The history of the Opel Manta 400 as a rally car started with the Corsica Rally in 1983. The homologation was granted March 1st, 1983 with nr. B237. This specific car has the Matter nr. RM 8 so it is the 8th car of a total of 38 car built. It was 1983 built and serviced from the German dealer team of Reinhard Hainbach in Schotten and designated for the German Rally Championship 1983 driven by Erwin Weber/Gunter Wanger from May 1983 with Metz Rally onwards, using license plate GG-CT 171 of a press car. Nickname of the car was “Schneller Brüter” which was a nuclear power plant in Germany which has never been finished.
However, the final test was Vogelsberg Rallye on April 29th, 1983 driven as pre-runner car nr. 00 by Reinhard Hainbach and co-driver Ronald Leschhorn with license plate VB-H 406.
The season was highly successful with the win of the German championship with three 3rd places in the first 3 courses with an Opel Ascona 400 and later with this Manta 400 at Metz Rallye Stein P4; Rallye Hessen, Rallye Vorderpfalz, Hunsrück Rallye all P1 and eventually P2 at Reichsstadt Rallye and 3-Städte-Rallye. It had only one retirement at Deutschland Rallye.
1984 the car was used again with license plate VB-H 406 and rented to the Bastos Rally Team of Guy Colsoul/Alain Lopes with the following results: Boucles de Spa P4, Circuit des Ardennes accident, TAC Rally P4, Rallye de Wallonie P3, Haspengouwrally retired with engine problems, Ypres 24 Hours Rally P5, Critérium Lucien Bianchi again retired with engine problems, Omloop van Vlaanderen P2 and Rallye du Condroz P2. This was 3rd place in the Belgian Championship.
1985 the car was used with license plate VB-H 405 and rented again to the Bastos Rally Team of Guy Colsoul/Alain Lopez with the following results: Boucles de Spa accident, Circuit des Ardennes P3, TAC Rally P3, Rallye de Wallonie P5, Haspengouwrally P5, Ypres 24 Hours Rally P5, Lotto Bianchi Rally P2, Omloop van Vlaanderen P4 and Rallye du Condroz P4. This was again 3rd place in the Belgian Championship. 1986 they achieved P5 at the Boucles de Spa.
In February 7th, 2007 the car was reregistered with license plate XCF-251 for Guy Colsoul Rallysport. Guy Colsoul drove 3 days later with his son Tom the Legend Boucles de Spa in Belgium to 6th place overall. 2008 Steve Vanbellingen/ Joost Custers made 32nd on the same rally and 2009 127th. 2010 it was hired from Paul-Emile Descamps/Michel Gauteron for Rally du Maroc Historic and they achieved P3 overall. In 2012 same team, same event with P4 overall. 2013 Chris van Woensel/Pieter van der Sloten made 6th overall at Legend Boucles de Spa. 2014 it was rented to Alain Lopes/Pascal Lopes for Rallye du Maroc with P23 at the end. 2015 Pili de la Fontaine drove with Tom Colsoul the Rallye du Maroc to 10th place overall. Lieven van Daele/Svetlana Pirogova took the car for a demonstration run at Eifel Rallye Festival in Germany. From 2017 until 2019 was again Pili de la Fontaine at the wheel for Rallye du Maroc; together with co-driver Dominique Savignoni they came in on P7, P6 an P6 respectively.
In September 2019 it was sold to Germany, where it was built 36 years ago.
Body shell: by Matter as a Euro-gravel-body shell
Bonnet, wings, wing enlargements, trunk lid made from Kevlar
doors, rear-, side- and door panels made from polyester
Output: 275 PS (202 kW) at 7,250 rpm
Torque: 294 Nm at 5,500 rpm
Displacement: 2,420 cm³
Bore/stroke: 95,2 x 85 mm
Carburetors: Weber 50 DCOE dual carburetors
Oil supply: dry sump lubrication
Tank capacity: 80 liters in the boot
Gear box: Getrag 5-speed-racing gear box, 2.33 – 1.00 ratios
Drive line: rear wheel drive, limited slip differential
Brakes: 4 discs with AP Lockheed calipers with 4 pistons
Tires and rims: Pirelli on the front max 8J x 15, on the rear max 10J x 15
Weight: 960 kg without drivers and fuel
Dimensions: length 4,463 mm, width 1,770 mm