Fourth prototype 1968

Color = red

Headlights: Four

Exterior: Dark Red
Interior: Beige
First owner: De Tomaso Automobili SpA, Modena, Italy

Reputedly used as a factory promotional car.

Alejandro De Tomaso was not only a talented racer, he was a man with a vision which included building his own high performance automobile. His dream was facilitated by his fortunate marriage to Isabelle Haskell, a lady who combined driving talent with the resources of a successful entrepreneurial family. The Mangusta was De Tomaso’s second production automobile after the Vallelunga. Its design, by Giorgetto Giugiaro, was dynamic, clean and refreshingly free of added-on tabs, intakes, wings and spoilers. It featured unique center hinged rear body panels that covered the complete back of the car and mid-mounted engine, a backbone chassis, fully independent suspension and power from a small block Ford V-8 from that was coupled to a ZF 5-speed transaxle. The earliest cars were fitted with the hi-po 289 V8 rated at 306 horsepower, while most of the production was fitted with a 302 V8 rated at 221 horsepower. The purest and most innovative of De Tomaso Automobili’s products, the Mangusta had a short life from 1965 to 1970, during which only some 400 examples were produced.

Mangusta, chassis 508, is one of the earliest cars, and as such is fitted with the coveted 298 hi-po engine. A highly original and clean California example, it is finished in a metallic burgundy with a beige leather interior and has its original wheels and the more desirable open quad headlights indicative of early examples. It is also impressively equipped on the inside with power windows, air conditioning, a three-spoke Ferraro steering wheel and a later Panasonic stereo in the dash. Included in the glovebox is the original owner’s manual along with a letter from Alejandro De Tomaso congratulating the new Mangusta owner and outlining the technical aspects of the car and engine. Showing just 77, 360 miles, this De Tomaso has had one repaint but otherwise has been kept original as it has never needed restoration. It is a fast, incredibly rare and highly collectible car that is made all the more desirable by its honest, carefully preserved and beautiful condition.

A previous owner was Stephen D. Richards. These photos were taken in April 2007.  The car is for sale as of April 20th, 2007.
This is the 5th Mangusta created, and it has a number of prototype features such as the hatch latch, AC bracket, etc.  It also has a number of later production features like the non-exposed rear hatch hinges.  It also has some bit from what appear to be Pantera items such as the AC grill, dash defroster vents, and more.  The ZF has the exposed linkage feature.

This car has had a series of owners, with each improving the condition.  One owner is a DeTomaso parts vendor.  The current owner is a Master Mechanic and a long time member of the Pantera Club of Northern California.


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