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Tuning scene Ruhr area: Concentrated power in the pot

Dino Eisele
Tuning scene Ruhr area
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E we are actually with the Opel Manta B in Bochum, to provide something to talk about. After all, the blue model from the fleet of the Rüsselsheim tradition department is a gem because it is original. In every other place in the world where car fans come together, eyes would shine and crowds would form around the youngtimer. But here in the parking lot next to the A 40 autobahn, the classic is at best a stealth mask. It attracts about as much attention as a VW Golf in a Wolfsburg parking lot.

Tuning fans meet in front of the department store

But maybe that was to be expected right outside the gates of the tuning department store D&W. Every Friday evening - also at the end of October - there is a small exhibition on the subject of vehicle customization. The tuning department store is cult, all of Germany knows that. At least since Bertie alias Til Schweiger went shopping here in 'Manta, Manta'. Typically film, of course, everything completely covered - that's what the rest of the republic thought.

But there is a good deal of truth in the clichés, as shown by the visit to D&W and the stories of some who were there at the time, such as Markus Brandt and Ludger Handke.

With Opel Ascona B and Manta B they are there, and only because not a drop of rain has been announced. The two classics are meticulously cherished. After all, there is a lot of work involved. Markus has owned the Ascona for four and a half years. A first-hand copy built in 1979 with 72,000 kilometers. 'It looked like it was fresh off the assembly line,' says the bodybuilder and painter. And anyone who has worked at Opel for 30 years can judge that.

Standard is out

Today, originality is not that far off. 15-inch rims from the Ascona 400 adorn the classic - 'it wasn't easy, the rims have a five-hole connection, but my Ascona has four-hole as standard' - a 40 mm lock on the rear axle and a 160 hp 2.4 liter -Four cylinder under the hood. The 49-year-old also gave the Ascona a new green paint job.

On the Manta B built by his friend Ludger Handke in 1984, the modifications are even more extensive. Which probably has to do with the fact that he has owned it since 1986. At that time it was a stroke of luck, on the one hand because the previous owner couldn't drive due to lack of a driver's license, on the other hand becauseThe car was re-imported from Belgium and 'didn't have a KBA number. You could fit practically anything there,' grins Ludger.

A tuned Opel Manta for 50,000 marks

The seemingly endless list of modifications includes, among other things, a 190 hp 2.4-liter engine with K + N sports air filters, internally ventilated disc brakes from an Opel Ascona B, five-speed sports transmission from Getrag, roll cage and sports seats. 'Until I got everything entered, it was agony. I had to go to the TÜV six times.' The conversion wasn't cheap anyway. In total, the Manta swallowed around 50,000 marks: 'I would have got a BMW M3 for that.'

Together with its 51-year-old owner, the Opel Manta was already in the car park at the height of the Opel scene D&W: 'It was always sick on Friday,' says Handke. That's why he mostly watched the events from outside: 'There was always too much bullshit here,' he grins knowingly. It could happen that the law enforcement officers cordoned off the parking lot and then checked the papers for properly registered conversions. A nightmare for some proud owners.

The times were much wilder: Back then, where a noise barrier blocks the view today, you could drive directly from the tuning meeting onto the autobahn via a gas station, 'and a few The race management stood a few meters away, 'remembers Markus. The police don't think much of races in their area of ​​responsibility.

Tuning a way of life

By the way, Markus and Ludger can't either: 'You can lawn, but only where there is space. Collecting points is stupid' , find them and refer to an empty points account in Flensburg. Anyone who drives a pimped-up car is not necessarily a rowdy. Tuning remains to a large extent a way of life - a passion that welds together.

The trench warfare between the brands, shown in manta jokes and the films, hardly plays a role at the evening meetings anyway. Although everyone in the parking lot seems to get together by brand, the tuning scene mixes during the gasoline talk.

And at least on this evening one has the impression that there are no youngsters worries in the tuning scene in the Ruhr area. A pack of blue Opel OPC models, starting with the Corsa, is the proof.

Tuning worlds collide

However, with all car enthusiasm, worlds collide. Ben Görnitz - owner of an Astra GTC OPC - closely follows Markus and Ludger's gasoline discussions. But classic tuning is no longer an issue today in times of electronic engine control. Accordingly, he has little to contribute. 'Listen, you have to move your buttocks away from the Playstation and google a little', Ludger jokes, 'then you know what it's about.'

'Hey, first drive the Nordschleife in the Playseat with the Playstation, then you can have a say,' counters Ben. But they quickly end up with engine power, vehicle weight and the consequences: 'An OPC Astra H recently pulled off a Porsche 911 here. The Opel was made really easy,' reports Ben largely past. At least in the good old version with two cars in a direct fight. GPS-supported systems such as the Driftbox provide incorruptible data on driving performance without endangering the driver's license.

The only question is whether Ben and his friends will be able to serve up similar anecdotes as Markus and Ludger in 20 years' time. For example that of Luigi, who put his manta so low 'that it got stuck on gullies'. Or the premiere of 'Manta, Manta' in the drive-in cinema: 'There were two lanes on the motorway exit: on the right only for mantas, on the left for everyone else.' brought. And even Ludger, a tax specialist by profession, likes to play with the proll image of the manta: 'My wife wanted me to sell the car. So I told her: Hmmma, there are a lot of clever women, there are no clever mantas. Now she is my ex, and the manta is still there, 'he grins.


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