The prototype for the De Tomaso Mangusta was unveiled at the 1966 Turin Motor Show as the Ghia Mangusta or “Mongoose”, penned by star Ghia designer Giorgetto Giugiaro. With the considerable financial assistance of his American wife and her brother, Alejandro De Tomaso eventually took over control of Ghia in 1967, and the car was accordingly renamed the De Tomaso Mangusta.
In essence, the Mangusta was a slightly detuned prototype race car for the street, which entered production in 1967 with its striking Giugiaro-penned bodylines remaining intact. Although the outer body panels were made of steel, the hood and rear deck were made of lightweight aluminum. At the rear, under the lightweight alloy gullwing-style engine access covers, examples of the Mangusta destined for the United States were fitted with a 302 cubic-inch Ford V8 engine, while European models utilized a modified 289 cubic inch V8. As before, the mid-mounted engine and ZF manual transaxle formed part of the chassis structure. When the Mangusta was released for sale, Car and Driver testers praised the Mangusta as “…the most beautiful production automobile anywhere…more a work of art than an automobile.” Sold in very limited quantities of approximately 400 units in total, the Mangusta paved the way for the later Pantera, which was available through select Lincoln-Mercury dealers from 1971 to 1974.
This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2009 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona, in August 2009 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California and in August of 2010 at the Portola Hotel & Spa and Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California.
230 bhp, 302 cu. in. Ford V8 engine, four-barrel carburetor, ZF five-speed manual transaxle, independent front suspension with unequal-length tubular wishbones, coil springs and anti-roll bar, independent rear suspension with wide-base unequal-length wishbones, trailing arms, coil springs, anti-roll bar, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 98.5".
Source: RM Auctions Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel and Tom Maule