This 2020 is fulfilled 50 years of the presentation of the first generation Opel Manta Aa model that debuted before 400 journalists on the shores of the German Baltic Sea and that was positioned as a serious alternative to the Ford Capri, with a mini aesthetic muscle car and with its 2+2 coupé body so fashionable and in demand at the time. Since then, and largely due to his good performances in different rallies, he has earned a large legion of followers, some of whom have gathered in that same place to celebrate his half century of life.
The Manta A, a European Opel for the entire globe
The Opel Manta began to take shape in 1969, taking an animal name, as was customary at the time with the Ford Mustang or Corvette Stingray. Thus, the Manta A it would be a coupé derivative of the Opel Ascona Awith a design clearly inspired by the muscle cars Americans, just as it happened with the Ford Capri, but with dimensions and engines more adapted to the old continent, offering double circular optics on the back as a clear reference to the Opel GT of the time.
Thus, the Manta, which was for sale between 1970 and 1975was a relatively great sales success for the Rüsselsheim firm, and that is in its first year it managed to sell 56,200 units in Germany (in Spain, last year the best-selling model was the SEAT León with almost 36 thousand units), having produced a total of almost half a million units during those five years. In fact, this small sports car of 4.34 meters has been one of the few models that have been sold in the United Kingdom under the Opel brand, and not wearing the Vauxhall emblem, in addition to having been imported to the USA. where they were distributed using the Buick dealer network.
The Manta did not stand out for very powerful engines
As we have said, the Manta It was not characterized by having powerful mechanicsoffering engines ranging from 60 CV of the 1.2-liter access up to 1.9 liters with 105 hp and Bosch L Jetronic injection of the Manta GT/E, although as it is a vehicle of rear-wheel drive that did not reach 1,000 kg along with a 4-speed manual transmission (3-speed automatic as an option), offered ample doses of fun and sensations.
However, the potential was there, and that led to preparations such as the 33 manufactured units of the Turbo blanket by Dealer Opel Team, Tony Fall and Broadspeed, who based on the 90 CV 1.9-liter Berlinetta, added a turbocharger, a modified carburettor and other small mechanical (and aesthetic) tweaks to extract 156 hp and sign a 0 to 100 km/h in a not inconsiderable 7.6 seconds.
Thus, the most extreme version called TE2800 It came from the hand of Transeurop Engineering and Steinmetz with the approval of Opel, and that housed in its engine compartment a 2.8 liter inline six of the Opel Commodore GS taken from 142 CV to 230 hp to stand up to the more performance versions of the Capri, also having ventilated brakes, a 5-speed gearbox and a specific sports suspension. However, the TE2800 they occurred almost anecdotally as special preparations given its high cost and technical complexity, which required a new cooling system, redesigned axles and transmission system as well as a fiberglass hood and specific fins.