The tradition of sporting “Specials” and Hotrods is an ancient one in California, the state where the car truly is king. Manta cars were a highly regarded example of these creations and built some very potent and spectacularly good-looking sports cars between 1973 and 1985. The styling of the Mirage owed much to the mighty McLaren M8 and of course the power plant employed was the great small block Chevrolet V8.
The factory was founded by brothers, Brad and Tim LoVette in Costa Mesa 1973. Together they designed and built the Mirage as their first offering, then moved on to the Montage in the late 70’s. Tim LoVette forged ahead designed the Montage T-car and continuing to be as successful as ever, but due to an unlucky business deal in the 80’s Manta Cars’ doors closed in 1986. By then the impressive total of approximately 1,000 cars had been reached, and the survivors are very highly regarded as fast and stylish.
The styling of this two seater “Gullwing” coupe is handsome and aggressive, plainly owing much to its racing origins and of course the V8 engine is mid-mounted to provide balanced handling. The interior provides seating for two which one would have to call intimate, but the instruments and switch gear are well laid-out and purposeful.
This must be regarded as a very rare opportunity for collectors of this very Californian genre of motoring and appears to be an attractive and correct example.