De Tomaso Mangusta

De Tomaso Mangusta

The De Tomaso Mangusta was a sports car from the Italian manufacturer De Tomaso.

History of development

The Mangusta by De Tomaso was - like most of De Tomaso's of the 60s - a difficult birth, which was on Carroll Shelby and the carmaker Ghia. De Tomaso experimented with a sports car with central tube frame on Ford V8 basis for Carroll Shelby. That was the 70P with 5.7 -liter engine, the engine should sit in the middle and be connected to a ZF transmission. At the same time had Giorgetto Giugiaro, then designed head designer at Ghia, a sensational body for Piero Rivolta at Iso. Both projects were abandoned in 1966.

Nevertheless constructor De Tomaso brought the two concepts together later anyway. He designed a mid-engined coupe with the chassis of Vallelunga, which was somewhat strengthened, with a slightly different Ghia body and a 4.7-liter version of the U.S. Ford engine - done was the Mangusta. " Mangusta " is the Italian word for mongoose - a small mammal that is able to defeat poisonous cobras. The name " Mangusta " signaled that this car should be a serious competitor for Carroll Shelby's Cobra.


The first prototype had a fiberglass body in 1966, but when the Mangusta followed a year later in series, it was built with a Ghia body of a steel frame with aluminum skin. Technically and visually he looked like a typical Italian sports car, but he was a tamed racing car. The hood was divided, it consisted of two longitudinal impacting the direction of travel wing doors with the rear windows. Among the engine was to be seen. The weight distribution was far from good (68% were on the rear axle), he had a close cabin, which was strongly heated by the engine, and the windshield was very close to the driver. As in Vallelunga and the central tube frame of the Mangusta seemed to be too soft, also the driving behavior was problematic, but the performance was undisputed.

The body is worth a look, for example, the longitudinally split in the middle of the tailgate as doors. With great attention to detail and designed a good processing of the Mangusta would be a sensation at the time. But just as he was sold, he was almost uncontrollable and at high speeds forward slightly uncomfortable when wet.

In the four years of production, only 400 Mangustas were built.

The second edition

Between 1996 and 2002, another car with the name of de Tomaso Mangusta was born. This was a new development de Tomaso, which was launched in 1995 under the name Biguá. De Tomaso sold the rights to the vehicle at Kjell Qvale, who created the car from 1999 in its own factory in Modena. A clever move Alejandro de Tomaso, it was thanks to them that the car could not be sold as a de Tomaso Mangusta: Qvale had acquired the rights to the design and the name Mangusta, but not the rights to use the name de Tomaso. In the following years, the car was sold as Qvale Mangusta therefore, an unknown, unattractive name, who was responsible for the economic failure of the vehicle to a considerable extent.