The world of strange ‘80s and ‘90s kit cars knows endless depth, oddities, and interesting stories. Back then, it felt like any mad scientist could go out and set up a small car company building things based on Volkswagen Beetles or very basic frames hidden underneath handmade fiberglass. Add another unique small kit car maker to the list: Manta Cars. And there’s one for sale right now.
Obscure Cars For Sale on Facebook never fails to deliver on obscurity or cars for sale, and the 1980 Manta Montage listed by Everett A. DeVall checks all of the boxes. It’s something I’ve never heard of, and it has an interesting and unique history as the brainchild of two brothers: Brad and Tim Lovette. In researching the story behind Manta, I found that their original GeoCities-looking website is still limping along.
There’s also an emotional secret hidden on the website, a section dedicated to memories of the long-forgotten automaker, including its late founder Brad Lovette. According to the memories, which are something of a haunting read if not just for the distinct awareness of the passage of time, the original idea behind Manta was to build powerful, lightweight sports cars. Even hidden in there was the fact that Brad Lovette managed to secure body molds from a real McLaren M8B.
Everett A. DeVall
The Manta Montage for sale is one of Manta’s more basic cars, based on the floorpan of a Volkswagen Beetle. And there’s a bit of a catch to this one: the one complete one pictured in the listing is not the car for sale. This Montage is in pieces, with it down to just the rare Manta body parts. There is no chassis or engine, just the fiberglass that the Lovette brothers crafted.
For $5,000, you could have an incredibly rare body but not much else to it. For the person looking for an interesting body to put on a blank frame, this is for you.
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