By Dean Larson

We posed in a recent blog that the world needs more Manta, and not three weeks later, we've been rewarded with quite possibly the coolest Mirage to surface in recent years. This Manta Mirage for sale on eBay is not only in exceptional condition, but it’s also dripping with 1970s charm and might just be one of the most significant cars of its breed.

If you need to brush up on your Manta history, be sure to check out our recent article “The World Needs More Manta,” but for today, I just want to focus on everything that is awesome about this car. The seller describes the car as a true barn find that he purchased from its long-time caretaker. Over the course of 20 years with the previous owner, the car rarely left the garage or the owner’s property. The current owner purchased the car at auction from only a couple photos of the car stuffed in the corner of that same garage.

Manta Can Am2

The Manta was allegedly built as a show car for a World of Wheels show in California, and it shows in every part of the build. Pearl-white paint provides the foundation for custom paint and pinstriping that’s been applied to just about every possible surface on the body. The mural on the Manta’s nose won’t suit all tastes, but it fits the car perfectly and encompasses its 1970s show car roots. The car also has fantastic sheet metal work seen in the wheel wells and the fully enclosed belly pan. A Mirage built to this standard would have surely made waves in the kit car community at that time, and we're sure some of the devout fiberglass fans will remember this build.

There are a few other parts of the Manta’s exterior that make it a standout among other Mirages we’ve seen. On many of these cars, a scoop is installed over the engine that doesn’t suit the car well, or looks like an afterthought. This scoop fits perfectly though, and even uses quarter-turn fasteners so it can be removed at any time. The rear wing is also very unique. I’ll leave it up to the true Manta enthusiasts, but I’ve never seen this wing design on another Mirage, and nor have I seen a wing that looked better. The polished slot-mag wheels ooze nostalgia, especially with red paint on the backside and the period-correct Bridgestone racing tires. The sky-high fender mirrors are outlandish, but purposeful looking, and mimic CAN-AM and big-bore race cars of the day. 

The seller has invested some time and money to get the Manta cleaned up and running again, but stresses that he sought to keep the car as original as possible. Aside from a new carburetor and some other service items, the car is truly a time capsule both mechanically and cosmetically. This one-of-a-kind Manta is being sold on eBay with a current bid of $10,099 and five days remaining in the auction.

 

An interesting side note: I instantly recognized the taillights on this Manta as being identical to the ones on my first vehicle, a 1967 Ford F-100 pickup!