De Tomaso's most famous model is the Pantera largely because of the decades of production, but an example of its rarer predecessor, the Mangusta, is now up for sale at a dealer in Florida. This 1969 model has a mere 8,783 miles on the odometer, and the dealer reports just two previous owners.
Like the Pantera, the Mangusta features a mid-mounted V8 – in this case a 302 cubic-inch (4.95-liter) Ford. The engine routes its power to the rear wheels via a ZF-sourced five-speed manual. This one features a body in the original, gorgeous shade of dusty gold that fits perfectly on a car from the late very 1960s. Inside, there is a pair of leather-clad bucket seats and amenities like air conditioning and power windows. The array of toggle switches along the dashboard makes the cabin look more akin to an airplane cockpit than an automobile.
According to Streetside Classics, the dealer selling the De Tomaso, this Mangusta went into storage in 1979 and remained there until early 2016. Since then, the coupe received a restoration to make it road worthy again. The work paid special attention of retaining as many original components as possible.
Famed designer Giorgetto Giugiaro created the Mangusta's shape while working at Ghia, and it debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1966. His design featured a sharp front end, but the really interesting part was at the back. There, the vehicle featured a center-hinged, two-section hood that opened akin to gullwing doors. Alejandro De Tomaso took over Ghia in 1967, and the coupe entered production that year, too. De Tomaso made roughly 400 Mangustas before launching the Pantera to even greater success.
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