1986 Opel Manta GTE 2.0 i from UK and Ireland


A cheap, classic 80's German sports car


I brought car with an undetermined brake problem, (so despite it having only the one previous owner from new, being serviced every 12 months on the dot, garaged every night, never taken above 85 MPH, spotless inside and out and cared for like a child!) for a bargain price of only £200!

The brake problem was tracked down to the master cylinder being worn and a large amount of air and blockage in the pipes due to this. The part was not easy to find - something I hadn't considered when I brought the car.

At 83k miles the speedo cable snapped, but was easily replaced. All in all there are no mechanical faults, rusting, no rubber spilt on the car.

Generally fault free so far.

General Comments:

I had always wanted this car since I moved into the house next door 12 years ago, when it came up for sale I was the first there and struck a deal.

Compared to my previous XR3i, this car was God! Faster, far better handling, far more comfortable seats.

Dash is a little dated, but a change of colour works well.

Handles better than I thought for a rear wheel drive - unless you really push it in the wet!

Seat bottoms nice and long, good and comfortable over long journeys and helped by a nice driving position.

Interior gets a bit warm due to the shaft running through it, but large air ducts help keep things cool.

Running costs better than I thought even with the 2 litre engine.

Great motorway performer sustaining easily sustaining 115mph with little trouble.

Definatley a nice looking car, with classic "muscle car" looks and performance.

A performance exhaust and air filter make it sound more like a modern sports car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2002

1986 Opel Manta GT/E Hatchback 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Purchased new in January 1986. Now with 88,000 miles, so it's had its share of tyres, shock absorbers and brakes. Water pump failed when only a year old. Replacement still going strong. New clutch a few years ago. Not much synchro left between 1st and 2nd. Starter motor six years ago. More electrical problems recently. Rubber headlight surrounds keep falling off. AAARGH!

General Comments:

Seat doesn't offer enough thigh support. I often put a rolled up towel along the front edge of the seat if doing a long motorway trip. Original clock is broken and spare part is not available. Dealer couldn't find a steering lock when a burgler broke it. Independent firm could find one. Do Vauxhall-Opel want to try and force me into a front-wheel drive Calibra? I've loved my Manta and if they still made them I would trade in on a new one, but as they don't, I'm now looking at BMW 3-series and the Nissan 200SX as possible replacements.

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

Review Date: 2nd December, 1998

19th Sep 2002, 06:06

I think you are giving up on Opel's, my fiance and I have just bought a 1.8 berlinetta and we have big plans for it. for you to turn your back on such a classic beast is a crime!! The thing with BMW's now is that everyone has got one you go out on the street and count how many BM's you see, then do the same to mantas the difference is astonishing!!

But I suppose at the end of the day it's your choice to choose boring BMW's over marvelous Mantas!!!

3rd Jun 2003, 14:06

Manta are the king of the road, talk sense man and stick it out.

1986 Opel Manta GT 1.8 OHC petrol from UK and Ireland


In 5 years of ownership (~40K miles) it has needed both front anti-roll bar mounting bolts, complete exhaust system, replacement rad., indicator switch assembly & the usual tyres/brake pads etc.

General Comments:

As long as the breakers yards are full of Vauxhall Chevettes/Cavaliers you can keep these cars going for years. The OHC Vauxhall engine is a good item. (I'm sure mine meant to have more miles on the clock than that!) Parts are readily available & fairly cheap. (Though watch out for those Manta specific items like glass & that front bumper which are more difficult to acquire cheaply.)

Front brake calipers are a pain in the neck as they can seize on the sliders causing the brakes to stick on. (Same units on Cavaliers. Wow, orange brake disks!) Brake performance was only ever just adequate. Mine had been crashed at least twice, but chassis/body is solid/strong, if heavy, & repairs are possible.

Excellent fun in the wet thanks to rear wheel drive, good motorway burner but don't expect hot-hatch performance. The rust is setting in now & the engine has an external crack in the block, though block-weld has stemmed the flow of water escaping & it still runs fine. Buy one, drive it, never take it to a dealer, drive it through a hedge ....... drive it some more ..... long live the white whale!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd August, 1998

1986 Opel Manta GTE 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Syncromesh on 5th replaced after 40,000 miles. Alternator replaced after 60,000. Water pump leaked, and replaced after 70,000 miles. Nothing else.

General Comments:

Bought new in March 86 for £7100, sold in October 87 with 77,000 on the clock for £3700 trade-in. Later called by the next owner who'd bought it with only 37,000 miles showing, from auction. The car was ideal clocking material, having reliably completed a large, mainly motorway mileage in a short time, with almost no visible signs of wear & tear.

What's good? - Great handling for cross country blasts. Long geared 5th (2800 rpm at 70) for relaxed and economical (35 - 37mpg) motorway cruising. Superb Recaro seats. Deep boot. Frameless windows great in summer. Better top speed than 1.8 Astra GTE's of similar age if you fold the wing mirror back, which is possible from the inside! (I was younger and more foolish then!)

What's not so good? - Clueless Vauxhall dealers perpetually incapable of detecting or diagnosing problems until they become completely obvious. PG Tips chimps would be more confidence inspiring. Ventilation poor. Sunroof slides, but no tilt. Noisy fuel pump.

Overall? - A bargain new, great fun to drive, dependable, sadly missed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd November, 1997