Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

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Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 25 Jul 2012, 00:17

A member who lived in Christchurch has recently passed away, and his wife has offered his Opel Manta to club members as a first chance since she would prefer it go to someone who would appreciate it.

Steve T has been to check it out, and has provided the following summary for members who are too distant to check out themselves.
1986 car registered here in 1987,white 3 door hatchback. 2.0Linjection with approx 160000kms on the clock. Runs very nicely no smoking and starts first time. All gauges working as they should. Recent new water pump, BMW power steering fitted, nicely done. Body wise in very good condition,original front wings and rear arches all appear solid and no visible sign of any bubbling.

Underneath looks very solid, sills all good and inside rear arches all good. Common area is in front of rear arches near the trailing arms go rotten, both sides feel solid. Front inner wings very good and behind front lights mint. Looked and felt around the chassis rails all feel solid with no obvious signs of blowing or bubbling. Under battery tray and washer bottle all appear to be solid. Fuel tank no leaks to be seen and no obvious rust problems but obviously couldn't see the top.

Couple of very small pin pricks of rust to rear of sunroof,had to look hard to see them though. Few bad points but nothing to seriously distract from a 26 year old car which has clearly been looked after. Both headlights have chipped lenses, but have plastic covers fitted. Front screen has a chip in the drivers side. Clutch either needs adjusting or replacing, my view is it needs replacing with a new unit. Rear gearbox mount looks as though it has collapsed, new one needed of some description. Gearbox has a slight leak possibly around speedo input or a seal is tired somewhere else, nothing major I think.

Possible leak on rear diff or could be just oil from gearbox. Drivers seat bolster needs repairing. Rust to bottom of tailgate,where water has been sitting, drain holes probably blocked,glass will need to be removed and dealt with. Front discs will need replacing at some point, I have about 50 sets in the UK!

Overall a nice car and as stated well looked after. It was insured for $10k apparently !! Initially looking for about $7k but clearly no one would pay that, open to offers as she wants it to go to someone who appreciates this classic.

My view for what its worth is about $3500-$4000 would be probably top dollar but someone may get it cheaper or pay more, either way the car is good overall. If I was buying it I would have to put all the items mentioned right before I would be able to settle to keeping her.


Contact me for details in the first instance, as this forum is open to public viewing and she doesn't want to be pestered with strangers calling.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 25 Jul 2012, 00:29

Pics of car as it appeared at Chch meet a couple of years back


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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 168 Derek S » 25 Jul 2012, 09:55

IMO its not worth the values mentioned above, its a shame but that's the reality.

The red one sold in Chch at Turners auctions for $3.5k was too high, Steve T did a report* on that and since then I have had some more pics and info from the new owner which indicate to me that the car was not as good as first thought by Steve or from what I saw of the car online. The chap who bought the red one will probably join up here as myself and Carl Kemp have sent him some parts since he bought the car and put him onto this site.

The white one here would have been a better buy for him, and if he had did some home work he would have known that $3.5k is a bit on the high side for a Manta, the things that detract from the NZ new ones are;
2.0 CIH engine (not many options performance wise and the Bosch EFi system is now old and can be problematic)
sun roof (the roof runners and entire design is flawed and a major rust concern, it will have rust issues here, big job to fix as it needs to be done internally - non sun roof one is a safer bet)
hatch back (need I say more? yes they are ok, but they are not the rally pedigree of the coupe - sad but true)

Then there are the real issues with rust and they all rust, even the NZ new ones, my NZ new silver one (with sun roof) was worse that the red one, it ended up being stripped for spares and crushed, thankfully it was a $900 car.

there was a silver one in Napier for sale "forever" and ended up selling at a low price, cant recall exactly but it was under $3k from memory, again that was a car that had a fresh paint job and was thought of as being restored, but it would have had unseen rust that was not sorted out.

I would be interested in the white one, but only to take it off the road, put it up on stands and leave it until I could do a full restoration on it, basically that's back to bare metal shell again and a rebuild.
For me to get the numbers to stack up I would be needing to get the car for under $2k

Edit * "write up" viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1135
sorry used the word "report" following Nevilles intro / words above, yeah its a "write up"
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 183 Steve T » 26 Jul 2012, 07:57

It wasn't a report on either of the cars, more of a 20 minute quick look over, based on what they would fetch in the UK bearing in mind the rust issues we have over there.
The white one is better than the red one and would fetch that over in the UK if someone wanted one which needed only a quick once over to keep on the road for awhile.
Having owned them since I was 18 and rebuilt several, I don't need to research what rust issues these cars have, I know what needs to be done. The engines can be as reliable as any engine if it is looked after.

Frankly I don't care what they sell for as I will bring my own over to restore. With all my own spares etc.

So I won't be bothering to look any others over for anyone, they can do it themselves and form there own judgement.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 168 Derek S » 26 Jul 2012, 09:30

yeah I have found that getting spares from the UK or Germany is the only way to go, obviously this comes with a degree of effort / motivation and the added cost to get the parts here.

Things have been good for a while with our exchange rate being around two dollar to the pound, but some of us will recall a time when it was nearer three dollars to the pound and not so palatable.

I have been stung twice for import duty and GST on parts when the total value including freight was over $400 NZ. DHL in both cases.

When we returned to NZ 17 yrs ago we took everything including cars with us, at the time we had to sign a two year agreement not to sell the cars or we would be liable for the GST content, I have been looking into taking a car over from the UK, but having the bulk of work that involves parts done prior to shipping, again the importation of this would be subject to GST at the border, so needs to be factored in.

I have a mate who imports his own cars he has bought and part restored in the States he has a sizable car collection. He does container sharing with another guy who brings in boats and jet ski's, last car he brought in was worth in excess of US$100k (a very rare 1960's muscle car) but he declared the value at US$50k so the tax man charged him GST on the US$50k + Shipping costs, quite a nice earner for the tax man.

There are lots of horror stories out there about vehicles being impounded at the boarder and penalties imposed when they find dodgy declarations.

Its all about doing the home work upfront and looking at the total cost to see if its viable.

Euro parts wise we have found its easier and cheaper to find parts for Porsche / BMW / Merc either locally or out of the States.

Only pointing this out as anyone looking to buy a Manta in NZ needs to understand or be aware of the issues.

A real enthusiast will not be put off, will have done their research. will know the market value of cars of this era and will decide themselves what its worth, absolutely nothing wrong with anyone having their own opinions.

Steve T's opinion is as good as it gets, he knows these cars inside out. I simply point out that its not cheap to work on these / complete repair work in NZ, especially if you don't have good contacts in the UK or Germany for sourcing parts. There are so many old cars bought as projects and end up being scrapped because the buyer started out with the best intentions only to find the whole thing overwhelming time and cost wise, trade me has plenty of abandoned projects, indeed Neville mentioned a Monza that was sold a few years ago in nice original condition only to be left to deteriorate to something that's worth next to nothing now.

So hopefully the white Manta will end up with a new owner who is prepared to spend the time and money on it as needed and as Steve T says "If I was buying it I would have to put all the items mentioned right before I would be able to settle to keeping her" is the correct way of thinking.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 26 Jul 2012, 11:53

183 Steve T wrote:It wasn't a report on either of the cars, more of a 20 minute quick look over, based on what they would fetch in the UK bearing in mind the rust issues we have over there.
The white one is better than the red one and would fetch that over in the UK if someone wanted one which needed only a quick once over to keep on the road for awhile.
Having owned them since I was 18 and rebuilt several, I don't need to research what rust issues these cars have, I know what needs to be done. The engines can be as reliable as any engine if it is looked after.

Frankly I don't care what they sell for as I will bring my own over to restore. With all my own spares etc.

So I won't be bothering to look any others over for anyone, they can do it themselves and form there own judgement.


I appreciated your feedback, Steve, and understand it was not intended as a full 'report' on the car, but more of an overview. Any buyer from the North Island who wanted to purchase would have been able to make a decision to check it out further based on your feedback, but at the end of the day, it is "buyer beware" so they have to make their own decision to buy.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 075 Carl » 26 Jul 2012, 23:39

nice looking car looks good in white anyone no what the cost would be to ship up to auckland?
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 26 Jul 2012, 23:44

About $150 if you fly down and drive it back, and probably about $900 if you pay some company to collect and deliver it to your door.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 075 Carl » 26 Jul 2012, 23:49

keen but have to think about it not working at the moment job hunting
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 27 Jul 2012, 00:03

I should also mention the personalised numberplate does NOT come with the car, since the wife would presumably want to hang on to that herself.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 008 Julian W » 28 Jul 2012, 14:08

Interesting you say a White Manta?

When I started the Opel Manta Club of Canterbury in 1990 I knew most of Opel Manta owners very well - Most as of 1992 were still the original owners - There were very few white ones down there - there might have onlt been 2
Early 1986 this was one was one of the first and owned by a local in Rangiroa who i used regularly keep in touch with and was fitted number items not often fitted to later cars ie different mirrors etc - it would be sad he has gone as he would be only in his 60s to earlly 70s at present and very enthusistic about Opels
The other white one I know was brought by a guy who was a co -owner of a Industrial sewing servcing factory - in Fact 2 partners ran the firm and both brought Opel Mantas GSi new (The surprising thing is that GM NZ gave each of its NZ new Opel owners a letter claiming and pronising parts would be freely available which it never was..) - one was white the other Olyster metallic (gold) second of the partners I knew quite quite well called Alex and both men would be today well in their late 80s . Alex when i met him was at least 65 in 1992 and still running the business
Also down here was 1 of 2 Opel Manta GSI Coupes (ie non Liftback) a red one - run by the wife of a small GM dealer specially brought in by GM
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 008 Julian W » 28 Jul 2012, 14:20

Stop been doom and gloom about the parts problems for Opel Mantas -They are not as BAD as as that ..Bull!
:roll:
I been buying stuff through Opel Manta UK Club for years! I Owned my Manta since 1990 its second last imported been 1988 car

I found Andy Clears at Drive Vauxhall most recommended he supplied all my parts in recent years at a reasonable freight (Yep I know its DHL and you can pay alot ) for both my Manta and Vectra - and often it gets here quicker then some spotty NCEA not achieved youngster working in your local GM dealer can find the part number on the still ancient Micro Fiche Parts file! :)
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 28 Jul 2012, 15:42

008 Julian W wrote:Interesting you say a White Manta?

When I started the Opel Manta Club of Canterbury in 1990 I knew most of Opel Manta owners very well - Most as of 1992 were still the original owners - There were very few white ones down there - there might have onlt been 2
Early 1986 this was one was one of the first and owned by a local in Rangiroa who i used regularly keep in touch with and was fitted number items not often fitted to later cars ie different mirrors etc - it would be sad he has gone as he would be only in his 60s to earlly 70s at present and very enthusistic about Opels
The other white one I know was brought by a guy who was a co -owner of a Industrial sewing servcing factory - in Fact 2 partners ran the firm and both brought Opel Mantas GSi new (The surprising thing is that GM NZ gave each of its NZ new Opel owners a letter claiming and pronising parts would be freely available which it never was..) - one was white the other Olyster metallic (gold) second of the partners I knew quite quite well called Alex and both men would be today well in their late 80s . Alex when i met him was at least 65 in 1992 and still running the business
Also down here was 1 of 2 Opel Manta GSI Coupes (ie non Liftback) a red one - run by the wife of a small GM dealer specially brought in by GM


Alex is in his 80s and the car is off the road. This is the business partner, Owen's car.

Have you got the location of the red coupe? For some reason, I've always preferred the coupe over hatchback.
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 008 Julian W » 28 Jul 2012, 16:09

I thought it might be Owens Car - I never met Owen
Good to here that Alex is still round I used to visit him at his home - really nice guy - Give him my regards - He was regular member of the local club.

I used to have information stored on an old computer since crashed (still got the box one day i get mate to find my files which unfortunly has much old information likes registration numbers of all the cars in chch as of 1991-1992 - Remember meeting the woman -this may help you find the car
There were 2 GM Dealers in CHCH - Blackwells and a smaller one - She was Principles wife of small one was it called Robertsons - or am i getting confused with one in Palmerston North?

Cheers Julian
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Re: Opel Manta GSi in Christchurch

Postby 001 Neville » 28 Jul 2012, 18:32

Not heard of a smaller dealer in Chch??
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