1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

The Mangusta was produced from 1967 to 1971 and is considered the predecessor to the Pantera replacing the Vallelunga. The translation of Mangusta is mongoose, a mongoose is a predator of the cobra; although never confirmed the naming of the car comes after failed relationship and deal between the owner of De Tomaso and Carroll Shelby of the Shelby Cobra. Two models of the Mangusta were constructed one European and one North American. The European version had a mid-mount 306 horsepower Ford 289 V8 engine with a 5-speed ZF transaxle, while the North American version was equipped with a 230 hp Ford 302 V8. For simplicity the 289 was eventually replaced by the 302. With air conditioning, power windows, independent suspension, rack and pinion steering, and a top speed of 155 mph the Mangusta brought a lot to offer to the sport vehicles market for an affordable price.

The De Tomaso Automobili Italian was a car manufacturer from 1959 to 2004, founded by Argentinian Alejandro de Tomaso. Tomaso's Argentinian birth gives insight into the original emblem for De Tomaso Automobili, the blue and white stripped background resembling the flag of Argentine while the T mimics the cattle branding symbol of Ceballos where Tomaso was raised. After moving from Argentina to Italy to work for Maserati in the OSCA factory Alejandro was increasingly impressed by the craftsmanship left the company to begin his own line of race cars.

Tomaso started by building a series of singer-seat Junior Formula racing vehicles, producing his first production road car, the Vallelunga, in 1963. The Vallelunga was very lightweight with the chassis built out partly out of aluminium, with the first 5 bodies were made of aluminium and the production cars were made of fiberglas s. The De Tomaso company continued to produced luxury and sport vehicles throughout the late 20th century, most noted for American engine Ford powered Italian bodied cars, like the Mangusta and Pantera grand tourers. From 1976 to 1993 De Tomaso owned and produced Maserati sports cars, helping keep the struggling company afloat and in business.

De Tomaso went into liquidation in 2004, shortly after the death of
founder Alejandro. In 2009, Gian Mario Rossignolo bought the company
renaming it De Tomaso Automobili SpA. This was a short-lived dream as
the company attempted to be sold again in 2012 but following Rossignolo
being arrested later that year the firm fell into a state of bankruptcy.
The company was later sold again to Hong-Kong based company Ideal Team
Ventures who plan on reviving the De Tomaso vehicle name in China.

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