin cam, 16 V 2.3 litre engine that was good for 144 bhp and capable of 125 mph.
The ride is equipped with Monocoque chassis along with the disc brakes. The Applying the lessons learnt from the rallying experience, Opel gave the Manta a new lease of life with the Family II 1.8 litre engines and improved suspensions, prolonging its appeal into the late 1980s, by which time over one million Manta’s had been made.