My Car Quest

May 30, 2024

Open Letter to Jim Farley, CEO of Ford: Ford Should Buy DeTomaso (Again)

To: James D. Farley, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Co.

Why would I advise that Ford buy DeTomaso? Last time in the early ’70s it didn’t go too well. The car–the Pantera–was flawed. Ford even had to go visit the first 100 cars at their owner’s houses and fix them in the driveway. Ford ignored DeTomaso’s race car.

Ford did buy Ghia from DeTomaso and used the name on various Ford cars but unfortunately began to use it as just a name for luxury and on cars not designed by Ghia.

De Tomaso Mangusta and Ford Poster

De Tomaso Mangusta and Ford Poster – photo by Mike Gulett

But I say they need a tie in again, because Cadillac has the vee series which I am testing. It is the same shape as other 5 series but has more aggressive trim, a grille painted black, four exhausts, wide wheels and tires and ohhh that growling exhaust which you can turn up from the dash.

Ford could buy the DeTomaso name and have a DeTomaso version of a Lincoln or Ford. They could even have a satellite studio in Turin to get that so-hard-to-put-your-fingers-on Italian flavor. I’ve been to Italy many times and I’m telling you that you can’t get that flare for doing things in a dramatic way if you’re in Dearborn.

And Ford could also, as a result of what I’m saying, use older DeTomaso cars, restored, at auto shows to show alongside the DeTomaso-equipe cars.


In 1971 Ford’s Ghia design shop came up with this suggestion for the future Mustang. It wasn’t accepted but shows how designs from Italy could have changed directions at Ford.

And here’s how they would sneak by Chevy. GM doesn’t like studios in other countries being highlighted as doing a GM design, thereby looking better than the guys in Warren Michigan (or their Calif, studio ). Ford having done this already can reclaim what once was theirs.

What about appeal to the womenfolk? All you have to do is walk through a department store. Look at the brand names. The Italian accessories have that extra flare, that pizazz.

Ford needs it and it wouldn’t cost that much. Oh I know about the last DeTomaso prototype but that company has grandiose dreams which the changeover to electric cars might have weakened. Ford could at least have a hybrid so you press a button and you’re on electric.

De Tomaso Pantera

De Tomaso Pantera – design by Tom Tjaarda

I haven’t drawn my final conclusions on the Cadillac vee-series but I am sure Ford could have something similar only those would be the DeTomaso optioned cars. At first it would only be wheels, trim, upholstery and the like. Plus higher levels of performance at the touch of a button. Finally body shapes designed in Italy.

So I’ll send this to the head of Ford. James “Jim” D. Farley, Jr., is president and chief executive officer, Ford Motor Company, effective October 1, 2020. He also serves as a member of the company’s board of directors. I understand he’s an enthusiast. It’s time to bring back the hot sauce, capitsch?


Wallace Wyss

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss is the author and co-author of three books on DeTomaso.


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Open Letter to Jim Farley, CEO of Ford: Ford Should Buy DeTomaso (Again)
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Open Letter to Jim Farley, CEO of Ford: Ford Should Buy DeTomaso (Again)
Ford could buy the DeTomaso name and have a DeTomaso version of a Lincoln or Ford. This would deliver some Italian style to the US brand.


  1. Rob Krantz says

    Hear, hear! I agree….a great idea! Some Italian pizzaz with the historic link to DeTomaso would be terrific and bringing back a modern iteration of the Pantera in showrooms would be nice to see. Ford should make a reboot Pantera, available in a limited run but much more availability than the Ford GT, so mere (but obviously well heeled) mortals can buy one.

  2. wallace wyss says

    We are reaching the end of development for internal combustion cars so we might as well create a few memorable hell raisers before we internal combustion fans are run outa town. I was thinking , why not rebody the Ford GT as a modern Pantera but that would put the price too high. I agree with you it ought to be a middle class sports car. Still Cadillac is going to have the 2022 Blackwing sedan supercharged V8 be $100,000 or more in top trim so maybe there’s room at the top, at a price range American cars aren’t usually found at. But I think the present Ford GT is way too expensive …and only a V6.

  3. Rob Krantz says

    Besides the Mustang GT and Shelby variants and the Ford GT “halo” car, not much exciting going on at Ford these days, though I do like the upcoming Bronco….but the Bronco isn’t a performance car! The days of the Ford Motor Company from the 1960’s and very early 1970’s excitement wise for car people is pretty much long gone . Maybe it’s the up and coming younger generation that isn’t as interested in cars as much that’s causing the shift at Ford, However, based on the high performance Cadillacs out now and coming and the Camaro, and the high performance Mopar choices out there (Challenger and Charger with V8’s), Ford is leaving money on the table and leaving car enthusiasts behind. A Pantera with a V8 would be terrific and DeTomaso would be a great perhaps a stand alone division for excitement, R&D, etc. Will it happen? I wish it would but with Ford jettisoning Aston Martin and Jaguar years ago, perhaps unlikely that they will get into the game again with exciting and wonderful performance machinery. I admire Ford for not declaring bankruptcy like GM, but their stock is languishing as is their image IMO. The Ford GT is a fine piece of technology, but it leaves me less than excited whereas the original GT40 gets my blood pumping. Ford may think that their “Better Idea” (to coin an ancient ad theme) of the Mach E will appeal to the masses, and it will to some extent, but the days of Lee Iacocca and Henry Ford II are in the far distant past and hoping Mr. Farley will breath some enthusiasm into Ford once again as a car guy. Now, that would be fun and perhaps Ford will once again be an innovative leader in exciting cars and have an exciting image, and not just become a SUV, truck and van company!

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