I’m always curious about why people choose a particular car, and a few weeks ago I met Kasia Eska-Grajek and she told me about the Opel Manta A she and her husband Marcin owned. It’s not every day that you meet someone who owns an Opel Manta! I was very interested to hear more. Kasia and Marcin agreed to answer a few questions for me about the car and I’m delighted to be able to share this with you! The photos are all their own too.
Car: Opel Manta A
Engine: 1.6 Petrol, 75bhp
Number of years ownership: 5
Q1 Caroline: Why did you choose the Opel Manta A?
Marcin: It was always my dream to own one, I fell in love with the shape when I first saw the car as a teenager.
Kasia: I didn’t initially choose it until Marcin brought me to view the car (he knew straight away he was buying it…I didn’t!). I fell in love when we took the little test drive!
Q2 Caroline: Tell me a little about how you found the car you bought.
Marcin: I was sort of obsessed with the Opel Manta A, and was searching the car trading websites pretty much every day for a couple of years hoping to find one at the budget I could afford and I was just really lucky to find one!
Q3 Caroline: What sort of condition was the car in?
Marcin: It was fine, not amazing but perfect to drive occasionally for pleasure!
Q4 Caroline: Have you done much work on the car?
Marcin: Oh we had big plans… it’s a shame but unfortunately we didn’t do much, shortly after we got the car things changed, I got sick and had to stop working due to back surgery and money was tight.
Kasia: Yeah, there were always more urgent things to do/pay and we also had a baby in the meantime!
Q5 Caroline: How often do you drive the Manta?
Both: We don’t drive it at the moment (sad faces).We are slowly coming back on the right track (financially) and hoping to have it back on the road next year. We are mad but we also have a dream of owning a Volkswagen Camper Van T1/T2! And as we proved with Manta A, the dreams can come true!
Q6 Caroline: Do you bring the car to shows?
Both: We used to. For the first two years of owning the car we went to the shows and felt very proud️.
Q7 Caroline: What is it like to drive? How does it make you feel behind the wheel (or as a passenger?)
Marcin: It really is amazing and unique! Brings you back to the old days! No power steering, no air conditioning, the specific vintage smell and the noise that makes you scream while trying to have a conversation!
Kasia: It feels so cool to be a passenger, every time I was in the car I would try to imagine what the world around it looked like back 40 years ago, what roads would the Manta drive on and who was the first owner. I’m a vintage freak and very curious about those sort of things. And of course people stare at you, other drivers wave…you nearly feel like a celebrity!
Q8 Caroline: Favourite memory of owning/driving the Manta?
Marcin: The feeling when I bought the car and we both drove back home for the first time… And then I kept peeking out the house window to check if it’s still there!
Kasia: Oh I have many! The picnic in Phoenix Park right beside the car, classic car show in Templeogue when a lovely guy told us a story about how he learnt to drive in a Manta (it was his first car) and then when we got Stefan our Labrador and drove everywhere with him as a puppy with his head sticking out the window!
Q9 Caroline: Any advice for anyone who wants to buy one?
Both: Be prepared financially! Consider having or renting a garage to keep the car, we’ve tried car covers and they didn’t work.
And buy something rare so you’ll never lose money on it! At least once a month someone is knocking on our door asking if we want to sell it️
But NO-O… She is our baby!
Thank you to Kasia and Marcin for sharing the story of their Opel Manta A. When not cruising around in the Opel Manta likes it’s 1975, Kasia is a very talented crafter and blogs here as the The Crafty Mummy!