Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3
The Mangusta was the second model to be produced by the DeTomaso car company, and more importantly it was their first Supercar. Designed by the owner and founder of the company, the young Argentinian ex-racing driver Giugiaro DeTomaso, the Mangusta looked every bit the Italian exotic.
Power was to come from the somewhat cheaper Ford 289ci V8 (rather than an overly priced, and overly costly Italian V12), DeTomaso opting to use the Shelby-tuned version that had already appeared in AC Cobra
, Ford GT-40
and Mustang GT-350.
Nobody really expected the Ford V8 to challenge the revvy and smooth V12's from Ferrari and Lamborghini, but what let the car down much more than the engine were the shortcomings of the chassis - most considered it to be too weak, generating too much flex, resulting in unpredictable oversteer/understeer in corners.
If the chassis was not enough to ruin the car's reputation, poor built quality and corrosion were. Nevertheless there were three hundred and six horses running in the middle of the car, enough we would claim to make the Mangusta every bit a spectacular Supercar.
And who can argue the wonderful looks. Followers of "Top Gear" may well remember the Supercar Scramble, why the lads never chose a Mangusta is debatable, but likely it would be because it would not make for good television, they being too reliable! (A Ferrari, Lambo and Maserati being chosen instead).
Thankfully many owners realised the Mangusta was too good to allow to be ravaged by the weather, and many were to become treasured collectables. Sure, a little attention to the suspension
was required, but as those astute owners can now attest, owning a Mangusta is a much better alternative to owning most other Italian exotics of the era, least wise if your hip pocket is taken into consideration.