I bought this car in 1996. I didn't drive it at all before I started working with it.
First I disassembled the body and cleaned it. I welded all factory joints again with more continuous weld. That way the body stiffened a lot. During the bodywork I bought some parts for the future, like the seats (from B-model) and gauges from a Manta SR. I made some changes to original body but they are not so obvious that you could see them right away.
Coincidentally I found a Buick Grand National engine for sale and I bought it for this Manta. I had to form the engine bay to accept an engine that caliber. It took a lot of time to get everything in place and functioning.
Of course I had to think the suspension and chassis again to handle that kind of torque. Rear end is Dana M31 and rest of the drive train is self-made. Transmission was a TH200R4.
Electricity of this car took long hours to figure out. All wires found their places after some learning and trying. (Thanks Esa, for all the help!)
Manta didn't run like an angel from the beginning (..surprisingly) but after some extra effort it has given me some pleasure on the road. The project is still running, this car won't stop evolving.
Next step was to give up all glorious goals and I put a Opel 16v engine in Manta. This was because of finnish legislation. Next goal is to make it comfortable and easy to use in everyday life. There's room for improvements at winter -06/-07.