A modern version of the 1965 De Tomaso Mangusta has been created by Maxime de Keiser, a design graduate and digital artist/illustrator. An original design from Giorgetto Giugiaro, the Mangusta sports car was produced from 1965 to 1971. Its highlights included the gullwing engine bay doors, a set of quad headlights, and its low height of 1,100 mm (43.3 in). During that period, just 401 units were built.
It’s believed that there are fewer than 170 original Mangusta units in existence today. What de Keiser hoped to do was to emphasize these features, which he had now revised in order to adapt to the present trends in design and technologies.
He said that his version will be “spectacular” just like the original. What he built would also give off an impression of “wild ferocity and power while recalling the serenity of a feline at rest.” The photos that were released show a 3D model of the original Mangusta in green. Alongside it are the Mangusta Legacy Concept and a Super Sport version.
The Mangusta served as the replacement for the Vallelunga, but is underpinned by the same chassis. Its name was derived from the Italian term for "mongoose," an animal known for its ability to kill cobras.
Interestingly, a rumor has been circulated that that the Mangusta was so named because Alejandro de Tomaso and Carroll Shelby had discussions to build a racing car – the De Tomaso Sport 5000 or De Tomaso P70 -- that would replace the Shelby Cobra.
However, the parties never inked an agreement as Shelby participated in the Ford GT40 racing program. Since de Tomaso and Shelby were friends, there has been a rumor that the initial batch of engines for the Mangusta may have been supplied by Shelby.
De Tomaso eventually replaced the Mangusta by the De Tomaso Pantera in 1971. Throughout production, De Tomaso assembled 401 Mangustas, around 150 of which were the European version while the rest were the North American variant. Initial batches of the Mangusta were said to be powered by the more dynamic Ford HiPo 289 cu. in. engine, while later models had Ford 302 engines as their core.
De Tomaso built around 50 units of the 1970 Mangusta bound for the United States, all featuring a two-headlamp pop-up. De Tomaso built one version powered by a Chevrolet engine for then General Motors Vice President, Bill Mitchell. As per three available registries, around 250 of the 401 Mangusta still exist to this day.