My Car Quest

April 21, 2024

AC 428 Frua and De Tomaso Mangusta For Sale

by Mike –

This 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta is for sale on eBay with a Buy It Now Price of $$119,900.

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

The seller, Daniel Schmitt & Co. (in St. Louis, Missouri), says it has just completed a restoration and has 36,325 miles. The photos look good and if the description is accurate this looks like a great Mangusta.

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta

This 1969 AC 428 Frua shown below was listed on eBay at a price of $255,000. It was listed by Hyman Ltd. (also in St. Louis). The eBay listing has ended and it is not on the Hyman web site now so maybe it sold.

AC 428 Frua

1969 AC 428 Frua

AC 428 Frua

1969 AC 428 Frua

The seller says: “This 1969 example is in remarkable condition with just under 17,000 original miles and has never had, or needed, restoration yet today in metallic silver paint with its original black leather upholstery and interior trim looks crisp, sharp and exquisite. It has been repainted to very high standards.”

AC 428 Frua

1969 AC 428 Frua

The Questions

1) Here we have two excellent examples of European styled cars with American power (both Ford powered). Mike Clarke sent me the AC Frua eBay listing and asked why this car would be so much more expensive than a Mangusta. This AC Frua is priced at more than two times the price of this Mangusta.

Is this justified? The Mangusta is a more beautiful car but I suspect the AC Frua is a better driver. Neither have any racing history and both were made in low numbers, although there are fewer AC Fruas around that Mangustas.

As a talking point, the latest issue of the Hagerty Price Guide has the following values for condition 1 cars:

1969 AC 428: $96,400

1969 De Tomaso Mangusta: $145,000

I do not believe that price guides are always correct but you can see why this is confusing.

Let us know in the comments what you think about Mangusta values versus AC 428 Frua values.

2) The other question – why are two such great cars both in St. Louis?

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  1. AC428s have shot up in value in the last couple of years. From the road tests I’ve read, I would say Mangustas didn’t have a very good press overall when they were new, handling issues being the main complaint, plus the build quality issues common to many low-volume Italian cars of the era. Mangusta handling can apparently be tamed with modern tyres, I’ve read.
    The AC428 also suffers handling issues caused by steering geometry. Owners have told me this. But there are well-known mods to correct this nowadays.

    I like both these cars – the Mangusta has always been my favourite de Tomaso. Fred Moss once had a Mangusta racer that was truly fearsome, he had a shark mouth painted either side of the nose, reminiscent f the P40 fighters of the “Flying Tigers” in WW2! It could (and did) humble Ferrari F40s at the drag strip. The current (Dec 2012) Auto Italia has a big article on it.I’m not totally convinced by the AC428’s styling, but I still like them, especially the “warp control” inverted U shaped auto shifter!

    • I like both cars, I love the styling of the Mangusta, and I suspect I would like the ride of the AC 428 but I do not know for sure.

  2. ~ you can’t buy a car from a price guide.
    . as said by Ed L on another site recently (BaT) ‘condition trumps spec in most cases’

    . why are two such great cars both in St. Louis? these gentlemen are life-long, dedicated enthusiasts as well as exceptional business men with deep supporting staff. i have seen remarks about their extreme prices. but don’t forget, the best examples are expensive for good reason. an historic quote reads, ‘it is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. when you pay too much, you lose a little money – that is all. when you pay too little you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do’

    incidentally, Mike, there are a number of other respected collections, museums, and dealers in St.Louis i am happy to say.

    • Scot, Thanks for the education. I always depend on the knowledge of My Car Quest readers.

    • I too am located in St Louis and want to offer a counter point to Scot’s comment above. First, any expertise I have is with the 1965-1973 Porsche 911. Hyman typically does not venture too deeply into the Porsche marque but their reputation in my circle is one of high quality and integrity. Schmitt is a different story. I have looked at several of his early 911’s. The Porsche based ‘Early 911S Registry’ can be searched for discussions on his cars as well and the results of his sales and the followup results. I sincerely hope the buyer of the Mangusta had a professional pre-purchase inspection completed.

      • ~ i appreciate the lead, jdevil. unfortunately time doesn’t allow me to register and dig into the ‘Early 911S Registry’ today, but i will keep it on hand and try to learn more.

      • ~ @ jdevil325,
        i have now read the posts on the Registry and elsewhere. it appears there are issues that were not resolved adequately (to put it nicely). it sounds like more than a simple difference of opinion. if misrepresentation and poor quality are what occurred it is bad for everyone.

  3. Nice Mangusta’s that can’t break the $150K mark, it just seems so strange. Styling by Giugiaro (it may be his best work ) aside from the Grifo. A dependable power plant, parts availability and low production numbers to make them collectable. Mangusta’s have all the right stuff. Miuras have topped a million and most demand $400K or more, Bora’s in a similar price range, Daytonas $350K plus. Even Intermeccanica’s are up in the $100K range, you would think the Mangusta would be worth more.

    Is it the close association to the Pantera? The fact that so many Pantera’s were modified? association to Ford? It’s a mystery to me why the Mangusta doesn’t demand higher prices, but I remember when you could buy Countachs for $100K all day, not too long ago….

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