De Tomaso

May 4, 2015 By Mike Lee
Last updated on May 4, 2015

De-tomaso LogoBrief History About De Tomaso

De Tomaso Automobili was founded in 1959 in Modena Italy by Argentinian born Alejandro de Tomaso (ex-race driver and hence the colour used for the flag of Argetina). The company originally started off building race cars and prototypes including Maserati engines, but slowly moved on to also building Italian styled road cars running engines supplied from larger production manufacturers, such as Ford.

In 1967, De Tomaso bought the Ghia automotive company and in 1969 Ford got a look at the Pantera prototype and liked what it saw. Ford bought into Pantera, including purchasing Ghia (1972) and helped created and import the Pantera into the USA in 1971. However a few quality issues with the car caused Ford to stop the importation of the Pantera in 1974, although they were mostly fixable minor issues. The Pantera however continued to be developed and built and sold throughout the world.

In 1976 De Tomaso purchased Maserati, but sold it again in 1993 and started to use BMW engines in its European cars.

During the new millennium several prototypes were built and even a production car here are there was built, but when, in 2003 Alejandro De Tomaso passed away, the company began to slowly wind down and in 2004 De Tomaso went into liquidation, with the final curtain in 2006.

However some cars were still built after this date and in 2009 Gian Mario Rossignolo bought the company and borrowed money from the Italian government. In 2012 there were financial issues and court proceedings brought against Gian, which ended De Tomaso’s come back.

Mangusta 1967-1971

Deauville 1971-1985

Longchamp 1972-1989

Pantera 1971-1995

Guara 1994-2004

(See Qvale for Bigua/Mangusta 1999-2002)