Rallying is a world where the modest road car can be elevated to the status of fire spitting icon – the Peugeot 205, Audi Quattro and Renault 5 are 3 such legendary machines. In the UK, Vauxhall (or Opel as it’s known in the rest of Europe) doesn’t have a particularly high profile racing pedigree apart from in the world of Touring Car racing. However, one car that has earned it’s place as a fan favorite is the Opel Manta B 400.
Built to Group B specifications, although running a rear wheel drive configuration against the increase dominance of the 4 wheel drive system,the car packed 275BHP and had specially lightened Kevlar body panels. Piloted by British aces Jimmy McRae (father of Colin) and Russell Brookes, the two evenly matched drivers battled it out for two season as team mates. Still a common site on historic rally events and showcases like the Goodwood Festival of Speed, the Manta draws large crowds in it’s iconic Andrew’s Heat For Hire colour scheme.