My Car Quest

November 23, 2017

The Last DeTomaso Goes Up for Auction

The Prototype that came in from the Cold.

by Wallace Wyss –

Nobody tells me. And, hey, I wrote three books on DeTomaso.

So it’s a little embarrassing to say that I am reporting to you today on a “new” DeTomaso car only 18 years after it was first rolled out into the diffused sunlight of Modena (the “sumafato effect” is what they call it…).

De Tomaso Nuova Pantera Prototype

The car was found in the production facilities of De Tomaso’s Modena factory in 2003, just after the death of Alejandro De Tomaso. Whoever was in charge was selling the brand’s real estate.

According to the auction company the designer was Marchello Gandini, he more famous for the Lamborghinis he designed like the Miura and the Espada.

The car had been presented as a mock-up on September 5th 1999 in front of 500 people during De Tomaso’s 40th anniversary celebrations, DeTomaso himself was in attendance, wearing a pirate’s eye patch and in a wheelchair.

De Tomaso Nuova Pantera Prototype

By that time he could hardly talk, and only one aide could make out what he was saying.

Stretching a bit, the auction company said it could “be considered as one of the inspirations for design of the legendary Bugatti Veyron.”

After De Tomaso’s closure in 2004, this car was purchased by the famous Panini Collection in Modena and was kept there until it was bought two years ago by the current owner who brought it to the auction.

RM Sotheby’s makes plenty of it being the Last of the Last, saying: “As the final concept produced by the company in 1999, this makes it the last ever De Tomaso model to be introduced to the public, and a true piece of Italian automotive history.”

De Tomaso Nuova Pantera Prototype

The body had a little storage damage and was sold without side mirrors and headlamps, without windows, without an interior, and, oh, no engine. But it might have had a chassis, since there’s mention of the disc brakes.

RM Sotheby’s is the auctioneer on September 6, 2017 in London (today!). Anyway they predict it is worth between £70,000 – £90,000.

All in all, it’s kind of a sad way for an automaker to fade out, with a sale of the leftovers.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

 
 
THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss has personally autographed copies of his book DeTomaso: the Man and the Machines available. Write Photojournalistpro2@gmail.com

 
 
 

Photos compliments of RM Sotheby’s.

 

 

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Summary
The Last DeTomaso Goes Up for Auction
Article Name
The Last DeTomaso Goes Up for Auction
Description
This car was presented as a mock-up on September 5th 1999 in front of 500 people during De Tomaso’s 40th anniversary celebrations, DeTomaso himself was in attendance, wearing a pirate’s eye patch and in a wheelchair.
Author

Comments

  1. Nick Hester says:

    Sadly this sold for a fraction of the predicted price.

  2. wallace wyss says:

    I didn’t get the price yet but you have to wonder how much of a real car this was. My argument would be that unless it had a chassis (unitized or tube frame, plus steering, and brakes (which apparently it had brakes) and most important, a chassis number plate, it was just a rolling mockup such as Detroit occasionally shows of a future concept. I wasn’t able to find the story I read on the Italian language site which showed several identical bodies lying about a very messy factory floor so don’t expect this to be the “last” last DeTomaso.

  3. Trevor Gaunt says:

    It looks like an Alpine 310, especially the side view. Those wheels resemble the sort Alpine might have used had they not had access to their own unique design.

  4. Mike Clarke says:

    Buyer has already installed a blown 351C complaining that the car needs more HP yet it’s overheating. Started polishing all suspension components and is having a bitcin audio system installed. Looking to win one of the three foot trophies the DeTomaso club hands out at Concorso Italiano.

  5. It sold for £19,200 – way below the estimate

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