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Lot 1555
1970 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupe

US$ 45,000 - 55,000
£ 34,000 - 42,000
1970 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupe
Alejandro De Tomaso began 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 coupe 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 - extensively re-engineered - to the Mangusta. It was the latter's arrival in 1967 that established De Tomaso as a serious automobile manufacturer. One of the very first supercars, the Mangusta (mongoose) was powered by a mid-mounted 289cu in (4.7-litre) Ford V8 engine (302cu in for the USA) driving via a ZF five-speed transaxle. Carrozzeria Ghia's Giorgetto Giugiaro contributed the striking gullwing-doored coachwork, originally intended for Giotto Bizzarrini, and with around 300bhp 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. Approximately 400 examples were made between 1967 and 1972.

Finished in red, this left-hand drive example is reported as in fair condition both bodily and mechanically, with good condition paintwork.
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