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1967 De Tomaso Vallelunga by Ghia

RM Sotheby's

1967 De Tomaso Vallelunga by Ghia
RM Sotheby's
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SH ID

24-0422007

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FEATURED BY SPEEDHOLICS

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Monaco

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Dealer

One of just 50 examples produced; delivered new to Italy

 

Clothed in stylish Giugiaro-designed fibreglass coachwork executed by Ghia

 

A clever and intriguing lightweight berlinetta of the most outstanding quality

Description

Few small-volume car manufacturers can boast as compelling or cosmopolitan a backstory as that of De Tomaso Automobili. An accomplished amateur racing driver himself, Alejandro de Tomaso competed throughout the latter part of the decade; his career encompassed two World Championship Grands Prix, four participations in the Sebring 12 Hours, and also a class win at the 1958 Le Mans 24 Hours. In 1957, de Tomaso married American heiress Isabelle Haskell, and settled in Modena—then the epicenter of Italy’s sportscar manufacturing industry. There, de Tomaso commenced production of a variety of moderately successful Formula Junior, Formula One and Two designs. However, in 1963, he ventured into road car production for the first time with his attractive Ford Cortina-powered, two-seat Vallelunga coupé. Employing a pressed steel backbone chassis with a tubular rear sub-frame, its engine functioned as a stressed member, thereby improving torsional rigidity and enabling impressive levels of performance from a car generating less than 120 horsepower. The Vallelunga’s four-wheel disc brakes and double-wishbone, coil spring suspension ensured ample stopping power and pleasant road-holding capabilities ideal for spirited driving between towns, and checkered flags, too. Legendary designer Giorgetto Giugiaro was responsible for styling the low and svelte Vallelunga, while Ghia were tabbed with execution of Giugiaro’s design in fiberglass. The production Vallelunga weighed in at only 726 kilograms, and its 105-horsepower engine was good for a top speed of 180 km/h, while a sprint from zero-to-97 km/h was said to require only 6.7 seconds. This wonderfully restored and lightly customised Vallelunga is a late production example which was delivered new to Varese, Italy on 27 May 1967. Between 1970 and 1983, it resided in northern Italy and then Rome. In June 2003, the car was purchased by a Spanish De Tomaso enthusiast and exported to their home in Barcelona. Under current ownership, this attractive Vallelunga has been cleverly modified for better performance with a freshly rebuilt 1.6-litre, Ford four-cylinder engine which was reportedly sourced from a period Formula 3 car; this engine has also been fitted with a supercharger, Weber Type 48 carburetor, and high-performance fittings. The gearbox remains the correct-type De Tomaso-VW four-speed unit, and this is controlled via a handsome gated shifter which occupies the place of honour within the car’s immaculately retrimmed cabin. The set of 13-inch Cromodora wheels are presently shod in Kumho tires, and at the rear track these fit nicely under the fiberglass body’s slightly widened fenders. As the consignor reports that this extremely uncommon Vallelunga has traveled just 4,000 kilometres since completion of its comprehensive restoration, it would be a tremendous and exciting prize for any collector of advanced and attractive niche Italian sportscars.
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