Ownership Verified: Dream Car as Barn Find: Opel Manta A '71

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
I would like to begin with a back story about this one, since this is very dear to me and perhaps a little explenation is required in order to understand the sentimental note behind it and why someone would take on such project.

I was ending middle school when I was on abirthday party from a realtive and listeningto grownups talking about cars. Now, my dad has had a good share of Opels doring my childhood and no need to guess what brand the family car it is now. Not being a fanboy but somehow an Opel always found a way into our familyeven when not looking for one - a good deal emerged. In the family there has been an Olympia, Rekord D, Astra (grandpas cars) and Kadett B, Kadett C, Rekord E2, Omega A, Vectra B, Signum and now Zafira (dads cars). So I have been influenced by it even since being a kid with dad doing snow drifts, etc with cars. So the debate continues and I say how I like the KAdett C and stuff and someone metioned a Manta A model. Now I haven't heard of that car before but it must have been one hell of the car for everyone to go "ahhhh yes, Manta A". Now being from Slovenia means we lived in Yugoslavia - not a whole lot of German sports coupes were riding around these days so it was a rare sight and young mens dreams to own a Manta, Capri, BMW 02 or something. Not going into the whole history here - let's continue.

During my growing up I have always wished for manta A, I looked at ads and writing down numbers to make an archive for when I get my driving licence and save enough money I will buy one. Well that time came pretty soon and there was no money for manta, no workshop, no skills for wrenching but a trusty Vectra B caravan as my tool for freedom.

Time passed and I had enough - I need to get and old car and work on it. So me and 2 friends drive to the coast and take a look at an BMW e21 (build thread here as well) and buy it. I restored it with help from my dad and friends, swaped it to m42, new suspension, recaro seats and the whole package. The car was good but it just hasn't been what I have always wanted.

So, Vectra broke down and living in the city it wasn't rational to fix it so I call a guy to come and pick it up for scrap. Getting a bit emotional with all the memories the man invites us to get a beer before he takes of. Talking about cars my dad says I have an e21 but I have always wanted a Manta and the man says (in the bytheway manner) he has one sitting in his barn and I can come around to take a look. Two days later I was in the barn looking at it and not long after I asked my dad to come and check it out with me again. It was in rough condition from what we could tell, using out cellphone flashlight in a dark barn with no lights. I sold my BMW e21, saying I will get my dream car one way or another and if I stick to that BMW I will have no finances and no true will to get one since I will be in the comfort zone. Now I did that and then the dude says he didn't mean to sell it. Damn.

A little bit of presuasion and well.. nagging worked and I bought the car. As we have pulled it out the true condition of the car showed in the sun. She was in bad condition and sitting in a barn for all these years hasn't done her good. The last time this car was on the road was in 1999.

We pulled her out after having some troubles with exhaust breaking off and wedged itself on the barn edge but we managed. Here are some photos from picking up taken by girlfriend:



























So, the idea came to film the restoraton project and so here is also the clip from picking it up:


Now the work continued and the temperatures fell into negative °C but I had to disassemble the car outside since there were signs of animals living in the car and if I were to get these residents in the workshop that I am furtunate enough to use I would not be a hapy camper. The disassembling went pretty okay, one door hinge didn't want to come apart but we were victorious anyways. A few pictures:













And the video of disassembling:




Now, this is the first time I am doing videos so it's not going to be a HBO production standardbut hopefully you will enjoy it and perhaps learn something. I am still learning to film, I use only a borrowed GoPro from a friend and cellphone (for the second part of second video since GoPro battery died) so nothing fancy for now.


As I have stated before, this project has more of a sentimental value and the fact that my dad agreed to help me out and friends like @nicjasno I feel trully blessed. The car is in rough condition, yes but the goal is not just the finished product but also the path towards it. I hope you have enjoyed and this post wasn't too long, I kind of just fell into it. There is a long way ahead, there will be a lot of work but I am looking forward to it.

Unitl next time! :)

Oh and the ownership proof:


(sorry, the gearbox lever is already out)
 

MWF

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I sincerely hope you can save this one. Best of luck.
 

public

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Really great photos and the video series is worth watching. The car itself looks like a shed even for a barn find, but I'm sure you can pull it through to a finish - and the Manta A is a very pretty car!
 

Tram13

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I'm not really into Opels to be entirely honest, but the Manta A seems like such an underappreciated car, probably because of the reputation it earned through the years. Looking at it from a different perspective, without the Mantafahrer stereotypes, the Manta A seems like such a well-designed car. I love how it reminds me of Opel GT and Commodore A Coupé in some details.

Also, I love the way you presented this car. I didn't watch the videos (yet), but I love the story behind the car and the pictures are really awesome. And I do wish you best of luck with the project.
 

93Flareside

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That is a lot of crust, good luck to you! I'll need to add this to my youtube video list now.

Will this sport a fox tail when complete? :D
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
Thanks to each and one of you! About the fox tail - isn't that kind of a B manta thing? I know the racing series B manta that runs 24h of Nürburgring rocks it so perhaps it will loog good on an A model as well :D
 

DanRoM

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That's incredible. Good luck with the restauration, it looks like a lot of work.

Also yes, the stereotypes, including the fox tail, are a Manta B thing.
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
Well turns out when you have such a rusty car that putting it on a lift is a whole different problem. A few times the lift went up but the car didn't :D This is the episode of struggles with this, but in the end we have managed to get it up in the air so we can inspect the condition of the vehicle from underneath.

 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
Hi! So in this video I go over the condition of the car and the parts I will need for the restoration. The reference site for parts was dr. Manta and Leitinger Tuning.


Yesterday I was playing a little bit with chrome bumpers and tried different products for stripping the paint gently without hurting the chrome underneath. The idea was, that maybe the black paint has been sprayed to make the car look sporty and the paint has been protecting the chrome but sadly the master mind before me has grinded the chrome with anglegrinder so thepaint could stick and the chrome is too damaged to be polished - I tried. SO now I will either get them rechromed ot something ,don't know yet. The only way they could remain black is if the car wil be in GTE look. Standard manta with black bumpers just doesn't sound too good.

Today I took out the dashboard and now only a few thing remain in the car. Hopefully I can start working on the thebody of the car soon.
 

Dr_Grip

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Have you thought about going without a bumper in front?
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N

Me and my girlfriend have made more of a fun episode where I have showed her why I will be broke :DI have bought almost a whole car in repair parts but it still won't be enough. Now, the parts have been ordered from GMT (the first bits - spring seats, rear panel and end of quarterpanel), otherones are from dr. Manta online shop from DE. Hope you enjoy this relaxed episode! :)
 

MWF

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Please save enough time and money to bring this to Ringmeet when finished. Preferably in 2021 as we won't make it this year.
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
Please save enough time and money to bring this to Ringmeet when finished. Preferably in 2021 as we won't make it this year.
OH man this is something I really want to do! Listening to stories of trips from @nicjasno makes me super excited! Cool roads and cars and great folks are an awesome aspect of car community.
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
Soooo the engine came out! It is a 1.6N with 68hp and a Getrag 4speed manual transmision so nothing fancy there. NOw th engine is transorted to another location where it sits and waits what I will do to it. Now 68hp is pretty low but Kadett C rides nicely with 1.2 and those are all lightweight cars so I am still thinking what to do. It is kind of sad to have a "european muscle" or "euopean camaro" with 68 ponies. I don't know...


Take care guys and be well!
 

Matt2000

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Who is this gatecrasher getting in the video? I've never seen him before.

Interesting how much good metal is on the right side compared to the left. Nice chain hoist too, I've never seen one that uses that type of chain but it looks easier to use than a normal messy chain.
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
Ahhh yes, I brought @nicjasno along to get more female views :D
Yea the hoist did a good job, sadly there is no pulley on it so it can't be moved on the beam but we have managed to get it out. I think the best way to install it will be to put it on the axle and than lift the car over it and install the engine with front axle.
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
So I have gave my attention to chrome bumpers for a bit to see what I can do with it and if they are savable. I have tried a few products to strip paint as gently as possible without damaging chrome but as you can see in the video it probably was not necessary but perhaps this helps someone in a similair situation.

Now I have asked a little bit how much rechroming costs and the figures are pretty high up so I am still searching for sulution. Perhaps GT/E variant :) It is how it is, atleast they are not seriously bend or damaged so maybe I can still do somethign with it.


Stay healthy and have a nice day!
 

l3v4rt

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Opel Manta '71 1.6N
I got some contacts for chroming but everything is closed because of the virus. I have removed the dashboard and wiring (I will have to check and repair some stuff since it has been played with and it doesn't look as it should).

 
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