The History of De Tomaso: A Look at the Italian Sports Car Maker

De Tomaso is an Italian car manufacturer that was founded in 1959 by Argentine racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso. The company produced a range of sports cars and luxury vehicles, many of which were powered by Ford engines. Over the years, De Tomaso became known for its distinctive designs, high-performance engines, and racing pedigree. Despite its many successes, however, the company eventually fell into financial trouble and was forced to shut down in the early 2000s.

Early Years

Alejandro de Tomaso had a passion for racing from an early age. He moved to Europe in the 1950s to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional driver, and soon found himself working for various racing teams. In 1959, he decided to start his own car company, which he named De Tomaso Automobili. His first car, the Vallelunga, was released in 1963.

The Vallelunga was a small, mid-engine sports car that was designed for racing. It was powered by a Ford engine and had a fiberglass body. The car was a success on the track, and helped to establish De Tomaso as a serious contender in the world of racing.

The Pantera

In 1970, De Tomaso released its most famous car, the Pantera. The Pantera was a mid-engine sports car that was designed to compete with the likes of the Ferrari Dino and the Lamborghini Miura. It was powered by a Ford V8 engine and had a sleek, aggressive design. The car was a hit with enthusiasts, and helped to establish De Tomaso as a maker of high-performance sports cars.

The Pantera was produced for over 20 years, and underwent several revisions during that time. It was sold in Europe and the United States, and became one of the most iconic sports cars of the 1970s and 1980s.

Financial Troubles

Despite its many successes, De Tomaso struggled financially throughout its history. The company was never able to achieve the same level of success as its competitors, and was forced to rely on government subsidies to stay afloat. In the 1990s, De Tomaso made several attempts to revive its fortunes, including a failed partnership with the Korean automaker Hyundai.

In the early 2000s, De Tomaso was forced to shut down due to financial difficulties. The company’s assets were sold off to various buyers, and its legacy lives on through the many sports cars and luxury vehicles that it produced over the years.


Despite its troubled history, De Tomaso remains an important part of the Italian automotive landscape. The company’s innovative designs and high-performance engines helped to push the boundaries of what was possible in the world of sports cars. Today, the Pantera remains a sought-after collector’s item, and De Tomaso’s legacy lives on through the many enthusiasts and fans of the brand.

While De Tomaso may no longer be producing cars, its influence can still be felt in the world of high-performance sports cars. Its legacy is a testament to the passion and dedication of Alejandro de Tomaso, and the many talented engineers and designers who worked for the company over the years.



Marsh is a designer with a passion for sharing house schemes. He has always loved working with his hands, and he enjoys nothing more than seeing people happy in their homes. When he's not designing houses, Carolyn likes to spend time with his wife and young son, who are the loves of his life.

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