1971 De Tomaso Mangusta
Year of manufacture1971
Chassis n° 8MA 1266
- Outstanding condition and performance
- Known history
- Comprehensive file
- Wide media coverage
- "The wildest Mangusta "
Alessandro de Tomaso, an Italian-Argentine, started his career in motorsport first by driving and then by building a Formula 1 car. As neither of these experiences satisfied him, he turned his hand to constructing Grand Touring cars. This area was already occupied by prestigious names like Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Iso, to quote just a few. De Tomaso, however, was ambitious and understood the automobile.
One of his first creations was the Mangusta. The design had been produced by Giugiaro, the talented designer at GHIA, for ISO, who turned it down. However, De Tomaso, who had just taken over at GHIA, was immediately taken with the powerful and modern design, and so the Mangusta came to be under the colours of the Argentinian flag.
Along with other sports car manufacturers, he decided on the Ford V8 289 ci engine block, which was capable of producing up to 310 bhp. Some 402 examples were built between 1967 and 1971. As the majority of the cars were intended for export to the US, two different engines were delivered by the factory: the Ford V8 289 ci for the initial production in Europe, and the Ford V8 302 ci for the US and all later production. Some 401 examples of the car were built between 1967 and 1971 as well as one unique spider version.
" 8MA 1266 ", the car of interest here, was one of the later productions. On 21 March, ready for export to the US, the marque's principal market where over 250 Mangustas were sold, the car was bought by Werner Herner, who, for the record, also had to part with a " comfortable " supplement to take it to Germany. He covered just 3000 km before putting the car away in his garage the following year. It was not until 1996 that the German marque specialist Roland Jaeckel purchased the car. He threw himself into a serious restoration project lasing some 18 months: chassis, coachwork, engine, interior and accessories all found themselves in a condition close to new. At this point, the original light blue metallic colour was replaced with a stunning orange livery. Once the work was completed, the car was sold in 2000 to Stefan Helm, who in turn sold it to Stefan Kohler in 2002. The current owner brought the car to France in 2004.
While the Mangusta has much to offer enthusiasts of Italian GT cars from the 1960s, the examples powered by the Ford V8 302 may appear a little subdued in character to some. In fact, this engine had been mass-produced by Ford for large family cars and pick-ups. The drastic anti-pollution regulations in operation in the US at the time required a significant drop in torque and power in this engine which produced a feeble 230 bhp. Not worthy for such a car...
That is the conclusion reached by the car's French owner, who approached the engine builder Roush, with a reputation for achieving success in competition in the US and for meticulous upgrading of the Ford V8 in collaboration with the company from Detroit. Roush's mechanical intervention on this car is impressive: a Ford V8 302 engine was rebored - the famous Stroker engines - increasing its capacity from 5-litres to 5.7-litres. This rebuild added special cylinder heads and flywheel in aluminium, as well as forged rods and pistons. The engine is fed by a Holley four-barrelled carburettor, and the engine cooling system - critical for the mid-engined Mangusta - improved significantly. A reinforced McLeod clutch was fitted to deal with the increase in power. The original ZF gearbox (used on the Ford GT cars), able to cope with this increase in power, did not require any modification. At the same time, the chassis was strengthened, the braking system renewed, and dampers and suspension upgraded and adapted. The car was fitted with Michelin XWX tyres as used on certain Mangustas of this period. The air conditioning was also refurbished to ensure it was fully operational - a must for sunny weather !
When the work was completed, the engine was dyno-tested by the Roush team and recorded power of 430 bhp and torque of 60mkg, which must surely make this one of the most formidable Mangustas in the world. "8MA1266" is now a versatile GT car that can be used regularly and comfortably. It can go from a light touch of the throttle to full performance, and in so doing fulfils the project initially conceived by De Tomaso and Giugiaro, as its current owner points out. Used regularly, on long journeys and to take part in numerous classic car displays where it always draws a crowd, " 8M1266 " is a well-known car that has been the subject of several features in print and on television.
This unique Mangusta will be delivered to the buyer with an impressive file detailing its history, and including a copy of the MA1266 factory record and a copy of the owner's manual.
This car undoubtedly constitutes one of the best " cocktails " of elegance, rarity and performance, in the closed circle of great GT cars. Its appearance, in a dazzling colour combination, is breathtaking. Its current owner, a great automobile enthusiast, has done everything possible to ensure this Mangusta will provide the ultimate enjoyment when driven. This is, as named by Classic Cars magazine, quite simply " The Wildest Mangusta ! "