The mid-1960s and early 70s were an exciting time for Italian automobile manufacturers, and boutique car maker De Tomaso was no exception. Following on the path forged by the Lamborghini Miura, the 1966 De Tomaso Mangusta was introduced, also featuring a mid-mounted engine. In this case, however, it was not an Italian thoroughbred V12, but the raw power of Detroit iron that propelled the two-seater. It was mounted on a neat all-around independent suspension that promised to be the car’s strong suit. Unfortunately, the weight distribution was all wrong, and the car proved to be very hard to handle by all but the most skilled drivers, severely hampering sales. Those were also sucker-punched by excessive cabin noise and limited storage space, making one question why exactly he was supposed to buy this car.
Fortunately, the De Tomaso Mangusta had a couple of things going for it; first, it looked real good, and second, it was very fast. It was fitted with a Ford 4.7-liter V8 producing 305 horsepower, which was paired ti a five-speed ZF manual gearbox. Top speed was 155 miles per hour, and while acceleration figures were not released, 0-60 was believed to be 6 seconds.
The 1966 De Tomaso Mangusta remained in production until 1972; over 400 of them were built. It was replaced by the more factory-friendly – easier to build! – Pantera in the early 70s.