December 8, 2022


Born to perform

DeTomaso’s rare, forgotten Vallelunga was the Pantera’s rough draft — Petersen Automotive Museum

2 min read


It was just about inescapable that the DeTomaso Vallelunga would be created in tiny numbers, since it was a pricey and compromised device from an unidentified brand. By the time the closing Vallelunga was manufactured in 1965, just 50 experienced been manufactured by Ghia alongside with three aluminum-bodied protoypes and 5 alloy-bodied level of competition automobiles.

Just a single of the Vallelungas built was correct-hand travel and it was made for Colonel Ronnie Hoare, Ferrari importer for the U.K. His program was to in good shape a 148-hp Lotus twin-cam motor to produce a genuine pocket-sized street rocket, but he located the Vallelunga simply as well less than-formulated to be practical. He then bought the motor vehicle on in 1970, by which level DeTomaso was on the verge of unveiling his greatest-known car or truck, the Pantera.

Scarce and obscure, Vallelungas are the most beneficial motor vehicles in the DeTomaso legacy. Even though a museum-quality (#1 situation) Mangusta specced with the higher-output motor and built among 1967 and 1970 tops out at $325,000, a Vallelunga in this kind of better-than-factory problem is value $390,000. For a driver-quality instance with a number of scuffs and bruises, you’re searching at $245,000—more than $80K more than the most beneficial Pantera (a 1988 GT product in #1 affliction). The to start with of the DeTomaso highway automobiles hardly ever pop up for sale, either.

Though imperfect at its debut, the Vallelunga founded the components of mid-engine Ford power less than striking Ghia human body perform that the later on Mangusta and Pantera would render in greater measurement and production depend. 4 years immediately after the roadster debuted at Turin, DeTomaso would draw in the eye of Lee Iacocca, then Ford’s government vice president, and leverage its Lincoln-Mercury dealer network for fewer sensitive, more accessible choices. As a statement of DeTomaso’s wild, unique eyesight, even so, the Vallelunga will constantly stand aside.

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