My Car Quest

July 23, 2024

The Chevrolet Powered De Tomaso Mangusta

by Mike –

Dick Ruzzin writes on Dean’s Garage

401 Mangustas were built in Modena, Italy by DeTomaso Automobili. Bodies were supplied by Ghia and both the exterior and interior were designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.

All were built with Ford engines except chassis number 8MA-670. It was built in the early winter of 1969 under special order for William (Bill) Mitchell who was the Vice President of Design for General Motors.

De Tomaso Mangusta

Dick Ruzzin’s De Tomaso Mangusta

He had seen the Mangusta prototype at the Turin Show in the fall of 1968, and he asked Alesandro DeTomaso to build one for him, but not with a Ford engine. His reply was that Mitchell should send him whatever engine that he wanted and that he would have it installed in a Mangusta at the factory in Modena.

Dick Ruzzin wrote this for My Car Quest, Tom Goes For A Ride In A Mangusta.

Dick Ruzzin, Mangusta 8MA670, has spent much of his life designing cars for General Motors. During his career he worked on over 140 car design projects as creative designer, studio head, and Director of Design for GM Europe, in Germany, and Chevrolet, in the United States.

De Tomaso Logo

The Chevrolet Powered De Tomaso Mangusta
Article Name
The Chevrolet Powered De Tomaso Mangusta
The only Chevrolet powered De Tomaso Mangusta.


  1. John Webster says

    Having owned one of the rare red Mangusta rhd and my brother the other uk rhd I was the first owners club secretary back in the 1970’s the days when one could speak with the man himself at the factory. I have videos pictures and magazine articles written about me. The only item left, apart from the club file and brochure is a wheel stud! and the owners club badge. If any enthusiast wishes to contact, please do.

  2. Ken phillips says

    I thought the origin of these cars was the “one of ” Lola Chevy powered mid engined coup ( not the Lola 70 ) . I thought it preceeded these and the GT 40 and was used as the basis for the Ford powered cars. Anybody know ?

  3. DICK RUZZIN says

    DeTomaso combined his P70 racing chassis that was developed in collaboration with Carol Shelby
    with the Giugiaro Mangusta design. The P70 was stillborn due to the introduction into racing of the Chevrolet Big Block. Giugiaro did the Mangusta on his own as a proposal for Bizzarini but he was not interested. DeTomaso bought GHIA with his brother-in-laws and found it there as part of the purchase.

    He immediately put both in the Turin show and arrived as a car manufacturer.


  4. I purchased a new Mangusta from British Motors in San Francisco in 1969. Black in,red outside. Very fun to drive, absolutely deadly whenever the road was wet. Caught fire from an oil leak near the oil filter…ruined a good shirt putting it out. Drove over a bridge in Florida that was rough and the left front suspension collapsed. Upon examination it was unsettling to see how thin the walls of the suspension tubes were. Never drove it over 80 after that. Stopped by a cop once on US 1 in California just because he wanted to see what it was….It had manual electric cooling fans on the main radiator, and if you didn’t turn them on prior to entering a town with stoplights, it would promptly overheat.

  5. DICK RUZZIN says

    From Dick Ruzzin,
    I have created a book about the Mangusta design called:
    “BELLA MANGUSTA, the Italian art and design of the De Tomaso Mangusta”.

    It is now being published and will be available in August. It is the story of the Mangusta’s design and early history, 72 images, 7000 words, at a low price.
    Find it on the internet.

    All the best,
    Dick Ruzzin

Speak Your Mind