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Iconic De Tomaso going under the hammer

01 De Tomaso

AN immaculate 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta, a true icon of automotive design, will set pulses racing at Historics’ auction on August 30.

The De Tomaso Mangusta, an example of which shortly comes to auction in Surrey, was named after the mongoose and gave the supercar establishment of the day a run for its money in North America in the late 1960s.

Of the 401 examples of the De Tomaso Mangusta built during its four-year lifespan from 1967, over 250 were sold in the USA. One of these – a superbly-presented 1969 example – recently left its former Californian home bound for UK shores and is now one of the premier consignments on offer at Historics’ late summer sale at Brooklands Museum on Saturday, August 30, at an estimate of £210,000-£245,000.

The Mangusta was the brainchild of Argentinian racing driver, Alejandro de Tomaso, whose move to Italy prompted the development of his own competition machinery before he turned his talents to creating road cars, the Mangusta being his first.

Penned by Italian styling maestro Giorgetto Giugiaro, and built by Turin’s legendary coachbuilder Ghia, the credentials of the Mangusta are impeccable. Its timeless design is a tribute to Giugiaro’s work from any angle, its diminutive stance adding to the drama, as are the spectacular gullwing doors over the engine bay.

But the icing on the cake for enthusiasts was the fitment of all-American V8 muscle to power the mid-engined Mangusta.  Not only did it create instant empathy Stateside but it also guaranteed that keeping a Mangusta on the road would cost a fraction of the alternative Italian exotica of the day.

Now registered the UK, the two-owner-from-new, red Mangusta offered by Historics is in magnificent condition, inside and out, cosmetically and mechanically.  Its 4.9-litre Ford V8, mated to a five-speed ZF gearbox, bursts into life in an instant, and the host of documentation stretching back over 30 years underlines the enormous degree of professional care that has been consistently devoted to all aspects of the car.

Despite the racing DNA courtesy of its creator, the car is well-equipped with a grey leather interior and, significantly, air conditioning was fitted as standard.

With an estimated 250 examples remaining worldwide, exclusivity is assured and with values raising fast, this very original De Tomaso Mangusta represents a rare opportunity to acquire an exquisite and very drivable supercar and own a surefire investment.

The Mangusta is certain to attract significant international interest as it comes to sale within an eclectic mix of a record 160 fine classic motor cars at Historics’ late summer sale at Brooklands Museum, near Weybridge, Surrey.

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