Opel Manta


pic: Influx

There’s a lot of chatter here and elsewhere about what makes a car definitive of its era. For the 1980s, cars like Porsche’s 959, the Audi Quattro and the Escort XR3i usually get the shout. But having stumbled upon a beautifully crisp, body-kitted Opel Manta last night in the frozen wastes of East London – we reckon we’ve a new addition to our list.

Interestingly this Germanic cousin to a legion of less rakish Vauxhall kin kept its ‘Opel’ badge in all trims and engine sizes: with rear end drive and by all accounts a lively suspension and steering set up (with roll bars and rack & pinion respectively). Engines ranged from 1.2 all the way up to 2.0.

The car we spotted (perhaps a GTV?) had been customised with a light hand (we think) although in a form : with period correct alloys, Recaros and a cleaned, kitted exterior that look as if it could well have emerged from the factory a few months ago.

Bravo, dear owner, and if you spot this post, please get in touch to receive some print magazines from us …