1986 Opel Manta 18s Berlinetta 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Punchy performance. A shame to see it getting old


Head gasket found to have been blowing for 6 months, until it finally totally blew.

Thermostat got stuck.

Exhaust center section cracked.

Speedometer needle bounces up and down.

Front calipers seized.

Wheel cylinders seized.

Drivers window lets wind and rain through when doing high speeds.

Stalls a lot when cold, and has a slight miss for a few minutes until warm.

Driver's seat squeaks, no matter how much WD40 you put onto it.

Fuel pump constantly leaks oil.

Rocker cover gasket always needs changing.

4x4s keep reversing into it in car parks.

General Comments:

It's got a great look, and the drive is like nothing else I've driven before.

Spongy as anything front suspension, yet rock solid on the rear. Corners surprisingly tight in the dry; the back comes round when easing off the throttle.

It's got a good kick when you engage that clutch sharply, sounds great when you open the second choke up, but performance on single choke is really all you should ever need.

The ride is a bit bumpy at times. Great on the motorway; accelerates up all hills in 5th, and never flags, even with a full load.

It seems to need a bit more up the top end, but hey, it has loads of torque.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th November, 2002

1986 Opel Manta GT 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Great fun to drive, a classic design, just watch out in the wet.


Brake Servo failed and needed replacing at 90,000 miles.

Rear drums badly worn, replaced at 89,000 miles.

Exhaust manifold gasket blew at 90,000 miles.

Shock absorbers replaced, 89,000 miles.

Watch out for rust in the chassis at the front of the car where the suspension arms join the main chassis, I have seen a few, mine included, that require some very awkward welding to fix.

General Comments:

This car is a design classic with its long bonnet and sloping rear it looks like its seriously shifting even when its parked. The addition of side-skirts and spoilers to much of the range adds to the sporty looks.

The inside on the 1.8 is dated and a bit drab, although if you go for the 2 litre GTE you get recaros, which are much better.

Driving the thing was great fun, the 1.8 litre engine is reliable and enjoys being revved, its only got about 80 BHP, but it feels a lot more when your on your own on the open road.

Does 0-60 in about 10-11 seconds, and feels very stable at 110 on the motorway.

Handling in the dry was good, but would benefit from stiffer shocks. Going into corners a bit lively resulted in understeer, best bet seems to go in a bit slower and then use the throttle to bring the back out, great fun on wet roundabouts although it can get a bit scary.

Taking wet bends on country roads at high speed without the experience/ability to correct the tail slide does tend to result in some ditch interaction though, as I found out, resulting in the death of my beloved Manta.

Safety wise it seems to take a front impact very well, but I don't recommend testing it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th September, 2002

1986 Opel Manta GT/E 2.0i from UK and Ireland


A truly excellent car with quite cheap insurance, just watch out for the rear end in the wet!


The Manta had to have new shock absorbers at about 80000 miles, as the car had been lowered poor quality items before I acquired it.

Rust, rust, and more rust! It was perfect when I bought it, but now mainly around the rear arches it's just flaking away!

The gearbox went at 85000 miles, so while I was replacing the box I thought to rebuild the engine at the same time.

Nothing else really, it's a good solid car.

General Comments:

Being my first car, I have not had much experience in the driving part of cars, but at seventeen years of age, my car turned heads, looked brilliant, sounded great and blew away all my mates cars in speed and cornering!

Not many modifications made to the Manta, it doesn't really need them. Just an induction kit, custom exhaust, steering wheel and irmscher twin headlights on mine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2002