Buick’s Handsome European Import: 21k-Mile 1975 Opel Manta 1900 FI Coupe

  • March 31, 2021
The Rundown
  • Stunning & Appealing ‘Survivor’
  • GM Europe’s Alternative to Ford’s Capri
  • Exceptionally Low 21k Seller-Stated Miles
  • SOHC 1.9L Fuel-Injected 4-Cylinder Engine
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Accompanied by Original Window Sticker & Bill of Sale
Why We Like It

Conceived as German GM subsidiary Opel’s counterpunch to Ford’s successful Capri, the Manta debuted for 1970. Based on the Ascona, the Manta was offered with a choice of three SOHC 4-cylinder engines displacing 1.2L, 1.6L, and 1.9L. Only a sexy, very well-proportioned coupe body style was available, and handling is crisp in the European road car vein. GM’s Buick division imported and sold the Manta here in North America through 1975, with these cars retrospectively known as ‘Manta A’. Also, while further research is required, it’s quite possible that famed “car guy” and top auto executive Bob Lutz championed the Manta, alongside the Opel GT, and may have had some influence in bringing Opels to North America.

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buicks-handsome-european-import-21k-mile-1975-opel-manta-1900-fi-coupe00K0K 4BShl8DGv0Ez 0CI0t2 1200x900Fresh to market with just 21k seller-stated original miles, this 1975 Opel Manta is a fabulous and highly engaging ‘survivor’ that defies the term with its clean and wonderful condition and presence. According to the seller, it comes with every piece of paperwork since new, including the window sticker and bill of sale. They also report the car has never been wrecked or even repainted and it includes an as-new trunk with the original spare wheel/tire and roadside jack. The Manta looks great in the online photos posted, including the exceptionally clean and never restored interior, with no cracks/tears and everything working properly, including the gauges, tachometer, blower fan, turn signals, horn, and wipers. The top-shelf 1,900cc SOHC engine also features the added pep and response of fuel injection.

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Valuation Verdict

As a car-crazy kid during the 1970s, this Zero260 contributor fondly recalls the rich, high-quality photo layouts used by GM/Buick to advertise the Opel Manta in Motor Trend, Car and Driver, and Road & Track magazines. Emphasizing the European styling, handling, and 4-cylinder performance of the Manta, those ads were a refreshing break from those hawking the last few loud, gas-guzzling American performance cars of the era, which were starting to rely more on vinyl-tape graphics than actual horsepower to justify their continued existence. Sadly, the Manta is a rare find anywhere in North America today and as usual, rustproofing and panel sealing was still in its infancy. This beautifully preserved, fuel-injected Manta from the last year of availability is an excellent find for anybody looking for an unusual and exceptional European road car of the 1970s. We’ve seen only one other example with less miles sell at auction: a 4k mile car that sold for $23,100! Collector-car price guides do list the ‘C3’ styled Opel GT, but not the Manta – yet. This is a prime-quality example worthy of any collector and until more comparable examples are available, we must consider this amazingly rare find ‘Fair Market’.

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