Every De Tomaso Mangusta made from 1967 to 1971 was manufactured with a Ford engine. Except one. This particular Mangusta was made with a Chevrolet Small Block V8. The reason? This car was made specifically for GM design vice president at the time, Bill Mitchell, one of only 250 American customers. Four hundred one were made in total. This particular one has belonged to retired GM designer Dick Ruzzin since 1969.
If the name “Giorgetto Giugiaro” rings a bell, that’s because it should. He designed this and although this car is a beautiful machine, he is better known for the BMW M1 and Maserati Merak. You can see the evolution of his design when comparing the three. The Mangusta was named after the mongoose, an animal that kills cobras. De Tomaso named the car this after a deal with Shelby fell through and designed the entire thing himself, inside and out. This mid-engined Italian sports car was released just three years after the Lamborghini Miura, so it really was a big deal. The Mangusta paved the way for its successor, the Pantera, which was a more successful car. Enjoy the history lessons in the video below.
HT to Jim!