Each year the Cortile selects a marque or model to highlight for the annual event based upon factors such as historical significance, unique local interest, brand resurgence. The cars of Alejandro deTomaso have been selected as our 2016 Proiettore Macchina!
Alejandro de Tomaso (1928–2003) started his career in the car industry as a racing driver for Maserati and O.S.C.A. He participated in two Formula One World Championship Grand Prix's, debuting on January 13, 1957. In 1959 he founded De Tomaso Automobili originally to build prototypes and racing cars.
De Tomaso Automobili (1959 - 2004) was a Modena Italy based automobile manufacturing company founded by the Argentine-born Alejandro de Tomaso with funding from his wife, Isabelle Haskell, an American heiress and race driver.
De Tomaso's first road-going production model was the Vallelunga, named after the famous racing circuit, was introduced in 1963. The Mangusta, introduced in 1966 was the first De Tomaso car produced in significant numbers. With the Mangusta, De Tomaso moved from European to American Ford engines. About 400 Mangustas were built before production ended in 1971.
In the late 1960s, Ford was in need of a high performance GT to combat the likes of Ferrari and Corvette, and assist in generating additional dealership traffic for its mainstream product lines. De Tomaso Automobili was relying on Ford 289 and 302 V8's engines in the Mangusta model and had purchased the Ghia design and coach-building concern. After Ford's failed attempt to purchase Ferrari, a Ford-De Tomaso business arrangement was consummated and work began on a new mid-engined GT which would become the most iconic of the DeTomaso cars produced: The Pantera.
From 1961 to 1963 De Tomaso designed chassis for a number of Formula One teams using O.S.C.A., Alfa Romeo, Fiat-8 and Ferrari V-6 engines. In 1970 Alejandro De Tomaso took an interest in a rising F1 team and built a magnesium chassis, designed by Gian Paolo Dallara, and powered by a Cosworth V8, for Frank Williams Racing Cars for use in the 1970 Formula One. The relationship began to sour after Piers Courage fiery crash at Zandvoort. It would mark the last year De Tomaso appeared in F1.
The Pantera followed on the heels of DeTomaso's F1 fame in 1971 with a 351 Cleveland Ford V8 and a low, wedge-shaped body designed by Ghia's Tom Tjaarda. Through an agreement with Ford, De Tomaso sold Panteras in the USA through Ford's Lincoln and Mercury dealers. Between 1971 and 1973, 6,128 Panteras were produced in Modena, the largest number of a single marque of De Tomaso produced. The Pantera was finally phased out of production in 1993 with somewhere around 7000 total units produced.
In 1971 De Tomaso also introduced the Deauville which was attempt to rival contemporary Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz saloons. In 1972 De Tomaso introduced a coupé based on the Deauville, the Longchamp. The Longchamp used a slightly shortened Deauville chassis and had the same Ford V8 engine. The body design, however, was substantially different, and influenced by the Lancia Marica prototype, also designed by Tom Tjaarda. A total of 409 Longchamps of all variations were built, by the time the production ended in 1989.
Alejandro deTomaso made many acquisitions throughout the 1970's. De Tomaso Automobili owned motorcycle company Moto Guzzi from 1973 to 1993 and from 1976 to 1993 De Tomaso owned legendary Italian sports car maker Maserati, and was responsible for producing cars including the Biturbo, the Kyalami, Quattroporte III, Karif, and the Chrysler TC.
In February 1976 Alejandro de Tomaso purchased Innocenti. Innocenti had acquired the rights to Mini from British Leyland and from 1976 to 1987 the top of the range Innocenti was the Innocenti Mini de Tomaso. Over the years they produced Lambretta scooters as well as a range of automobiles.
We are very excited to feature the cars of Alejandro de Tomaso at this years Cortile
This is a compilation of articles from a variety of sources and contributors. Attrition and sources are always provided at the top and/or the bottom of the posting.