1969 DE TOMASO MANGUSTA
Coachwork by Ghia
Design by Giugiaro
Chassis no. 8MA.564
302ci OHV Ford V-8 Engine
Single 4-barrel Carburetor
225bhp at 5,400rpm
5-Speed Manual Transaxle
4-Wheel Independent Suspension
4-Wheel Disc Brakes
*One of just 401 examples produced
*Among the world's first supercars
*Eligible for many rallies and driving events
*Era-evoking Giorgetto Giugiaro design
THE DE TOMASO MANGUSTA
One of the very first supercars, the Mangusta effectively established De Tomaso as a serious automobile manufacturer on its arrival in 1967. Alejandro De Tomaso had begun racing in his native Argentina in 1951 before moving to Italy to drive for Maserati and OSCA, the latter firm having been founded by the Maserati brothers after they sold up. This experience inspired him to form his own company - De Tomaso Automobili - in Modena, Italy in 1959. Racing was the order of the day to begin with, the fledgling firm building cars for Formula Junior, Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula 1. De Tomaso's first road car - the Vallelunga - did not appear until 1965. A pretty, mid-engined coupé powered by a 1.5-litre Ford four-cylinder engine, the Vallelunga was built in small numbers and was not a success, but did contribute its short-wheelbase, backbone chassis, albeit extensively re-engineered, to the Mangusta.
Introduced in 1967, the Mangusta (mongoose) was powered by a mid-mounted 289ci (4.7-liter) Ford V8 engine. Also used to power Ford's GT40 Le Mans challenger, the iconic '289' produced 306bhp as installed in the Mangusta, which also used the GT40's early-type ZF transaxle. Later Mangusta production used the Ford '302' engine, together with a later ZF transmission.
Carrozzeria Ghia's Giorgetto Giugiaro contributed the striking coachwork featuring 'gull wing' engine covers, which had been intended for Giotto Bizzarrini. There is much in Giugiaro's design that echoes his work when designing the Maserati Ghibli, Iso Grifo, Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Bertone and, of course, the timeless Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT. With 300-or-so horsepower on tap, the aerodynamic Mangusta was good for a top speed in the region of 155mph. All-round disc brakes helped restrain this outstanding performance. De Tomaso enjoyed close links with the Ford Motor Company at this time and the American firm helped put the Mangusta into larger scale production than would otherwise have been possible. Nevertheless, only 401 examples were made between 1967 and 1972, compared with 765 examples of the contemporary Lamborghini Miura, and any Mangusta is extremely rare.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Offered here is a fine example of the legendary, powerful and extremely stylish De Tomaso Mangusta. Consigned from a long-term California owner - with a taste for the finest European sports cars on the planet - This striking example is belied to have been delivered new into the Golden State, or at least resided here for several decades. This Giorgetto Giugiaro-designed and Ghia built supercar is known to have been owned by a Mr. Robert Piccinini of Modesto, California by the early 2000s. Although the Mangusta has received refurbishment work over the years, portions of it still remain in largely original condition. For example the interior, which appears to never have been redone, or many of the finishes in the engine and front compartment. The seats do show some wear, but could be kept as they are to save the patina. The Fly Yellow exterior has been painted in recent years, and shows beautifully. Chrome, bright work, glass, lights and lenses appear to be largely original as well.
With brute, no-nonsense mid-mounted American V8 power, and sophisticated Italian coachwork and chassis dynamics, these rare De Tomaso Mangustas have all the ingredients a collector car should have. Their pioneering supercar looks has yet to make them seem outdated, and they enjoy a strong following from enthusiasts of all ages from every corner of the world. This fine example of the rare breed would be a great addition to any collection of supercars, or a splendid companion on high-speed rallies such as the Copperstate 1000.