Helen Stephenson's Opel Manta GT/E

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This page is about my white Opel Manta GT/E hatchback.

Manta picture

I purchased the car brand new in January, 1986 from McIntyre in Greenock when I was living in Scotland. During the first two years I owned it, I put 30,000 miles on the clock, including several trips between London and Scotland; and a regular commuting run to the A25 in Surrey once I moved back down South. During this time, the car was maintained by the dealer in Godstone. Towards the end of 1987 I had a job in Tonbridge, and Renny's Garage did my maintenance. In 1988, I took a job in Central London and my mileage decreased considerably. It became more convenient to take the car to a dealer close to home and I started a long association with Penfold Motors in Lewisham. At the end of 1991 I once again had work in the M25 corridor and my mileage rose. In 1992, I commuted down the M20 to Folkestone for three months, which really got the odometer ticking around. Since the middle of 1992, I have once again had a Central London job, and my mileage has settled right down again.

Manta picture

I have loved my Opel Manta GT/E, and often said that I didn't know what I would do when I wore it out. If they still made Opel Mantas, I would have changed up to another new one long since, but as they don't, I hung onto the one I've got. However, I am finding that dealer maintenance is becoming difficult: when it went in for a service and MOT test at the beginning of 1999 it required some parts which had to be ordered, and the car languished at the dealer for days while they obtained the parts. When the fuel tank started to leak, a new one was unobtainable and I ended up taking the car up to Leicestershire, where a specialist car restorer was prepared to pull down the leaking tank and recondition it. I eventually made the decision that the Manta was no longer reliable day-to-day transport and obtained a Nissan 200SX for this purpose, but decided that as I was attached to the Manta, I would keep it on and treat it as a modern classic. I joined the Opel Manta Owners Club, and now use the Manta mainly for club outings, although it also comes in useful on the rare occasions when I have more than one passenger and the 2+2 configuration of the 200SX is inadequate.

Manta picture

The exterior is in average or better condition for a car of its age, but could do with some restoration. I am pretty proud of the state of the interior. It has grey velour upholstery (mine was one of the first models to have this, rather than the check upholstery) and the whole interior of the car is in very good condition. It isn't possible to drive 88,000 miles in a car without getting a scuff mark or two on the interior, but probably owing to the fact that I have never had anyone under the age of ten in the car, there are no stains anywhere. The dashboard still looks much the same as it looked the day I took delivery of the car back in 1986.

Manta picture

Recent maintenance work has included:

The only non-standard item on the car is the passenger side exterior mirror, and neither the exhaust system nor the shock absorbers are genuine Vauxhall-Opel parts, but came from Kwik Fit.

Manta picture


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Last Revised: 5th November, 2005.