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Scott's Manta

Welcome to what has become, by far, the most popular pages on any of my websites, the Manta Mirage page. You’d think that pages with pictures of our Disney hot air balloon the “Happiest Balloon On Earth” would be our busiest, but nope, this is it … a car, go figure … This page is visited several hundred times a day and has been for years.

Anyway, I think its time to update you (today is June 1, 2011) before sending you to the original story of our Manta and its rebuild story. I’d love to show you a few never before seen images of the Mirage.  Enjoy …

When completed, the car was utilized initially as we had planned … a show car to help promote the events we were producing. Rest assured, we had a blast with the car for several years transporting it to our events and even allowing it to be seen in a couple car shows (where it always did very well). Here is the “show card” we always displayed when the car was seen in public …

Manta Show Card

In the picture below, the crew prepares the car for a showing at a casino entrance.

Manta at a casino showing

In the next image, the Mirage is chased (staged) by a Police Car during a photo shoot.
This shot was from a helicopter. I (Scott) was behind the wheel that day. Fantastic fun.

Manta Police chase

So now, to bring you up to date. I no longer own the famous, yellow Mirage. We used it, and the car certainly served its “business” purpose. However, then it sat in our Boise warehouse, literally for two years getting started and driven pretty much only when someone saw it and asked about it.

Certainly no way for such a beautiful car to exist.

The Mirage was an exceptionally time consuming car to prepare and maintain for any kind of operation. The old girl needed constant attention so, when asked if I miss it, the answer has to be yes and no.

Would I ever own another Manta ?  I doubt it despite my affection for them. Maintenance issues alone dictate that it is not a car for everyone and certainly not a car that can be maintained in any kind of half-assed manner. Buying the Mirage is easy, keeping it nice is a challenge. (I suppose that is the case with most toys) I was a fanatic about keeping the car as nice as it was the day Sean finished the rebuild and delivered it to me.

I have to say, from a safety standpoint, the car was a non-starter with no side or front impact protection. It wasn’t a favorite for my family or business associates to have me out driving around in. (it was great fun to drive though)

I’m not an old guy by any stretch, (OK, I sorta am) but it is not an easy car to get out of.
Its an easy car to slide or (fall) into but a bit of a challenge to exit. That said, between access and lack of use it was time to let the car go.

It was listed with a broker and sold “blindly” within a few days of the listing. To this day, I have no idea who adopted the car, where it is or what its current condition is. The check cleared and at the time, that was pretty much all I cared about.

In fact, if someone reads this who has stumbled upon the car, please take a moment and let me know and I’ll update these pages accordingly.

Manta being transported

Here is my little Mirage loaded on the transporter, after the sale, the last time I saw her.

So, now that you’re up to speed…

The story linked below, along with all the images is exactly as it was first put online nearly ten years ago. I’ve changed nothing. The original narrative was from a club newsletter (some place I’ve forgotten now) and we supplied the images for the story showing the start to finish process.

I actually shot the images of the completed car in our balloon warehouse in Boise. It was too big to fit in our studio. I did have great fun with the shoot, literally wrapping the Mirage in one of our hot air balloon envelopes and I think the images turned out great.

Please stop by my “Guest Book” page if you get a moment. It’s a brand new addition to our family of web sites and I’d love to hear from you.

Well … read on and enjoy your visit to the original story of my 1960 “Manta Mirage”.

The Manta Story

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This website and all original contents are Copyright © 2011 Scott L. Spencer

and may not be reproduced or used without permission.


Spirit of Boise and Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic are trademarks of Scott Spencer’s Privateer Group, Incorporated.

Coca-Cola script and The Coca-Cola contour bottle are registered trademarks of the Coca-Cola Company.

Disney, Disneyland, Mickey Mouse and the Mickey Mouse balloon likeness are registered trademarks of the Walt Disney Company.

No content or image on this web site or any of its included pages may be reproduced without express written permission.

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