Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994

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Lot 22
Restored to concours condition
1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé
Registration no. TOR 509G Chassis no. 8MA 0994

£ 200,000 - 250,000
US$ 280,000 - 350,000
Restored to concours condition
1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé
Registration no. TOR 509G
Chassis no. 8MA 0994
To view a video of this lot please click here

*One of only 50 single-headlight versions built
*Imported from the USA
*Restored by recognised marque specialist Roger Brotton
*Rebuilt between 2008 and 2015
*Featured in Classic & Sports Car magazine

Footnotes

  • Alessandro de Tomaso was born in 1928 in Buenos Aires to a brilliant politician father, who could have been the President of Argentina but passed away when Alessandro was only five, while his mother was descended from the Spanish Viceroy. Young Alessandro, thus bereft of fatherly authority, grew up somewhat wild and strong willed. He ran the large family ranch as a teenager. He then started a political newspaper critical of Argentina's iron-fisted ruler, Juan Peron, and was arrested before being forced to return to the family's ranch. Alessandro was soon back in Buenos Aires, only to hurriedly flee the country and the prospect of further arrest in 1955, escaping in a private plane.

    De Tomaso then immigrated to Italy, settling in Modena, then the European centre of motor sport and GT car manufacture, and continued racing in motor sport as he had done back home. He married tall, blonde, American heiress and amateur racer Isabelle Haskell in a Palm Beach, Florida ceremony, and soon started building single seaters in small quantities. This project started in a very humble way in small workshops, drawing on the pool of talented craftsmen in the home of Maserati and Ferrari.

    Then came the first road car, the compact and very light, mid-engined Vallelunga, which was powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder Ford engine. Only 50 were built. Next came the Mangusta, a pivotal development for Alessandro de Tomaso's fledgling company. The name was chosen by the ever-temperamental de Tomaso when he had a falling out with Carroll Shelby, builder of the Cobra. The Mangusta, Italian for mongoose, is famous for fearlessly dispatching the aforementioned reptile...

    With the Mangusta, de Tomaso would boldly cross several thresholds, aided substantially by his wife's family's money and his irrepressible entrepreneurial gift. It was to be his first full-size, large-capacity sports car and the first that would be produced in significant quantity (401 were made). It also enabled de Tomaso to graduate from artisan to industrialist, swapping his small workshop for a much larger factory.

    The late Paul Frère, one of the world's most respected automotive journalists, was flabbergasted when after a two-year gap he visited the new de Tomaso headquarters. The Belgian former Le Mans winner recalled a workshop shared with firewood storage, and only two years later found himself in the middle of a fledgling factory with production proceeding at full pace. Despite there being staff that could have done the job, it was typical that de Tomaso himself insisted on explaining the car to Frère, who was most impressed during his test drive.

    The birth of the Mangusta had been serendipitous. The mercurial Alessandro was by then owner of Carrozzeria Ghia, and when a body it designed via the skilled hands of Giorgetto Giugiaro and intended for Bizzarrini was not taken up by the latter, he decided to do something about it. Enlarging the concept of the small Vallelunga to a full blown GT, he gave it an innovative spine chassis and mid-engined configuration. For the engine, he spoke with Ford, who at first did not know what to make of this unconventional man and his project, but soon agreed to sell him batches of engines. Mangustas were thus fitted with Ford V8s, either with the 289ci (4.7-litre) or 302ci (5.0-litre) unit. It is, however, a common misconception that European cars differed from US cars by having 289s. This is a fallacy: some early cars had them but most cars, independent of the destination market, were built with 302s. Independent suspension and disc brakes all round give the Mangusta reactive handling making it as exciting to drive as its appearance suggests. A Mangusta, however, is all about the body: featuring the famous and unique gullwing engine covers, it is one of the most stunning and certainly purest shapes of any Grand Touring/sports car of that era. It is telling that no one, except a handful of amateur racers on both sides of the Atlantic, ever besmirched or degraded one with spoilers, wings or other additions that would have polluted its design purity.

    Featuring a unique, wood and leather, segmented steering wheel, the comfortable interior is more accommodating than most mid-engined cars of that era. The Mangusta's Detroit-sourced power unit gives it ample torque for genuine high performance, yet is placid and easy to use in traffic where it is surprisingly quiet. With approximately only 150 Mangustas left in total according to de Tomaso connoisseurs, they remain as rare a sight as they are stunning.
    The car presented here, chassis number '8MA 0994', is one of only 50 single-headlight versions built. This car's early history is unknown, although it is believed it had been in California all of its life. '0994' was imported into the UK on 2nd February 2008, having been bought from Matthew Chitea in Placerville, California. It was imported by top UK de Tomaso restorer Roger Brotton and fellow marque specialist Phillip Stebbings. Brotton stated that the car was the 'best Mangusta bodyshell he had ever seen' when it was found in California.

    The Mangusta was quickly sold to its current owner, an enthusiast collector and automotive book publisher with a very fine collection located south of London. In the expert hands of leading marque specialist Roger Brotton, it was then subjected to a seven-year full restoration to concours standard, which took from 2008-2015 to complete and cost approximately £250,000, all receipts being on file. The car also comes with copies of original factory documents. '0994' retains its original engine, which has been 'breathed' on with a '340 stroker kit', a far from extreme upgrade but one that produces approximately 330bhp.
    The car was entered in the Royal Artillery Company's London Concours in 2018 and has been to Goodwood. It has also featured in a cover photograph and article in Classic & Sports Car magazine comparing the Mangusta to some of its contemporaries.

    Any Mangusta is a rarity nowadays, but a properly restored one is rarer than hen's teeth. Thus this example, with its exceptionally rare single-headlight configuration, represents a wonderful and almost certainly unrepeatable opportunity for the connoisseur to add one of the most beautiful automotive designs ever produced to their collection.
Contacts
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Restored to concours condition,1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Coupé  Chassis no. 8MA 0994
Auction information

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