A rare, rally-bred 1984 Opel Manta 400 in show standard condition will be offered for sale at Classic Car Auctions’ (CCA) December Sale taking place at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on 2nd December.
It’s been explained to MotorMartin by friends of the Towers, Classic Car Auctions’, that this particular car was built as one of only 245 examples made to homologate the model for Group B rallying and imported into the UK by Tony Fall, Opel Motorsport Team Manager at the time.
After World Rally Championship success with Walter Rohrl in the earlier Ascona 400 model, Fall had hoped to continue the winning streak with the Manta, but was thwarted by the advent of the Audi Quattro at the start of the four-wheel drive rally era.
The Manta 400, however, enjoyed major success at European level with the likes of Guy Frequelin; and who could forget the epic battles in the British Open Rally Championship between Jimmy McRae and Russell Brookes, both going head-to-head in a pair of identical Manta 400s in the eighties.
Classic Car Auctions’ have explained that fortunately, this road-going Manta 400 has enjoyed a more sedate life, watching rather than partaking in rallies. It was purchased privately by Mr David Little of Lurgan, Country Armagh, and sent to the main Vauxhaul Opel Dealer, Pentlands, to be converted to right-hand drive.
In the hands of the careful owner, the Manta spent most of its time stored in a garage, only seeing the roads on weekends to follow local rallies and on dry summer days.
In 2005, following a period of almost four decades left untouched, the car exchanged hands and met its second owner who decided to embark upon a full, bare-shell restoration. Taking place over 12 months, almost every part of the car was stripped, sandblasted and powder coated. The engine and gearbox were subjected to full rebuilds, returning the car to factory fresh condition and doesn’t it look fantastic.
All of the original features unique to the 400, including the Cosworth-developed 2400cc 16V fuel-injected engine, 5-speed gearbox and 5-stud Ronal wheels were retained, including a rare and difficult to source Irmscher full exhaust system.
Confirmed with MotorMartin, other distinctive features include factory wheel arch extensions, rear spoiler, grey and yellow decals and original, mint condition Opel Blitz upholstery. An evaluation by the Manta Owners Club scored the car’s condition as concours A1 in all areas, and it has been given a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to £50,000 by CCA.
“This is such a special car! The Opel Manta has a cult status among rally fans as well as the rarity factor, so to see one in immaculate condition is a real treat,” explains Richard Greenhalgh, classic car specialist, Classic Car Auctions.
“Not only that, we believe that only 12 examples were produced in Astro Silver making this one even more desirable, and with a super low indicated mileage too of just 28,000 miles, you can’t ask for more!”
The car is accompanied by a history file containing the original import documentation dating from 1984, receipts and photos of the car throughout its restoration, and an old MoT dating back to 1990, which shows the mileage at just 18,414 miles.
Also present is a copy of the Spring 2007 edition of the Opel Manta Owners Club’s magazine in which the car was featured.
“We’ve already seen a great reaction to this car on our social media channels and we expect a lot of bidders on sale day,” concludes Richard.
To find out more about the 1984 Opel Manta 400 for sale and the CCA December Sale MotorMartin urges you to visit https://www.classiccarauctions.co.uk/opel-manta-400 and be prepared to dream big.
Where will you go?