Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build

I bought my first Opel Manta back in 1989 when I was 25 years old, I saw it on a garage forecourt for 8K with one previous owner who had it for three years

Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build
Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build
Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build
Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build
Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build
Paul - Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build

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Hi, my name is Paul

My Instagram is: @paulsv8manta

I work as a Customer Advisor at a D.I.Y. store in Hampshire.

I love retro cars, I still have all the Hot Rod & custom car magazines which I bought in my teens, I’m not sure whether it was the half-naked girls draped over the cars or the cars themselves which got me hooked!  My first car was a Ford Cortina mk2, I bought this when I was 17 and had the interior kitted out in orange fur and the leaf springs jacked up and with fitted fog lights under the rear arches we didn’t have LED’s in them days and with a cherry bomb exhaust !!! 

I bought my first Opel Manta back in 1989 when I was 25 years old, I saw it on a garage forecourt for 8K with one previous owner who had it for three years, and I just fell in love with the car and to this day 31 years later, I still own it although it’s undergoing a rebuild.

I only drive Opel Manta and I currently have four Mantas, two of which are project cars and the other two I use on a regular basis.

The first build is 90% complete - a 2 litre redtop supercharged 400 replica, which is ready for paint.

Second build is 75% complete, this is my original coupe which will have a supercharged 4.6 V8, then I have 2 litre hatch this was a barn find, it hadn’t moved in 14 yrs squirrels had stored acorns in every possible nook and cranny ! This I now use as a daily driver, and finally the Manta coupe you see here, there’s just something about these cars that do it for me!

This car was built on my drive over a period of 8 years and on a limited budget.  The last two years have been ironing out the gremlins, which have been many, and I can now understand why people choose to use the carburettor option!   I’ve done everything myself  and with the self-help pages from YouTube and Google I’ve managed to learn how to do everything to create what you see here, it’s far from perfect, there are a number of body imperfections that I still need to sort out but it's proof anyone can do anything.   I know this car is not to everyone’s taste, but I built it for me as with all my other cars I have, and I know the purists cry out in damnation especially as these cars are getting few and far between, but hey I like to drive them and not hide them away.

Opel Manta GTE - V8 Build Specs

Engine & Ancillaries

  • Rover Vitesse 3.5 v8 EFI with manual LT77 gearbox
  • Gas flowed heads
  • 3.9 camshaft
  • Lightened flywheel
  • Range Rover P38 exhaust headers
  • Full stainless exhaust system with electric cut-outs
  • Chevrolet radiator
  • Mocal oil cooler
  • 200-amp alternator
  • Dual battery setup

Wheels & Brakes

  • Wilwood master cylinder
  • Chevrolet Chevelle dual diaphragm brake servo
  • Rear disc conversion with Citroen Saxo discs 
  • Ford Sierra Cosworth Rear Callipers
  • Front Brake Disc AUDI 80 2.0 16V 
  • Cavalier MK3 2.0 16v Front Callipers
  • Bilstein shocks
  • 17” Dare motorsport alloy wheels with custom made centre caps
  • Quaife LSD

Exterior Body Modifications

  • RMJ Elegance rear bumper
  • Twin headlight conversion
  • De-locked
  • Electric Windows - tinted all round
  • Custom paint -
  • Charlie white pearl basecoat with gold metal flake
  • Metallic black basecoat with red metal flake


  • Rear roll cage
  • 4 x Kenwood Amplifiers
  • 2x 6x9 JBL rear speakers
  • 2x 6” front Vibe woofers
  • 2x 6” front Vibe Mid-range
  • 2x Dash mounted Kenwood tweeters
  • 2x door mounted JBL tweeters
  • Custom built dash & centre consul
  • IPad head unit

Boot Install/ Modifications

  • 1x 12” Kenwood sub
  • Fuel pump relocated 
  • Emergency Tool Kit installed

Performance wise, I’ve not had it on a rolling road, but the standard 3.5 efi is 190bhp, with a torque measuring 220 lb-ft (253.5 Nm) @ 4000 rpm, I’d say a conservative guess it’s currently around about 220bhp.

I have a feeling that the original 34 year old ECU that I’m using can’t take advantage of the modifications that have been done to the engine and I believe it’s on its last legs.   This leads me into the next phase, a Range Rover Thor inlet conversion which is ready to be installed, an Eaton M90 supercharger which I’m currently rebuilding and an MS3 ECU to control everything.  This should once and for all cure all my gremlins.

The car has been booked in for a couple of shows such as the Retro Rides Weekender which is now on the 11th-12th July (due to covid 19 it now clashes with) The London Cartel International Auto Show 12.07.2020 I might have to just do the one day at retro.

If you’d like to see more of the car I’ve just had a video shoot done by MAD L1fe check it out at 


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