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Auction: 83/84 RHD Manta 400 Silver

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Is this the one that came to Billing in the 2000's in a Brian James trailer, from Ireland I think?

Absolutely stunning! 

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That is one stunning manta!

Did they ever make RHD versions from the factory or were those that are now, converted by dealers?

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When this 400 came to Billing ten or more years ago it had just ben restored by Marty Drennen ( I think i have the name correct, appologies if i haven't ) The standard of restoration was exceptional, in the evening light you could look along the side at a highlight and there was even the faintest ripple in any panel.

 The issue of the number of righthand drive 400's is complicated by the FIA Homoligation rules allowing a car to be altered from LHD to RHD and vica-versa as needed for which every country it resided in. I was always under the impression that there a limited number of 400's built RHD and this one is the only Astro Silver RHD 400.

I dreamt of owning this car when i saw it for the first time at Billing, i still want it now and unfortunatly i'm just as likely to own it now !

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From the factory there was only ever one RHD 400. The rest are all converted afterwards. Love to know how this effects things like insurances etc. Still a very nice car and something i would love, i would have to make the engine phase 3 though haha.

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 I remember the rhd 400 being for sale in the club mag...I think it was about £10k at the time.

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This is a really excellent 400 and I'd be amazed if it doesn't smash its rather conservative estimate.

This particular car was converted to RHD in Ireland by Pentlands Vauxhall dealers when it was virtually new. Original parts were used for the conversion and even under close inspection is is very hard to tell that it is anything other than totally standard, such is the quality of the conversion.

On the topic of RHD Manta 400's, there was never really an "official" RHD version. Tony Fall had a RHD Manta 400 commissioned for Vauxhall to evaluate in 1982, with a view to it becoming a road production version. It was a special "one off" order from the Opel factory and when it arrived in the UK it was registered as DPP 117Y.

From what I gather, there was little appetite for this to enter the Vauxhall model line up and the car ended up in the storage area of W Grose Vauxhall in Northampton, where it stayed for a number of years covered in dust (they were one of the original DOT dealerships). In 1990, DPP 117Y was purchased by Thurlby Motors in Lincolnshire who bought it along with all the associated paperwork and notes relating to the meetings that were held with GM executives about the project. It was professionally restored and spent the rest of its life in the Dealership showroom, as possibly the most awesome exhibit ever. Richard Walsh (the owner and still very active boss of Thurlby Motors) is a petrolhead through and through and has had various interesting cars and projects come through the doors over the years.

When the dealership decided that they needed to free up This car was for sale via the OMOC magazine in 1994 for an amazing £12k (Oh hindsight etc etc). It was sold to another dealership up in Scotland I believe and sometime later, into private ownership. Being a 1982 car, it is a "pre Facelift" shell with a two slot front end and 2 air intakes on the scuttle panel. If I recall, it also has the earlier Blitz Interior, which makes it a very interesting and very rare beast indeed!

If I could pick a favourite Manta from any that I have seen in the 29 years of being a member of this club, it would without a doubt be DPP 117Y and I am always slightly eaten away knowing that I could have bought this car 23 years ago.

DSC09845.JPG

DSC09844.JPG

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An interesting history lesson above re DPP117Y.  Hindsight is a wonderful thing, whoever owns it today is sitting on a goldmine!

It was MOT'd back in March with 20K miles recorded, and has been MOT'd every year (with no advisories whatsoever) since 2006 by the same garage in Weston-Super-Mare. Registered in Luton on 9/9/82 and it changed hands in 1996 and again in 2003. Currently on its 4th owner.

 

 

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The owner of DPP 117Y now I believe is Kerry Michael who owns the 2 Andrews Heat for Hire 400 rally Mantas

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I believe so..... (I tend not to name folks on the forum however, at least not without their permission.)

Personally, I think having 3 400's is possibly a bit greedy and he needs to let the road car go to a new loving home. Im quite prepared to stump up the asking price quoted in the summer '94 edition of Manta Magic!!!!

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22 hours ago, gtwist said:

The owner of DPP 117Y now I believe is Kerry Michael who owns the 2 Andrews Heat for Hire 400 rally Mantas

That would make sense as he owns the pier at Weston Super Mare & thats the town where the car gets its MOT's.

As the area rep i'll have to see if he'd be willing to display his car at next years Bristol Classic Car show, we would definitely make room for it on our stand !

 

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He's been to a few meetings in the past I believe, so you never know.

It would be nice to see the road car again. I've not seen it for a few years now and I'm getting withdrawal symptoms.

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I always remember in the 90's being told that DPP 117Y started life as a GTE but was converted at the factory to a 400...don't know how true that is.

The silver 400 has been mentioned on Evo magazine's website as star of the auction.

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Sold for £46K according to Mick Maher's post on Facebook. Somewhat less than I expected it would go for.

Edited by Monaco Blue

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I viewed the car and whilst it certainly looked visually stunning, what 400 doesn't the car in my super-critical eye was not a 133/135 rated car.

Items of mention where some hairline splits in the paint at the base of the NS C-pillar and NS A-pillar, the drivers seat had some thread wear on the outer-edge of the seat bolster and application of the silver on the roof was very slightly inconsistent. Now I am saying I'm being super critical (my work has really made me focus in on the detail) and I did consider the car myself, but I have to say the one thing that kind of turned me off was the fact that the car had been converted to RHD. I completely understand it was done properly by a Pentlands Vauxhall but for me this would always limit the true nature and value of the car and this in part may have also hindered the bidding too as its unlikely that many of the European bidders will have gone for the car.

Just my 2pence worth and what I would like to think is an honest assessment of the car with the minor areas mentioned being consistent with the fact she was restored in 2005.....BTW jacking-points and swan-necks in excellent condition!

At £50600 (inc Commission) you'd have to say it was a great buy for a piece of super rare Opel Motorsport

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13 hours ago, GT2400 said:

I viewed the car and whilst it certainly looked visually stunning, what 400 doesn't the car in my super-critical eye was not a 133/135 rated car.

Items of mention where some hairline splits in the paint at the base of the NS C-pillar and NS A-pillar, the drivers seat had some thread wear on the outer-edge of the seat bolster and application of the silver on the roof was very slightly inconsistent. Now I am saying I'm being super critical (my work has really made me focus in on the detail) and I did consider the car myself, but I have to say the one thing that kind of turned me off was the fact that the car had been converted to RHD. I completely understand it was done properly by a Pentlands Vauxhall but for me this would always limit the true nature and value of the car and this in part may have also hindered the bidding too as its unlikely that many of the European bidders will have gone for the car.

Just my 2pence worth and what I would like to think is an honest assessment of the car with the minor areas mentioned being consistent with the fact she was restored in 2005.....BTW jacking-points and swan-necks in excellent condition!

At £50600 (inc Commission) you'd have to say it was a great buy for a piece of super rare Opel Motorsport

An interesting appraisal. You might have a point about it having been converted to RHD, however, if that was a stumbling point and has helped it stay in the UK then that's no bad thing IMHO. Hopefully it might be seen at future shows.

£50K is a lot of money and well beyond the reach of Mr Average. Relatively speaking, it was still a bit of a bargain though.

Edited by Monaco Blue

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I did think 133/135 was probably a bit generous...if it only dropped marks for it's history then the rest of the car would have to be perfect and it obviously wouldn't be...what car would?

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Viewing this car also and also being hyper critical. I think it would be about as good as you could get for that money. It was lovely in the flesh.

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