Car Spotlight>> Turbo Manta

Like most other auto enthusiasts, I spend most of my days browsing my favourite classified websites looking for or should I say dreaming of future purchases. When flicking through the Pistonheads site last week, I was rather surprised to see a couple of photographs that I'd kind of forgot about taking. Back in 2008, I was commisioned for my first ever photo shoot for a UK magazine. The team at Total Vauxhall had entrusted me to shoot a C20 LET powered Opel Manta which was based around four hours north of where I live. 

Thanks to the help of my good friend Graham Curry, I was able to shoot some tracking shots from the boot of his Seat Cordoba estate. The route we shot was an old Circuit of Ireland rally stage which was fitting for this car.

It's a 1985 Opel Manta kitted in the iconic Manta 400 kit. Under the bonnet sits a C20 LET with a Garrett T3 turbocharger, a flowed head and 650cc injectors.

The famous Manta rally cars of years gone-by have obviously had a huge impact on the direction of the build. It's a car that has struck that really nice balance between stripped out racer and semi-civilised street car.

The boot is now home to the relocated battery and spare wheel …

… whilst the interior has been treated to subtle touches of carbon fibre, Recaro seats and a full roll cage. 

The wheels are 17×8 Compomotives with Ferrari F360 sourced Brembo brakes lurking behind them. 

I put this together as I thought you guys and girls might appreciate something a little bit out of the ordinary. It's one of those things that I love about Ireland, you just never know what's lurking in a shed anywhere on this island.


Paddy McGrath

Opel on Speedhunters

Car Spotlights on Speedhunters



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I need a Manta in my life


I wish we had cool stuff like this in America


Manta Magic! There's some cracking examples of this iconic car around the country. Still have vivid memories of Easters past following the Fisher/McHale/Coleman Mantas on the Circuit!


Damn.. a build is a build and well I certainly respect this since it seems the owner put a lot of effort behind it. Never heard of the car but with the kit (if it is one) looks sweeet and somewhat mean. :)


A Manta on Speedhunters!? AWESOME!

I love Mantas, and this one is just perfect!


Hey Paddy, cool little car. Do you have more shots of the cage? Please and thank you.


Awesome stuff, i love cars like this


This is such an ugly automobile, but in the very best of ways. Amazing car, please post more oddball stuff like this in the future!


"Does it run on potatoes?"


We like this and want more such articles.


What gearbox is used here?


I'm building a LET manta myself, great stuff!

Grtz from holland.


Rad. I'm feelin this. Especially that engine bay. One word: clean!!!


it kinda looks like an old school ford mustang in a way


Thanks guys!

@Nick O

I'll see what I can dig out for you.


It's running a Getrag five speed


Awesome car and pictures! :o


That has to be the most bad ass Manta ever.


We in America get the worst of cars. It stinks. S13s came with KA24, e36 m3 got a detuned 5 speed engine, No GT-R until the R35, No Vauxhalls. Even Ford and GM sent the best cars to the Land Down Under and we got garbage. I need to move to Kiwi land.


I have NEVER seen a manta looking that damn good!!! props


Awesome feature!

Paddy, you should definitely feature more of these purpose driven vehicles imo (I'm a huge fan of turbo 4's). Europe has some hidden gems for sure, let's see them! : )


Very clean. Very nice car.


looks well kept.. reminds me of the Exclusiv badged ones they used to put out! - wicked..


why don t they use car like this in the need for speed games


Hey paddy, that would be awesome if you could. I'm also on Facebook if that helps.