De Tomaso

De Tomaso is the brand name of a former Italian automobile manufacturer that existed from 1959 to 2012. The brand was founded by Alejandro de Tomaso in Modena.

  • 2.1 standard sports cars
  • 2.2 Individual pieces and studies
  • 2.3 Other trucks with the name De Tomaso
  • 3.1 The beginnings
  • 3.2 The Formula 1 3.2.1 The De Tomaso F1
  • 3.2.2 The De Tomaso 801
  • 3.2.3 Cooperation with Williams

Founder and History

The Argentinian Alejandro de Tomaso was born on 10 June 1928 as a son of a socialist minister of the era before Juan Perón in Buenos Aires and kept the Argentine citizenship, although he came to Bologna in 1955.

Roots in Motorsport

The base of the company was the motorsport. In Modena De Tomaso opened a tuning shop. Together with the body shop Ghia he created Spider - racing with Ford engines. Derived from this was created in 1965, the first road-going sports car Vallelunga. But first tried De Tomaso to build their own racing cars for Formula 1 and for other categories and for sale. Once these approaches have met with only limited success, de Tomaso put the emphasis of his company the mid-1960s on the development of road-going sports cars.

Street sports car

In 1963 De Tomaso in Turin his first road vehicle in front, the Vallelunga. He had a 1.5 - liter four-cylinder engine with 105 hp and was built only 48 times. The production began back in 1965, but already set on another good year. In the follow-up model, the 1966 featured Mangusta, who wore a sensational body by Giorgetto Giugiaro, De Tomaso first used a large American eight-cylinder engine. It was a V8 with 4.7 liters of Ford, who had 305 horsepower and was built as a mid-engine. This concept, the company should remain faithful to the end. The Mangusta was significantly more successful than the filigree Vallelunga: It was produced until 1968 in 400 copies.

Special gained fame, designed by Tom Tjaarda model Pantera, in different versions of the 1971 to 1993 7260 units were built. He also got a V8 engine: 5.8 liters with 310 hp. Nearly 6,100 of them were sold through a distribution agreement with the Lincoln - Mercury dealer network in the United States within a few years; after the agreement had been dissolved, the production versions of reduced although mostly annually to a few dozen. In the early 1970s, De Tomaso built its model range: in addition to the sports car Pantera, the four-seat coupe Longchamp was derived from which it was briefly also a convertible version, and a building on the Longchamp technique luxury sedan called the Deauville, initially with the Maserati Quattroporte competed and eventually replaced him after his suspension of production in the 1970s.

None of its vehicles was De Tomaso get a serious facelift in the 1970s or 1980s. The products increasingly outdated and eventually settled only hard sell. De Tomaso's focus during this time primarily to the other brands that belong to his group of companies.

Consolidated with numerous brands

Alejandro de Tomaso took over the course of time several companies. These include the Carrozzeria Vignale and Carrozzeria Ghia ( per 1969), which he both resold Ford in the same year, Benelli (1971 ) Moto Guzzi (1972 ) Maserati (1975) and Innocenti (1976). Financial problems were decisive for the sale of all investments. Last Fiat took over the traditional company Maserati.

Decline and bankruptcy

The late 1990s, De Tomaso tried rebooting the brand with the Biguá, who came to disagreements with the financiers in 2000 as Qvale Mangusta on the market. The last model was the mass-produced sports car Guarà, drive technology from BMW or used by Ford. However, the company was unable to secure a permanent production; total not even created 40 copies of Guarà.

2003, the year of his death, Alejandro de Tomaso tried to gain with the study of a new Pantera again foot. However, the project did not have the model stage also. In 2004, at the request of a creditor, insolvency proceedings De Tomaso Modena SpA opened. The liquidation of the company lasted until 2012 from its several successor companies emerged over the years. :

  • RS Corse in Modena took over the servicing of old De Tomaso vehicles and maintains adequate spare parts. The company was founded by Alejandro De Tomaso's son Santiago and Ludovico Raffaele.
  • The rights to the brand name De Tomaso acquired in 2009, the Italian company IAI (Innovation in Auto Industry ). It tries since 2011, under the name de Tomaso Automobili SpA launch series production of luxury automobiles.

Street sports car from de Tomaso

Production sports car

  • As " De Tomaso Biguá " designed as " Qvale Mangusta " marketed

As a Ford V8 engines were used mostly. An exception is the Guarà, in the initial BMW V8 were used. The Guarà was last equipped with a Ford unit.

Individual pieces and studies

  • The De Tomaso Pampero is a two-seater cabriolet full based on the De Tomaso Vallelunga with a subscribed by Giugiaro and built at Ghia body. It was shown in 1966 at the Turin Motor Show. The car remained a one-off.
  • The De Tomaso in 1600 was the prototype of a small mid-engined sports car with the Bertone body, which strongly resembled the Fiat X1 / 9. The car was exhibited in 1970 in Turin.
  • De Tomaso Zonda, a two-seater front -engined coupe bodied by Ghia in the style of the Maserati Ghibli. The vehicle was shown at the Geneva Motor Show 1971. It had the familiar 5.7 -liter eight-cylinder engine from Ford is also the Zonda was a unique piece.

Other trucks with the name De Tomaso

In addition to these sports cars of the De Tomaso name appeared repeatedly in connection with mass production vehicles. Here he was to designate a particularly sporting equipment line. Such vehicles were

  • The Innocenti De Tomaso, a primarily visual revised version of the Innocenti Mini
  • The Dodge Omni 024 De Tomaso, a sold exclusively in America coupe version of a commercially available compact car. The five-door Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon, his twin brother did not comply fully, but in any case in many parts of the compact car manufactured in France Horizon, the first as Chrysler ( France ) and Simca and later as Talbot was sold. Only for the U.S. market Chrysler USA had developed a two-door hatchback version of the Omni / Horizon, which was at 024 Dodge Omni and Plymouth Horizon at TC. The sportiest version of the Dodge Omni coupe was referred to in the years 1980/1981 as Omni 024 de Tomaso. A counterpart at Plymouth did not exist at the moment. It was a pure appearance package, technical changes or even increased engine performance were not associated with the package. De Tomaso had no role in the development of the car. However, the relationship came to Chysler by Lee Iacocca about, those managers, the end of the 1960s, even in Ford services standing, had been instrumental in the marketing idea of ​​Pantera and since 1977, standing at the top of the Chrysler Group.

De Tomaso in motorsport

De Tomaso designed various racing cars for Formula 1, which were used 1961-1963 for each race.

The beginnings

Built his first car De Tomaso 1958; he used for a OSCA engine in a front-mid - position, which was very unusual at that time. But the Maserati brothers, founders and owners of OSCA, De Tomaso forbidden to use the car for racing. A year later he went to a new design, equipped with an OSCA engine and the blessing of the Maserati brothers.

The Formula 1

Between 1961 and 1963, De Tomaso tried with various designs in Formula 1, but success did not come.

The De Tomaso F1

The first construction, the De Tomaso F1, was realized in five copies. The drive usually served in-line four -cylinder engines of Osca or Alfa Romeo; individual vehicles are also equipped with a Ford Holbay engine or a Ferrari six-cylinder. Most vehicles sold De Tomaso to private clients, which included the Scuderia Serenissima or the Scuderia Settecolli; two cars were next ( sometimes referred to as Scuderia Isobel De Tomaso ) is hereby established the factory of the Scuderia De Tomaso. However, this commitment was limited to Italian races, most of which were not part of the Formula 1 World Championship.

The De Tomaso 801

The F1 was suffering from constructive unreliability and a lack of power for the motors. Neither the factory team nor the private customers were able to achieve success with the car. To improve the situation, De Tomaso designed for the 1962 Formula 1 season, a new car, the De Tomaso 801 which was powered by a self-developed eight-cylinder boxer engine. De Tomaso retained his application before the work team; Regular driver was Nasif Estéfano. The 801 was very unreliable, and Nasif, who had gone in before in Argentina mainly stock car race was inexperienced. Even with the 801, therefore, could be achieved no success in motor sport. The end of 1963 gave De Tomaso his Formula 1 activities initially.

Collaboration with Williams

In the Formula 1 season 1970, there were in collaboration with the British team, Frank Williams Racing Cars a new, short run in Formula 1, which ended tragically. Williams' driver Piers Courage was killed with the vehicle at the Grand Prix of the Netherlands in Zandvoort. Neither he could achieve a championship point with the De Tomaso nor the subsequent pilot.

Racing cars for the Formula 3 and Indianapolis were also built, but never drove race.

De Tomaso Automobili

De Tomaso Automobili is a company that takes advantage of the rights to the name De Tomaso, but apart from that has no connections to the traditional Modena sports car manufacturer. In the fall of 2009, Gian Mario Rossignolo IAI acquired companies belonging the rights to use the brand de Tomaso. The company has since been trading under the name de Tomaso Automobili At the turn of 2009/2010 de Tomaso Automobili took over from the former Pininfarina factory buildings in Grugliasco. The company since then has its registered office in Via Pininfarina in Grugliasco.

At the Geneva Auto Show 2011 de Tomaso Automobili introduced a new model called De Tomaso Deauville. It is a five-door hatchback SUV with all-wheel drive, which contains stylistic elements from BMW and Mercedes -Benz in detail. As a driving source, two petrol engines with 300 or 500 hp and a diesel engine from VM Motori with 250 hp to choose from. Later to follow a sports car and a sedan. Mass production came to 2012 not materialize due to the company's financial difficulties. According to press reports, the production rights have been sold to the SUV end of 2011 for 15 million euros to a Chinese company. With the proceeds, the development of a two-seater sports car to be driven forward.


  • Halwart Schrader, George Clerk: Italian sports car, 1st edition 1999, ISBN 3-613-01988-4.
  • Mike Lawrence: Grand Prix Cars 1945-1965. Motor Racing Publications ( London) 1998. ISBN 1-899-87039-3
  • Hans -Karl Lange: The quake rumbles yet. De Tomaso's end. In: classic car market, issue 8 /2012, S: 50 ff