Rare Opel Manta 400 up for auction

Classic Car Auctions has for sale one of only 245-built Manta 400 rally specials

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A rare and fully restored Opel Manta 400 is to go under the hammer with Classic Car Auctions next month with an estimate of £40,000 to £50,000.

Following on from the sale of a Ford Escort RS2000 at the NEC Classic Car Show for £97,000, the rare Manta coming up for auction continues the rallying theme as the 400 was built to comply with homologation rules for Group B competition.

In 1982, Walter Röhrl drove the marque’s Ascona 400 to his second World Rally Championship title win. The Manta 400, it was hoped, would continue on from this success but was thwarted by the ground-breaking four-wheel drive Audi Quattro.

Nevertheless, in order to comply with the rules of entry, a run of Manta 400s were built for customer use.

Adding to this particular Manta’s motorsport ties, it was imported into the UK by Opel Motorsport’s then team manager Tony Fall. From 1984 it remained with its original owner and was untouched until 2005. Having changed hands, its second owner took on a full restoration that took over 12 months to complete.

The Cosworth-developed 2.4-litre engine runs through a five-speed gearbox and is housed in the wide-body shell. Behind the wheelarch extensions, rear spoiler and yellow decals sits an Opel Blitz upholstered interior.

This example has covered 28,000 miles, is one of only 245 bult, and just one of 12 to be finished in the Astro Silver paintwork.

An evaluation by the Manta Owners Club scored the car's condition as concours A1 in all areas, and it has been given a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to £50,000.

Classic car specialist Richard Greenhalgh said: ‘This is such a special car! The Opel Manta has a cult status among rally fans as well as the rarity factor, so to see one in immaculate condition is a real treat.’

The December Sale auction with be held at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on December 2.

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