Opel Manta History
The Opel Manta B (1975-1988)
The Opel Manta B and Opel Ascona B were introduced in the Summer
of 1975. The new chassis was 40% stiffer than that of the original
Manta A and a
few centimetres longer too plus there was an integral roll bar introduced
into the B pillars. The 1.6 and 1.9 CiH engines were used from its
predecessor and the new body was yet another classic design. The
Manta B also shared its shape with the Vauxhall Cavalier Coupe and
Cavalier sports Hatch and this was derived form the Chevy (Chevrolet)
Monza. Thus the Manta C and Manta CC were derived being the Coupe
and the Combination Coupe or hatchback.
Unlike the A series, the Manta B was not exported to the US, but
they'd had the Chevy Monza since 1970 so the shape was already 5
By the summer of 1979 the chrome was being replaced by black chrome
and plastic and the colourful interiors, the blues and reds, were
drifitng toward grey and black by 1980 with the Manta GTJ was one
of these new models.
Then in 1982 the nosecone doubled the number of vents and in 1983
the GTJ had a lighter 1.8S engine and became the Manta GT.
The rare i200 and i240 were produced in '83 after the success of
the Manta 400.
Both had more power and torque than the standard 2.0E variants producing
125HP and 136HP respectively and were available in silver or white
in Opel Team colours.
In 1984 the Opel Manta GTE was available with the 2.0E 110HP engine
as standard and the Ronal 5 spoke alloy wheels.
The Irmscher Exclusive was introduced in 1988 and had a 3-piece
spoiler like that of the Manta 400, an integral number plate in
the rear bumper plus panel where the old GTE plates were, twin light
kit and Irmscher steering wheel.
Production of the Manta ceased in 1988 with the last vehicle, a
white GSi, being rolled off the production line destined for the
Opel works museum. After 13 years the Manta B was Opel's longest
running production car with over 550,000 cars produced. Over the
complete history of the Manta, 18 years in all, over a million in
total were made.
Since the end of production GM has only really produced 2 similar
cars- the Calibra and the Astra Coupe, though there are enough Mantas
and fans out there to keep the Opel Manta alive for many years to