For $9,599, Can We Talk, Manta Man?

Residents of the Texas city advocate keeping Austin weird. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe Opel is claimed to be a native, but is its price weirdly attractive?

If Jurassic Park taught us anything - and it didn't - it was that even the smallest of dinosaurs could be just as deadly as the big-ass ones. Yesterday's 1982 Lincoln Mark VI was a downsized dino, but for 72% of you at least, it was its price that was killer, and it came away with a surprising Nice Price win.

Well, well, well, where have we seen today's 1974 Opel Manta before? That's right, it was FOUND AROUND TOWN by Patrick a couple of years back and the seller liked his snapping of shots so much, he's used a few of them in his Craigslist ad! The circle of life is complete.

For $9,599, Can We Talk, Manta Man?

Y'all remember Opel don't you? They're GM's German brand and were sold here in the U.S. through Buick dealers until 1975, sort of as a light, cleansing European sorbet to Buick's then bloated boatload of baroque. Eventually GM discovered that Opel's models like this Manta were making their U.S.-made cars look bad so they quickly replaced them with some majorly shitty Isuzus. To add insult to injury they branded those Japanese pretenders as 'Opel by Isuzu.'

Truth be told, Opel's days were numbered in the U.S. due to the wildly unfavorable exchange rates that made anything built in Europe crazy expensive over here. That disparity in the Mark over the dollar caused the Manta's price to jump by more than $450 the year after this one left the factory. Of course even with that the Opel was a third the price of BMW's contemporary 320i, and they were probably more than 9/10s as good.

For $9,599, Can We Talk, Manta Man?

Fortunately this one, in (almost) U of T orange no less, is said to have been originally sold in Austin, and hence we don't need to account for a flaccid dollar in calculating its value. What we should consider however is its shape, and whether it has all of its parts which are these days made from unobtainium and elven queefs.

That full inventory does appear to be the case here, and while there's not much in the way to be had as far as trim goes on them, this one did manage to keep its fender lip bits, period-correct side mirror, and lightning bolt badges. It also has a ding in the leading edge of the hood that looks like it'd be a not so fun project to hammer out.

For $9,599, Can We Talk, Manta Man?

On the inside it seems to also be in very nice shape, and there don't seem to be any cracks in the dash large enough to become tourist attractions. Nor do there seem to be any major issues with the seats, although its hard to tell about the driver's throne as it has a seat pad in its lap like something your great grandfather might have picked up at the Woolworths.

On the plus side, the A/C is claimed to still work and the car is said to run great on its new set of tires. On the down side perhaps is the fact that it's an automatic, and that likely saps a good bit of the 1.9-litre four's 90-bhp. This one has a tiny air cleaner atop its two-barrel Solex, so maybe it makes even less. Being a 1974 model, this Manta also has big bumpers front and rear, which added 5 inches (ooh, ladies) to the car's length, and 150-lbs to its about 2,100-kb weight.

For $9,599, Can We Talk, Manta Man?

Those bumpers are bummers, but the rest of the car looks to be in pretty sweet condition, perhaps owed to its remarkably low mileage. And also, who doesn't love the manta's styling with its set of four round tail lamps under the duck's-ass fastback? And what better way to cruise around Austin during SxSW than in a classic German car while pumping Kraftwerk out the speakers just to piss off the Austinites?

Of course to do so would require dusting off your passport as the car is located in the nation of Texas, and perhaps more importantly it means also chipping that credit card out of its block of ice in the freezer as you'd need to come up with 9,599 stripper tips to buy it.

What do you think about this Austin Opel and its $9,599 price tag. Is that a deal for a cool car that you just don't see all that often any more? Or, is that price only passible to a UofT alum?

You decide!

Austin Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Brian Benshoter for the hookup!

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