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1965 DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia)

DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964
DeTomaso Vallelunga Berlinetta (Ghia), 1965
DeTomaso Vallelunga Berlinetta (Ghia), 1965
DeTomaso Vallelunga Berlinetta (Ghia), 1965
DeTomaso Vallelunga Berlinetta (Ghia), 1965
DeTomaso Vallelunga Berlinetta (Ghia), 1965
DeTomaso Vallelunga Berlinetta (Ghia), 1965
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga (Ghia), 1964-68
DeTomaso Vallelunga Spyder (Fissore), 1963 - Designer: Trevor Fiore
DeTomaso Vallelunga Spyder (Fissore), 1963 - Designer: Trevor Fiore
Images: Automobile Quarterly; www.auto-classiche.it
Rating:  29    -4    +33
The Vallelunga is commonly acknowledged as DeTomaso Automobili's first production model. Its name comes from a race course in Italy, and its mid-engined chassis design from various DeTomaso open wheel racers. The first Vallelunga was shown in 1962 as an open roadster with aluminum coachwork somewhat reminiscent of a Porsche 550 Spyder. The next three cars, built by Fissore and also rendered in alloy, were coupes; their styling was very similar to the final production version. By the time the car was ready for production in 1965, Ghia was engaged to construct the bodywork, in fiberglass.
Alejandro de Tomaso was an Argentinian race-car driver who emigrated to Italy to build competition machines after first settling in the United States, where he married and continued racing for a rime (with his wife). In the 1970s he built DeTomaso Automobili into a small power in the motor industry of his adopted country.

But in the early Sixties, Alejandro was struggling to make the shift from race-car constructor to road-car manufacturer, producing prototypes that always seemed to have a lot of potential but no future. Accordingly, no one took much notice when he revealed a Ford-powered mid-engine coupe in November 1966. Yet this car, the DeTomaso Mangusta, would become his first series-production model, thus laying the foundation for DeTomaso’s future mini auto empire.

The DeTomaso Mangusta wasn’t Alejandro’s first roadgoing sports car. That was the Vallelunga, which appeared in 1964. A smallish open two-seater, it featured a novel “backbone” chassis with all-independent A-arm suspension and a midships-mounted 1.5-liter British Ford four-cylinder engine. Alejandro hoped to sell copies or at least interest a major automaker in production rights, but could do neither.

Then, a turning point. In 1965, DeTomaso persuaded young Giorgio Giugiaro, formerly of Bertone but then working at the house of Ghia, to design a dosed body for the Vallelunga chassis. It attracted attention and Ghia built a few prototypes, only to discover that lack of chassis rigidity around the drivetrain created insoluble vibration problems. This left the Vallelunga stillborn but Alejandro with a valuable contact.
Source: auto.howstuffworks.com
Coachbuilder: Ghia
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