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This 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Is Currently Up for Grabs

This 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta Is Currently Up for Grabs

Style over substance isn’t always a bad thing.

Just look at the 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta, a gorgeous example of which is currently up for bid on Bring a Trailer. The sports car wasn’t all that reliable and was cramped to ride in, but it was easily one of the best-looking vehicles to come out of Italy during the era.

The Mangusta was born out of a failed racing collaboration with Carroll Shelby that would go on to become De Tomaso’s second road car. In 1964, the company’s namesake, Alejandro de Tomaso, approached the Texan about designing a race car called the P70 for the U.S. Road Racing Championship, according to Car and Driver. The car would pair the chassis of De Tomaso’s first street-legal model, the Vallelunga, from a brawny, 427-cubic-inch version of Ford’s small-block V-8. The car may have worked on paper, but De Tomaso couldn’t figure out a way to build it in time for the 1965 racing season, which led Shelby to pull out of the project—and start working on the Ford GT40.

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

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De Tomaso wasn’t ready to give up, though. He decided to turn the P70 into a road car that would eventually be named the Mangusta, which is Italian for “mongoose,” an animal that can kill a cobra. It features a Shelby-tuned V-8 and, most importantly of all, a stunning wedge-shaped design penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who’d recently left Bertone. De Tomaso would build 401 examples between 1967 and 1971 before moving on to the more famous Pantera.

This example of the low-slung speed machine is finished in silver and features an alluring tan leather interior. The two-seat cabin is famously cramped, but there’s no denying it looks incredible. Open up the vehicle’s gullwing-like engine bay doors and you’ll find a 302-cubic-inch V-8 topped with a four-barrel carburetor and Offenhauser intake manifold. The mill is mated to a five-speed manual transmission that sends its 230 hp to the rear axle. This Mangusta has 24,000 miles on the odometer but looks to be in excellent condition. It was refurbished in 2012 and has also been serviced each of the last two years.

Inside the 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

Inside the Mangusta

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Bidding for the two-door has reached $175,000 as of press time. That figure is 15 times the vehicle’s original $11,500 sticker price and is sure to climb even higher before the auction closes on Friday, May 24.

Click here for more pictures of the incredibly chic 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta.

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