Opel Manta (B) Profile

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Opel Manta (B) General Information

To keep it simple, the Manta GT/E was basically the same car as the Ascona 2000 (its B generation). As well on the road the Manta was the coupé version to the Ascona, even the interior design was exactly the same on both cars. And maybe the strongest hint, Ascona and Manta over at Vauxhall were called Cavalier and Cavalier Coupé. And maybe this is as well why the Manta was never around as a group2 car. With the same base and with a 2-door version of the Ascona existing and maybe also for the Ascona A having been famous with privateer rally drivers before, it seems Opel never saw a point to support two alternative body shells of basically one and the same car until they realised what a massive cult following these cars generated. So the one most important difference may be that the Ascona 2000 started live as a group2 car and was only later transferred into groupA, while the Manta is far more synonymous with groupA.

Maybe also read the Ascona 2000 group2 story. It just seems a shame to write so little about a car that turned so much into a cult story as a road car. The Manta B as a groupA car was even used at WRC level by Marc Duez when he indeed swapped his Belgian championship winning Porsche for a groupA Manta and already was a famous FIA A-seeded driver, hence on the Manta you find some surprisingly low entry numbers for a groupA car. And it was the car that gave a WRC career start to Juha Kankkunen. But somehow the bigger car for Scandinavian youngsters remained the Ascona. Maybe because the Ascona was already around in group2, then transferred to groupA, while the Manta only really started with groupA, maybe that means there were simply more Asconas available for rally newcomers with more talent than money. In competitiveness Manta B and Ascona B should be very much on the same level as they are basically identical cars, even more so than their respective groupB sisters.

Well, I really want to write more about this icon of automobile history. I saw the Manta cult live in my younger years, yet it is hard to tell what made the Manta the cult car it was. Its number 1 opposition was often regarded as the Ford Capri, but the Capri was an independent model with engines up to 3.0 V6 while the Manta was just a coupé version of dad's conservative Ascona and engines would end at 2.0. So the Capri would clearly be the more standing out, more powerful car, but the Manta was more affordable, so maybe that's what started it? There were plenty of Manta jokes and the girlfriend of a Manta driver would be the German version of the typical Essex girl - but that again proves the Manta jokes were more jealousy than nasty, be honest, would you kick that Essex girl out of your bed when you were young and single? Somehow the Manta stood for a life style and maybe one way to describe what the Manta cult was about: I collect model cars and only recently I saw a model car that came with a curvy bikini girl sitting on the bonnet. Don't get excited, 1/43 scale. But out of all model cars, the one to come with that feature of course would be a Manta!

Sometimes you may come across a groupA Manta entered as "Manta 200". This is the same car, homologated as GT/E. The Manta 200 was a rather genius advertising campaign by Opel in 1983. It was a limited edition (some 3000 apparently, so not enough for real gA homologation which needs a minimum of 5000) Manta GT/E road car converted with Irmscher assistance but initiated by Opel. Sometimes the Manta 200 is also referred to as Manta i200, which seems to be an Irmscher thing in line with Irmscher's private Manta i240 and i300 experiments. But i240 and i300 were really private experiments by Irmscher, while the Manta (i)200, even if Irmscher lent a helping hand, was actually officially initiated by Opel, sold through Opel dealerships and for a long time you couldn't open a girly magazine, a TV guide or whatever mag without page filling Manta 200 adverts. The car had some quite distinct details, but with only apparently some 3000 Manta 200 made, if you spot a Manta 200 in groupA rallying it is bound to be a Manta GT/E with some stickers added.

Well, the Manta 200 indeed came with distinct details as Recaro seats, the white 5-spoke wheels known from the 400 and the 400's twin round headlights. The name was chosen also in a hint to the Manta 400, but with this having the GT/E's 2.0 engine (note it was named 200 as opposed to the Ascona 2000). But the best bit: The Manta 200 especially came in an all white colour with blue-gold-red Rothmans design stripes around the bottom. This was not too loud, yet very clearly showed a link to the Rothmans Opel Rally Team. A rather genius promotion of not only Opel but of rallying as a whole!

Opel Manta (B) Related Content

Opel Manta (B) Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Opel Manta (B) GT/E (82-0) 185/7100 210/5500 4456.1670.1330 1000 (5.4) RWD (2518)

Random Opel Manta (B) Photos

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Opel Manta (B) Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
24th. 1986 WRC Acropolis Rally H. Kaltsounis . UNKNOWN #55 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
21st. 1985 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo . "Tchine" P. Gandolfo #9 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
11th. 1985 WRC Rallye de Portugal . "Tchine" . UNKNOWN #12 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
19th. 1985 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. van der Wauwer L. Léjeune #33 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
14th. 1984 WRC Rally of Finland T. Tahko J. Repo #25 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
12th. 1983 WRC Swedish Rally B. Johannsson T. Andersson #10 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
16th. 1983 WRC Rallye de Portugal M. Duez L. Léjeune #11 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
18th. 1983 WRC Rallye San Remo . "Tchine" . UNKNOWN #47 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Opel Manta (B) Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1993 WRC Rally of Finland H. Rovanperä R. Pietiläinen #39 [UNKNOWN] SS16 differential
Ret. 1991 WRC Acropolis Rally . "Iavaris" . "EL-EM" #36 [UNKNOWN] SS2 driver ill
Ret. 1987 WRC Bandama Rallye E. Salim C. Konan #15 [UNKNOWN] SS18 engine
Ret. 1987 WRC Tour de Corse G. Fiori M. Bastelica #25 [UNKNOWN] SS14 engine
Ret. 1986 WRC Bandama Rallye E. Salim C. Konan #7 [UNKNOWN] SS65 suspension
Ret. 1984 WRC Acropolis Rally L. Kirkos . UNKNOWN #31 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1983 WRC Rally of Great Britain M. Duez L. Léjeune #13 [UNKNOWN] SS5 engine
Ret. 1983 WRC Acropolis Rally P. Moschoutis . "Silef" #22 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1983 WRC Acropolis Rally H. Kaltsounis . UNKNOWN #58 [UNKNOWN] SS99 ?
Ret. 1982 WRC Rally of Great Britain J. Kankkunen R. Mesterton #103 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1982 WRC Rally of Finland J. Kankkunen T. Hantunen #38 [UNKNOWN] SS6 engine
Ret. 1982 WRC Acropolis Rally H. Kaltsounis . UNKNOWN #132 [UNKNOWN] SS33 ?
Ret. 1982 WRC Tour de Corse J. Couloumies C. Causse #24 [UNKNOWN] SS21 engine