Canadian ‘Glass: The 1970 Renault R8 Based Manic GT – Full Brochure

Hi Gang…

Today’s story is courtesy of one of our Undiscovered Classics fan in Europe – Luis Alarcos – of Spain.  Luis collects and restores Renault specials including those that were built (or found) in America.  Recently Luis has been looking to acquire a Canadian sports car called a “Manic GT” and has begin learning as much as possible about this rare car built north of our border.  During this process he sent me a few things that are being packaged for shipment to Spain including the subject of today’s story – a 1970 brochure for the Manic GT.  Of course I couldn’t help but share what crossed my desk on our website so away we go 🙂

Manic Brochure: 1969

Page 1: Cover

Page 2:

Manic…birth of a dream car.  In 1968 a dynamic, young Montrealer called Jacques About only had a dream and a couple of hundred dollars.  But he put the two together and came up with a winner – a sleep prototype GT that turned everyone’s head at the 1969 International Auto Salon in Montreal.

But Jacques About hadn’t been dreaming about just another good looking car.  He wanted a Canadian designed car that had a low production cost, that was economical to run and that was sold and serviced through an existing network.  A car that could compete with the European imports and win.

With a little help from his prototype, Jacques convinced a group of Canada’s wisest investors that he could do it.  These include Placement Bombardier, International Capital Inc., Caisse Des Depots, Steinberg & Son, L’Office du Credit Industriel du Quebec and the Canadian Government who invested a total of $1,500,000.  Jacques About has remained President, Chairman of the Board and major shareholder.  A year later he had a factory in Granby.  A factory that’s turning out Canada’s first production car – the Manic G.T.

Although Manic looks like an expensive custom-crafted automobile, it is actually priced in the most reasonable bracket.  It gets up to 40 miles per gallon.  And it’s sold at selected Renault dealers and is serviced through all Renault dealers.  Initial production at the 60,000 square foot plant is set at 120 cars a month but by 1972 an output of 1600 to 2000 cars a year will be reached.

Page 3:

MANIC…bred for track and traffic.  Racing is in Manic’s blood.  In fact, the first member of the family, the MANIC-GRAC still holds the Formula C record at St. Jovite.  Now Manic returns to racing with the Manic PA II Group 6, the first Canadian car in international competition.  It’s not just for the sport of it, but also to subject innovations and improvements to the rigors of racing.; to test new concepts and designs in a prototype sportscar; to develop on the track what will help you on the highway.  That’s what Manic’s bloodlines are all about.

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Manic…Well worth waiting for.  She’s got style. The style of a true Montrealaise.  A smooth blend of European sophistication and Canadian guts.  She’s fast and frisky…from 105 to 135 top depending on how you gear her.  But she doesn’t drink much…from 35 to 40 mpg depending on where you take her.

She responds to your every touch…that’s the beauty of rack and pinion.  And she stops on a dime thanks to disc brakes all around.  But she’s a woman.  And like all great women you may have to wait a little while before she’s yours. Be patient. She’s worth every moment of it.

Pages 4 and 5 Combined:

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  • Derived from the Renault 1300 cc “Sierra” engine
  • Rear mounted
  • 4 inline cylinders
  • 5 main bearings
  • Overhead valves, removable wet cylinder sleeves, 1289 cc (78.66 cubic inch) capacity
  • Bore 2 and 7/8″ ; stroke 3 and 1/32″
  • Pressure fed oil lubication
  • Sealed liquid cooling system
  • Compression ratio 8.0 at HP 65 / 9.6 at HP 80 / 10.5 at HP 105
  • Capacity – cooling system 10 and 1/2 US quarts, 8 and 3/4 Imperial quarts
  • Motor 2 and 3/4 quarts including filter
  • Fuel tank – 8 gallons


  • Single plate diaphragm-type clutch
  • Fully synchronized 4 speeds (5 speed gearbox available)


  • Individual coil springs and shock absorbers on all four wheels
  • Anti-roll torsion bar at the front


  • Rack and pinion
  • 30′ 4″ diameter turning circle


  • 4 wheel disc brakes: self adjusting, hydraulic Lockheed: dual system
  • Hand brake on rear wheels


  • Wheelbase 89 and 1/4″ overall length
  • Length: 162 and 1/2″
  • Height 45″
  • Weight: 1450 lbs


  • 35 to 42 miles to gallon (1300 to 1300S)


  • 105, 120, 135 mph depending on motor speed


  • 135 x 15 (options 155 x 13 front) ( 165 x 13 rear)
  • Tire circumference (leaded): 72.6″


  • A large, fast operating heater is standard


  • 12 volts – battery 45 amp/hr.


  • Renault R8 reinforced with a tubular chassis incorporating a security arch


  • Fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP)


  • To U.S. Federal standards
  • Lap and shoulder safety belts
  • Back-up lights
  • Direction signals
  • Side flashers
  • Back-up hydraulic system for brakes
  • Universal joint on steering column

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Manic…simple to service.  A glance at the Manic specifications will show that while the car is distinctive in design,

Les Automobiles Manic (1970) Ltee.
P.O. Box 424 Grandby, P.Q., Canada


There’s much more to share about this story and I’m hoping to coax Marvin McFalls, President of the Renault Club of North American to help us learn more about this car in future stories here at Undiscovered Classics.  Maybe he’ll share a few photos of his Manic under restoration too.  And thanks again to Luis Alarcos for finding this brochure and sharing it with us for today’s story.  Much appreciated Luis 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the story, and remember…

The adventure continues here at Undiscovered Classics.



Canadian ‘Glass: The 1970 Renault R8 Based Manic GT – Full Brochure — 15 Comments

  1. I built a Manic GT in 1977 in Syracuse, NY. I purchased it from another person that bought the body kit and did not do anything with it. It was originally gold gel coat and I painted it Red. I moved it to Fl. In 1978 and drove it for a few years there and sold it in the Hudson, Fl. area and have often wondered what had happened to it I have never seen it around on the streets or in any for sale adds. I used a Renault donor car for a lot of the parts needed. Did custom interior using Datsun 240Z seats. Had to use smoke color Lexan panels for the side windows. I think they were supposed to be Karman Gia side glass but they did not work. I was only 16 this was my first car. I got a lot of help from my Father who built 3 Fiberglass kit cars Avenger Gt, an Amante Gt and a Fiberfab Jamacin which he still has and drives to this day. My Dad guided me and made suggestions on how to solve a problem but it was my build I had to complete it. Best schooling I could have received. Thanks Dad !! Would love to get my car and my Dad’s cars back some day.

  2. Thanks for the presentation of info > I own several of these cars and am in the process of rebuilding one > I know of at least 3 more of these cars presently being restored or have been restored . I use to work at a Renault dealership and bought my first Manic in 1974 it sure was a car that people noticed and asked a lot of questions about .

  3. Thanks for the archived version of the Manic GT website.
    I’m restoring a Manic GT in the moment.

    Best regards from Austria

  4. I owned and drove one long ago in Ottawa. Nice looking but terrible on the highway. It had NO weight on the front end. Rear mount engine, battery in rear, gas tank behind driver. Drove it down to Montreal for the Grand Prix one year, hit a hole from construction on highway and blew out tire. Limped into a motel and arranged to tow it back the next day. I remember it was 000077, odd serial number, just a number.

    • Hi, My recollection of the 71 Manic that I owned in the 70’s, was that my car had the serial number 77. I had the car painted white from the original pale blue and put a rosewood dashboard over the original dashboard. I still have the chrome “Manic GT” nameplate from the dashboard. A very fun car to drive

    • I am working on a registry of Manic cars and there owners. I read your comments. Curious as to when you sold your car? Do you recall colors/ engine spec etc?Also any chance you have any photos?

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