2 generations of Opel Manta

Opel is traditionally a car maker noted for mouth-watering coupes. In their earlier days, their coupes mainly based on luxurious high-end vehicles. Later, Opel made smaller coupes. One reason for this was the sad fact that interest in upper class models of the Rüsselsheim based automaker has inclined in course of time. Another was the great impact of Ford's Capri in the 1960's.

As a reply on the Ford coupe, Opel launched the Manta at this time and, though it didn't reach the Capri's sales numbers, it was a very successful model. In the late 1970's, Opel released its successor which became a cult car in Germany. In the early 1990's, as pre-owned Mantas were getting cheaper and cheaper, lots of younger tuning freaks bought them, modified them and caught public's eyes not only by exceptional exterior styling but also by foolish behaviour pattern.

Is The Legend Still Alive?

Soon, bad jokes, in addition to two sarcastic movies, battered the positive image of the sporty Opels in Germany. Meanwhile, Opel released the next mid-size sedan-based coupe generation which was, just as before, a great success too. It bear the name Calibra and the public was raptured one more time. But anyhow, it was too good to be true in the end. Instead of extending the successful Calibra series by a convertible or a sporty station wagon, the Opel managers did nothing like that and the breathtaking masterpiece of body design phased out without bringing sustained profit to the reputation of sporting Opel cars or Opel in general.

The next step was even more fainthearted. Despite the Calibra's popularity, Opel didn't launch a direct successor and the mid-size coupe has been replaced by a coupe version of the com-
pact Astra line instead. Although the new vehicle's side profile was similar to the Calibra design, the front and rear look like those of ordinary Astras and the enthusiasm about that car was very low because of that.

In Germany, Volkswagen's coupes Scirocco and Corrado never went down as well as their respective rivals from Rüsselsheim but Opel's fans and bosses have managed self-destruct-
ion despite of it all. The GTC concept is a new attempt to proceed track record. Currently, it seems that Opel's image is, not only in terms of sporty cars, completely damaged but history shows that the reputation of Opel is as resistant as it is bad in the moment. And maybe, if things run smooth, the legend is still alive!


Opel Calibra, Astra Coupe and Astra Coupe Turbo




related link:  www.opel.com



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