Monday, October 21, 2013

De Tomaso Mangusta (1967-71)

The De Tomaso Mangusta is a sports car from Italian automobile manufacturer De Tomaso produced between 1967 and 1971. The word "mangusta" is Italian for "mongoose", an animal that can kill cobras. It was rumored that the car was so named because De Tomaso had some talks with Carroll Shelby to replace the Shelby Cobra with a racing car to be built in Italy by the Argentine-born De Tomaso, but no deal was signed since Shelby became involved in the Ford GT40 racing program. 

Originally fitted with Ford 289 V8 engine 306 hp (228 kW) (European version), in the North American market the Mangusta was introduced with a Ford 302 V8 engine 221 hp (165 kW). 5 speed ZF transaxle. Max speed was 250 km/h. Giorgetto Giugiaro at Ghia designed the car, which is easily recognised by its gull wing doors over the engine and luggage compartment. A/C, power windows, were ahead of other manufacturer of the time. The Mangusta was a true sports car, being just 40 inches in height. Aluminum was used for the hood, and gullwing rear deck lids. The rest of the areas were mostly steel. There was seating for two with the seats using the finest leather material available. 

401 Mangustas were built, about 200 were the european version, with 4 headlamps and Ford 289 Cu.In. V8 engine. The rest were the USA version, with less powerful Ford 302 V8 engines. With the 1970 model USA destined cars were produced with 2 headlamp pop-up, an estimated 50 cars were produced in this configuration. One car was built with a Chevrolet engine for General Motors-Vice President, Bill Mitchell. The Mangusta was replaced by the much cheaper-to-build De Tomaso Pantera in 1971.
(wikipedia, &

(Photos from,, &

US version of the De Tomaso Mangusta, with two pop-up headlights.

In 1967, Giugiaro designed a De Tomaso Mangusta spider. 
It would never be mass produced. This single copy was sold to 
a Greek collector in Modena, Italy. (

(Photos from &

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