Tag Archives: Mangusta

Brock’s Fantuzzi Body – de Tomaso Sports 5000 #P70-001

In 1965 Alejandro de Tomaso turned his attention to building a run of 50 sports racing cars, to be known as the Sport 5000 using the central backbone chassis architecture of his Vallelunga road car as a starting point.

de Tomaso Sport 5000, Modena

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

He replaced the 100 hp 4 cylinder Ford Kent motor used in the road car with a 475 hp 4.7 litre / 289 Ford V8 sourced from Carroll Shelby of the type developed for the Cobra sports racing cars.

de Tomaso Sport 5000, Modena

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The open top aluminium body work was designed by Pete Brock, who was responsible for designing the Cobra Coupé bodywork for Carroll Shelby, a year earlier and crafted by Fantuzzi.

de Tomaso Sport 5000

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The cars first public appearances, with rear wheels covered, were in the 1965 Turin Motor Show and 1966 Modena Racing Car Show. Around this time Ghia had stepped in with some financial assistance and the car was known as the Ghia de Tomaso. In March 1966 Pierre Noblet, Franco Bernabei, Umberto Maglioli were entered to drive the car in the Sebring 12 Hours, but it failed to show up.

de Tomaso Sport 5000

Photo Courtesy Bill Noon / Symbolic International.

The Sport 5000 entry for the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours was refused by organisers Automobile Club de l’Ouest, but in July 1966 Roberto Bussinello drove the Sport 5000, on it’s competition debut, in the Cuircuito del Mugello road race where the car retired on the opening, 66 km, lap.

Palm Springs Concours d'Elegance

The only Sport 5000 built at de Tomaso’s Modena factory would never race again, by this time Shelby had turned his attentions to the Ford GT40 programme and production of the Sport 5000 was put on indefinite ice.

Pete Brock used elements of the Sport 5000 design including the adjustable rear wing, in the Suzuki Hino race car, while de Tomaso used the strengthend chassis design in the Ford 289 and later 302 cui V8 powered de Tomaso Mangusta.

The unique Sport 5000, a contemporary of the Ford GT40 and Ferrari P3, did not surface again until after Alejandro de Tomaso died in 2004. In 2006 a second car was built known as a 70P using the original cars panels as a template for the copy.

Earlier this year the de Tomaso Sport 5000, which is now being offered for sale by Bill Noon’s Symbolic International, was seen, above, by Geoffrey Horton at Palm Springs Concours d’Elegance.

My thanks to Bill Noon at Symbolic International for sharing his photographs of the Sport 5000 and to Geoffrey Horton for sharing his photograph too !

Thanks for joining me on this “Brock’s Fantuzzi Body” edition of Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at an American project that took Jaguar back to Le Mans in the mid 1980’s. Don’t forget to come back now !


Cobra Killer – de Tomaso Mangusta # 8MA 1216

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This Mangusta is one of a handful of genuinely show stopping cars at Bristol’s Italian Auto Moto Festival last weekend and my personal favourite of those present.

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When I was a kid and we got our first black and white television I was completely captivated by a Sci Fi puppet series called Thunderbirds and there were three real machines representing transport that seemed to capture that vision of the future, the Mangusta with its clean lines and gullwing engine cover, the supersonic Concorde and the ship named Queen Elizabeth 2 or QE2.

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Mangusta translated means mongoose a carnivore immune to some snake venom known to kill vipers and typically avoid cobra’s. However the myth is that Mongeese are cobra killers and that is why the name was chosen for this vehicle because de Tomaso wanted to build a car that was better than the Shelby Cobra after a misunderstanding about a supply of engines that went to Shelby.

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The Giorgetto Giugiaro body is fitted on to pressed steel back bone chassis which has it’s origins in de Tomaso’s first road car the Ford 4 cylinder Kent powered Vallelunga.

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401 Mangusta’s are thought to have been built from 1967 to 1971 of which around 128 may have survived.

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All bar one Mangusta were fitted with Ford V8’s the 306 hp 4729 cc / 289 cui for the European Markets, and the 220 hp 4949 cc / 302 cui for the US Market, the US versions had pop up lights in place of the twin headlamps of the European versions. The odd Mangusta was built with a Chevrolet Small Block V8.

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Tarantino aficionado’s might recognise the 155 mph Mangusta from Kill Bill Vol. 2, see trailer at 1m 27 seconds, and Kylie Minogue fans might recognise the Mangusta from the 2001 ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’ video.

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Chassis 8MA 1216 seen here was purchased by Alitalia pilot Giancarlo Furiosi and kept by him until 2009 when portrait photographer Jonathan Root acquired it.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Cobra Killer edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a black cat. Don’t forget to come back now !