"If you've ever read Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, you might remember that heroic Mongoose named Riki-Tiki Tavi saved a small boy's family by taking out a pair of killer cobras. But you may not know that De Tomaso's late "
De Tomaso: More than Latin-American Union
Latin Power crossed with American muscle. That’s what De Tomaso, the brand that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, is mostly known for. Mr Alejandro De Tomaso was aristocratic Argentinian through and through, Having moved to Modena from the southlands in 1956 with the sole intention of racing Maseratis, it wasn’t long before the young blade had created his own unique Argentianian hybrid of automotive passion that was about much more than the fusion of the aesthetics of Detroit and Northern Italy.
Looking at the schematic of the Vallelunga (above), you can see how the basic premise of the lightweight sports coupé informed the Ferrari 246 GT Dino. There’s even something Boxsterish about the profile a car, of course, which came in an age when the little De Tomaso had been all but forgotten by cognoscentis of design.
The design house of Ghia was involved in creating the powerful, broody Pantera the best selling and most popular De Tomaso, and the one which has given the brand its reputation for stripped-down brawn. But there is a subtle beauty to the other models, like the snarlingly exotic, Giugiario-penned Mangusta – and especially the exceedingly rare Vallelunga, that was produced early in the sixties.
Time to reassess the influence of the Argentine.
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