Again within the day when Opel was not chasing after the crossover and SUV segments, its lineup included a rear-wheel drive two-door coupe, the Manta, which is popping 50 this yr.
Named after the manta ray after the designer met with the one and solely Jacques Cousteau, the late explorer, conservationist, researcher, scientist and filmmaker, and spent a while in his presence out at sea, the Manta was launched in 1970.
“We selected the Manta identify. At the moment, animal names matched the ‘zeitgeist’. The Ford Mustang and Corvette Stingray had been very profitable in america. The European Manta was such a pony automotive”, mentioned Opel’s ex-chief designer, George Gallion.
Learn Additionally: A Brief History Of Opel’s Compact Station Wagons
Supplied as a two-door coupe and three-door hatchback, the first-gen Manta shared the underbody and engines with the Ascona household automotive. The early fashions rolled out with a 68 HP 1.6-liter four-cylinder unit, and the lineup was ultimately expanded to incorporate the Manta S, with 80 HP, and the 1.9-liter four-pot, sourced from the Rekord, which produced 90 HP.
Two years after manufacturing began, Opel introduced a extra luxurious variant, dubbed the Manta Berlinetta. It got here with halogen headlights, heated rear window, sports activities steering wheel and vinyl roof. A number of particular editions adopted, together with the Vacation, Plus, Swinger and Summer season Bazar, topped by the GT/E that was launched in 1974 with a 105 HP 1.9-liter fuel-injected engine. The Manta A was despatched off by the Black Magic particular version, which got here out in April 1975, with black paint and pink and orange stripes.
The Manta legend continued with the second technology, which was based mostly on the latest Ascona and influenced by the Chevrolet Monza. Fourteen variations of the automotive had been launched till manufacturing resulted in 1988, together with the GSi and 400, and it was supplied with engine displacements ranging between 1.2 and a pair of.four liters, rated at 55-144 HP.
With over 1,000,000 models made, the Manta was successful for Opel and was ultimately replaced by the Calibra.