Not Oh-Pal – 1974 Opel Ascona and 1971 Opel Manta

Opels were a not uncommon car back when they were just used cars, but now the youngest ones sold in the US are at least 38 years old, and in their primary role as affordable runabouts, most have disappeared from the roads. However, as most European cars do, they attracted an enthusiast contingent, including one man who has hoarded accumulated a significant collection in warehouses and outdoor lots. Technically, he can’t be called a hoarder since he’s “selling”, although quite a few of his cars are priced to look like they’re waiting for when the rising Porsche tide floats his Opel boats. Of course, in many cases, “where are you going to find another?” is the only response to that statement. You can find his 1974 Opel Ascona A 2-door for sale in Riverside, CA for $1500.

1974 Opel Ascona right front

The photography leaves something to be desired, although you can see the paint’s gone chalky from years of sun exposure, and the plate suggests the car was last registered around 8-10 years ago. The headliner is hanging down from the roof, and an aftermarket moon roof was fitted at some point. Other than that, the car looks pretty straight, barring evidence of a minor tussle on the left front fender. No doubt the seller has the parts to fix it – check his other listings selling panels for any Opel.

1974 Opel Ascona left front

It’s unusual to see this style of battering-ram bumper contoured so elegantly to fit the body of the car wearing it, so it’s clear only the finest European designers were consulted in its development. This car is probably a fun alternative to an early Rabbit or a 2002, or even a Datsun 510. Unfortunately, there’s not much to be seen of the rockers, spare tire well, engine, or interior, but that’s a great excuse to wander down there and check out a massive Opel collection. It’s nice to see a manual Ascona, and the 1980s Porsche 911 seats may give a little return to fund retrofitting something more appropriate. Opelheads will agree, one of the first questions to ask is whether the car has been upgraded to a Weber carburetor from the stock Solex.

1971 Opel Manta left front

Of course, looking at the photos in the listing, and a little bit of clever searching, led to this 1971 Opel Manta, for sale in Riverside, CA for $4000. These are such pretty little cars, rivaling the Fiat 124 coupe, although ultimately that car’s twincam four provides a nicer soundtrack. While this car looks to be suffering from the same general level of oxidation as the Ascona, it does have slim little chrome bumpers with “underriders”, and is said to be dent- and rust-free.

1971 Opel Manta right front

Hey, we didn’t say nick-free, so don’t look at that mark next to the driver’s low-beam headlight. The car has a mixture of wheels, but there’s actually something quite appealing about these with the steel wheels and chrome caps. Again, you’ll want to ask if this one’s had the Weber conversion. Either one of these Opels look like they would be a fun, not-too-difficult, and ultimately reliable car to fix up and take out on weekend runs.

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One Response to “Not Oh-Pal – 1974 Opel Ascona and 1971 Opel Manta”

  1. Torben Frank Kragelund Says:

    Nice opel manta a is it stil with the original 1.9 s or has it got a weber and how do i contact you.

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