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Domes shonky autos-Manta Magic. How rusty is it?

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1 hour ago, cort16 said:

By helping do you mean holding the fire extinguisher? Is it not the swan neck chassis rails being rotten on these that's a real nightmare to fix?

I’ve welded one exhaust previously which never fell off so I’m now classed as a time served welder obvs

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Lovely thing, I don't know why but the coupe body on these looks magnificent but the hatch looks a bag of shite in my uneducated opinion.

Since we're all throwing in unsolicited suggestions on what to do with it I reckon a 2.5 or 3.0 V6 out of an Omega would go all right.  Not too heavy I believe, shortish so wouldn't affect handling too much, compatible bellhousing I think?  Or the turbocharged version out of a Saab 9-5...

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I once drove an Ascona which had been fitted with the 3.0 24v out of a Senator.  The enthusiastic  young chap had chopped out the entire heater box , some of the bulkhead, and modified the prop... with a grinder and an arc welder.

Scariest mile of my life before it broke down. I wish I could go back in time and give him a slap. 

Old skool turbos don't suit old rwd cars in my opinion, driving how a Manta should be driven,  the lag tends to happen just when you need a bit of oppo. My X1/9 turbo was a twitchy wee bastard and was very ragged when you were "on it". I could probably cover ground quicker with the standard 85bhp.

I'm still stuck in a place in time, so a nice built redtop on twin 45s. 

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mind my gaffer at college had a e plate gte, 2l 8 vale running k=jet, as a 16 year old it was fast considering mum only had 1.3's... suppose a 8v o k-jet wasnt really fast compared to today's stuff..... as for the saab turbo lump, naw. decent 16v 2l wwith some old fashioned tuning like porting and polishing the head, forged pistons and rods. just go rally spec but with throttle bodies

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A c20ne with a fancy cam and a 4 branch will see north of 150bhp, whether thats enough for you or not I don't know.

Probably a drop in the ocean compared with your overall plans for the car, but scene tax has landed on the Vauxhall/Opel scene as you might know with the Locost  engine. The bigger 8v engines and especially the 16v are pricey now.

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8 hours ago, Barry Cade said:

This one was spotted in Falkirk earlier.. you work fast! 😃



Must be a feature of getting older. It used to be all GTEs for me but now that coop in that colour looks the absolute. Would 

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Here's my old one in its original pastile de turquoise paint and was when new What Car magazine's long term test/fleet mule.

Great looking car it had a 3.0 essex engine and autobox in it when i obtained it that over time got swapped back to 2.0 vauxhall and four speeder.

Another one i regret selling.


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1 hour ago, Split_Pin said:

A c20ne with a fancy cam and a 4 branch will see north of 150bhp, whether thats enough for you or not I don't know.

Probably a drop in the ocean compared with your overall plans for the car, but scene tax has landed on the Vauxhall/Opel scene as you might know with the Locost  engine. The bigger 8v engines and especially the 16v are pricey now.

I did think about keeping the XE from the Locost with the Omega box-it was pretty sorted and went well. I couldn't be arsed with the thought of breaking it though as at the time I'd no idea how long it'd be before I got a Manta.

The scene tax is one of the reasons for going for a modern drivetrain though, the other being that a 20+ year old redtop or the like will likely be slightly* passed it's prime. 

A Mk3 MX-5 engine and box is the current favourite choice-2.0 16v with 160bhp standard and a 6 speed box. A 2.5 conversion is possible using a donor Mazda 6 Sport.

I don't want crazy power, the Kangoo with 180 bhp and 1000kgs is the benchmark for performance. The original 400 was rated at 160bhp in road trim anyway. 

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I'd keep it at a four pot as well for balance. A modern all alloy unit must be a good chunk lighter than the old cast iron CIH lump. Like I said before the 2 litre gte never felt slow and I'm sure they were only 115bhp? 150 or so out of a duratec or mazda 16 valver you'd reckon would feel brisk as fuck. The duratec in my st is rated at 148bhp, the car weighs around 1080kg and that feels a quick car. Noisy and torquey though so it doesn't matter how quick it is, it feels quick! 

That's what matters these days I reckon, the sensation of speed rather than out right pace

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If there's nothing wrong with the CIH lump I would keep it. They are'nt the most refined but they go on forever.

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Well, thanks to @worldofceri and @Inspector Morose the Manta has been transported from Devon to its new home in Fife.

Here she is as delivered.



How many owners?IMG_20210505_151318.thumb.jpg.46006733f2086e5fa99f9055a1388c1f.jpg


Wonder how much it cost new?


Traded in a Manta too. Legend.

Captains view









First things first, lose the roof rack. It's spoiling the lines of my 1980s sports coupe.


That's better

@Fraz came over for a poke around. The rust, whilst on first glance not insubstantial, looks better than my last Manta. Which I sold in 1998😲

That's all for tonight. Next up I'll give it a damn good clean and get busy with the plusgas with a view to stripping it down for rust repairs. A rotisserie will be getting ordered up to make poking the undersides easier.


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  • dome changed the title to Domes shonky autos-Manta Magic. She's here 😁

The hole surprised me also. I fell into it as I stared into its dark centre for too long. Luckily I landed back on domes driveway so it was all good, I don’t think dome noticed. 


I LOVE this car. It is tremendous value for money I think.

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1 hour ago, dome said:

Well, thanks to @worldofceri and @Inspector Morose the Manta has been transported from Devon to its new home in Fife.

Here she is as delivered.

1 hour ago, dome said:

Well, thanks to @worldofceri and @Inspector Morose 







That's got some serious potential. Did the original owner pass on or something?

Gearchange just looks plain weird- surely it's not factree to have to force your hand into your passenger's crutch area when selecting reverse? 

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2 hours ago, Dick Longbridge said:

Gearchange just looks plain weird- surely it's not factree to have to force your hand into your passenger's crutch area when selecting reverse? 

Fairly sure most of the gears worked that way when I had a Manta at 19.

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47 minutes ago, Split_Pin said:

Nice one, a dream come true for you!

I recall school pals parents MK1 Cavalier rusted in exactly the same place.

Thanks. It is indeed! You, all of scotoshite and anyone else I've had a vaguely automotive chat with are probably sick of hearing me going on about Mantas. Finally i can get on with making one the way I've wanted to for all these years!

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  • dome changed the title to Domes shonky autos-Manta Magic. How rusty is it?

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