The Opel Manta 400 was a Group B rally legend
7:41

The Opel Manta 400 was a Group B rally legend

Cars
In the mid-1980s, two people and one car captivated fans at the British Rally Championship. McRae in the Manta. Right, bad left, t right [MUSIC] The opening Manta 400s of Jimmy McRae and Russel Brooks was sideways and spectacular. [UNKNOWN] was originally destined for the world stage, by the time it was ready the group B era had moved on with a four wheel drive and turbo charged power of cars on the Audi quatrain. Nonetheless the real drive Opel still finds success in European stages. The hundreds hit for high speed [UNKNOWN] and famous. To this day and this. Well, this is one of just 245 road cars built to satisfy those FIA Group B Homologation regulations. And as if being one of just 245 cars wasn't enough, this car is particularly special. For a start, it looks as you would expect an Opel Manta 400 to look, or at least how I think they should look. Because this has the wide arched body kit is fantastic. Box arches here which amazingly only 60 cars of the original runner 245 came out of the factory with. Also this is just one of 12 to be painted an [UNKNOWN] silver all the rest were white. Of course we have the decals here. Doors 400, incidentally why is it called the Open month of 400. Well the Skoda that came before when that was being humiliated. Group B you had to build 400 to satisfy the FIA. By the time this came along it was only 200. They kept the 400 name for this. So that's why The bonnet frequently, you have the rally intake here because they want to make it more like the rally car. This has the original Steel bonnet unmolested under the bonnet we've got the 2.40 straight 4 engine naturally aspirated but he had about 144 brake horsepower just over 5000 RPM. The thing is this one has still got. Fuel injection system hasn't been converted to carbs, which is what most people didn't stretch weight because that's how you got up to the sort of more near the 277 brake horsepower, that the rally cars. The wheels, five spoke five stunts versions by Ronen the polygraph I should have said is by showing you can see that stamped on the inside of the three piece right away, which is obviously. So distinctive on this car as well, but the big thing that makes this car unique is that it's right-hand drive. It was imported into Ireland by Tony [UNKNOWN] who was the director of motor sports for Opel at the time, and converted because lots of righty cars in Ireland and the UK were Right hand drivers based left hand drive, cuz they stayed in Ireland. They didn't go rallying all around the rest of the world. This conversion was done by a proper Voxel dealership, and it was inspected in 1986, so in period, and they said it was unrecognizable as being anything after market. It looked like it had come out of the factory like that. So this is A very special car indeed. It's done under 30 thousand miles. We're gonna put a few more miles on her today. Let's go for a drive. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] In here you instantly got that feeling of, well, intimacy that you get with older cars. And I love the experience. It runs, really quite tough mechanical feel of a car. The manual gear shift the. Steering, and then juxtaposed against these really quite light, flimsy plastics. They don't make them like that anymore. [MUSIC] So in here, what marks it out as a 400, well we've got the opal sports steering wheel here, which is a lovely size. Has got these little raised nodules on the back as well, just to help you, The front wheel runs all the way around just to hold it right here and these recaro seats with the opal blitz logo repeated on them actually holds you pretty well particularly around the sides here its a very narrow sort of chair. She's fantastic. The suspension does go pretty far, we've got double wishbones in the front and then we got a four link live axle in the rear. [INAUDIBLE] Gear box is a fine speed. Get try and gear box, direct and forth overdrive fifth final drive 3.18 To one. It's geared for 130 miles an hour. And a curious thing, that's actually what the speedo goes round to as well. Wouldn't get that nowadays would you. We've got the optional urmsur exhaust on this car, urmsur being the company that made the, Arches as well. It does sound really good. You just get so many different sounds and notes to it. The character changes from when you start it up, and there's a sort of mechanical flatulence to it. To then a raw [UNKNOWN] and then, there's a feeling that there is quite a large amount of sort of sweat volume per cylinder In this car. I know a definite motorsport edge as it hardens as well. As I said before it's 144bhp in this standard trim but 155 pounds foot of torque which is actually quite a lot when you've only got 1124 kg all be a dry weight to push along. It's an engine that picks up around, Suddenly just kicked and really starts to get into a stride. I wanted to drive one of these for an awfully long time. And it's the sort of car it feels quite suppose how it looks in a way. It feels like it's got quite a long wheel base. It feels obviously demonstrably rear wheel drive. I just want to get one onto gravel. [LAUGH] It feels like it'd be absolutely perfect. Through the corners feel it lean fairly quickly onto its springs. One thing I would say this is quite actually Jupyter new tires on it. I always feel like with these all because I don't want to put them on to some nine kings or something with minimal grip just a minute would have been like back in the day as well I mean a cable operator throttle. I know that in terms of response, I'm sure. Modern throttles are even better but the sense of connection that you get to the engine with the cable operated throttle is so lovely to have. What an absolute privilege to drive this example. It still feels really tight actually, as you would expect for I mean, just over 29,000 miles. [SOUND] it doesn't feel in the least bit buggy. [MUSIC] To have a sunny day in the south of England with this iconic car was just wonderful. Those box arches have to be some of the best I've ever seen. The mind that I'd find it very hard to resist fitting the set of the autos to unlock even more power. But I admire the restraint which has left us in completely static. Perhaps inevitably what was the road car left and longing for the end of the day, is a drive through a forest stage ready running Devotion. One day, maybe. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]

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