Welcome to Found Around Town, where we feature cars we find in a city where interesting ones are rare because everyone drives a Prius or rides a bicycle: Austin, Texas.
Hey, weren't we just talking about captive imports? When was the last time you saw a classic Opel rolling in your city, let alone one that's in such great shape as this?
I discovered this Opel Manta in downtown Austin near the fantastic Kung Fu Saloon, the bar where you can drink beer and play Street Fighter II or skeeball. The car was impossible to miss, even though it was sandwiched between two massive, boring Japanese crossover vehicles (who prevented me from getting better angles for my photos!)
Opels were sold through Buick dealers in the U.S. from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. The Manta sports coupe was one of their best-selling models, even though its small, four-cylinder engines meant it lacked the performance to run with American muscle cars.
This one was a Manta A, the one made between 1970 and 1975, and as you can see from the badge, it's an automatic. Don't you love how cars used to have badges that bragged about stuff like that?
It's still a pretty great looking little car today. I do love the "Covert Austin" badges on the trunk — that's a dealer chain that's still around, so the car may have been bought here back in the day. Very cool. I give huge originality points to whoever drives this thing.
My favorite thing about it is that especially luscious shade of orange. It may not be the original paint color, but damn if it doesn't look awesome. It certainly suits the car and makes it look quite aggressive, and easy to spot in a parking lot.
Do you have any memories of old-school Opels in America? Any desire to see them come back?