A POPULAR 1980's vintage car which had been display at Cumbria's popular motor museum is now in the hands of a delighted new owner.

Paul Hammonds has spent the last five years on the lookout for the car of his dreams.

And when a 1987 Opel Manta, which had been on display at the county’s Lakeland Motor Museum since 2010, came up for sale he could not believe his luck.

The Westmorland Gazette:

The vehicle created as a competitor to the Ford Capri had been on-load to the museum since 2010 from the Ross family from Ambleside.

In recent months, the family decided to sell the Manta after their loan arrangement with the attraction came to an end.

This was a dream come true to Mr Hammonds, who last year during a visit to the Backbarrow museum registered his interest in purchasing the modern classic in the event it would ever be put up for sale.

The Westmorland Gazette:

Mr Hammonds noticed the car in the background of TV programme, Salvage Hunters, which had filmed an episode at the museum a few months earlier.

Although at that time, the car was not on the market, the museum contacted Mr Hammonds this autumn when the Ross family decided to send it to a new home.

Mr Hammonds, who had been on the hunt for a Manta since 2015, was delighted with his purchase.

He said: “We collected the Manta from the museum in October, where we also met the former owners who posed for photos with the car before saying goodbye.

“I assured them it was going to a good home and I’m now planning to fully restore it to road-worthy order and hopefully attend motoring shows with the car, when it’s safe to do so in the future.”

Chris Williams, duty manager at the Lakeland Motor Museum, said: “The Opel Manta has been a very popular exhibit at the Lakeland Motor Museum for several years and understandably attracted a lot of attention during its time here.

The Westmorland Gazette:

“Mr Hammonds had been looking for a car like this for several years and although during the time of his visit it wasn’t for sale, we promised him we’d let him know if that ever changed.

“We’re always sad to see exhibits leave the museum, but at the same time, always happy when we know they’re going to a good home, which the Manta clearly is!”