My Car Quest

April 14, 2024

De Tomaso Mangusta – An Untouched Survivor

by Mike Gulett –

My friend and car lover, Bud Millard, died about two years ago. I spent time with him at nearly every car event in the San Francisco Bay Area and Monterey for many years. This article about his De Tomaso Mangusta was originally posted in July 2012. I miss Bud and think of him often.

This 1969 De Tomaso Mangusta was acquired in 2012 by Bud Millard who is a friend that seems to attend as many local car events as I do.

De Tomaso Mangusta

Bud told me that this car is completely original and has never had any restoration work. It sat unused in the last owners garage for the past 18 years and has lived all of its life in the San Francisco Bay Area.

De Tomaso Mangusta and Owner Bud Millard

De Tomaso Mangusta and Owner Bud Millard

The odometer displayed 36,813 miles on the day that I had a ride, only 850 miles per year! The condition of the car supports the unrestored survivor label. The interior is in excellent condition and the trunk looks like it has never held anything.

De Tomaso Mangusta

The body has some small paint chips but no evidence of anything more than the 36,813 miles of normal driving. The paint is in excellent condition and still has that beautiful red shine as you can see from the pictures.

De Tomaso Mangusta

Approximately 400 Mangustas were produced between 1967 and 1971; 150 were the European version using the Ford V8 289 cid engine with 305 hp, and 250 were the US version, with the Ford 302 cid engine with 230 hp.

This example, VIN 870 and build number 185, has the 302 cid engine as would be expected on a US delivery car.

There are thought to be fewer than 200 Mangustas left in existence.

De Tomaso Mangusta

Top speed is 130 mph and zero to 60 mph arrives in 6.3 seconds for the US version. The transmission is a manual ZF 5 speed.

De Tomaso Mangusta

The Mangusta is a Giorgetto Giugiaro masterpiece designed when he was with Ghia.

Below is the ride video – turn up the sound and use full screen.

De Tomaso Mangusta and Ford Poster

De Tomaso Mangusta and Ford Poster – photo by Mike Gulett

De Tomaso Mangusta - An Untouched Survivor
Article Name
De Tomaso Mangusta - An Untouched Survivor
This 1969 Mangusta was acquired by Bud Millard who is a friend that seems to attend as many local car events as I do.


  1. Hey MIke, great write-up on Bud Milard’s car. Couple things, as far as can be absolutely proven. Only the first few Mangustas had 289’s. Ford converted all production of 289 to 302 in July of 68 (IIRC). So all cars produced after that date had 302’s, Now Calif (maybe others too) cars had smog pumps but not the Euro cars.

    Current registries and my current count is 220 + a few owners who are not sharing VINs and a couple mystery cars in the bunch. So we can assume that at least 250 are still around.

    Interesting tidbit is that only 39 cars are currently identified as 2 headlamp cars, So that would make them rarer (yet they are less sought after ) 🙂

    • Denis,

      I thought the European cars had the 289 with more power than the American 302.

      By two headlamp you mean with the pop up headlight?

      • I had one on the last Mangusta’s built, a US version with pop-up headlights (you pulled a lever to lift the lights). It was a truly beautiful car. I bought mine from the original owner back in 1990, and it was a very low mileage car. It was originally gray, and the owner painted it orange to match the Polistil model of the car! That ZF tranny was difficult to master, it was rather warm in the car and the windows didn’t go down very far, you drove it lying down, and it would lift at speed. But you couldn’t beat it in the looks department!


    • Bladecutter says

      Hello… You are building 8MA-914? I just made the connection. I frequent the registry….absolute love affair w Mangustas….by far not the fastest (w/o well thought out revisions), but nothing has come down the pike in 47 years that poses better…end of story. I owned 8MA-1148 yesteryear, and made what i felt were some improvements. One thing i did was to radius the wing corners @ door jambs and took corner cut from wing and affixed it to car(pic down side of car on registry sort of shows the finished work)….was a nice looking fit and no more potential eye loss….stabbed the shit out of my forehead a few times when wings were up. Any way, thought i’d say Hi since i recognized Your name from more than one site. Good Luck w/ 914….post some current pics w/ MI…i’d love to watch Your process occur. Forever the Mangusta…jim
      I thought there were 50 single beam flip cars. I also thought all Euro Cars were 289’s…didn’t realize they put 302’s in the later Euro’s. I was tickled to notice that the racer 1052 has the large diameter single beams fixed into grille nacelle….as i did w/ 1148….looks so much better….rivals the look of the quads IMO

  2. Bladecutter 100 says

    Howdy…i’m a Hippie,tree hugger with a gun bondoe jockey and i owned 8MA-1148 1979-1981. A 1970 domestic, 2 7″beam Marchal flat lense flips….my”Goose” was the only fixed in the nacelle two lamp car….i did it myself…admittedly soft in execution, too much brass & mud, but it did look good……shaved out the amber chin lights and stuck ambers behind grille. Put triangulated 1″ box tube structure supporting front body off frame rails….some other improvements for efficiency, not so much for the purist. I put 11,000 miles on mine and learned the “Goose” quite well definitely some hairy moments, but experience is the teacher….if one is any kind of driver at all, it doesn’t take long to develop a healthy respect for the ass end and know that the best place the car behaves is on the line…..but is hellacious fun to drive one sideways…..switching directions in 360’s in parking lots was a gas. For me, the Mangusta always has been and always will be the ultimate exotic because in 47 years and before, there has never been a more visually intoxicating and mysterious car…..Guigiaro has never been able to best His Pen of the “Goose”…..the deLorean was a mistake in that it looked to much like a Mangusta, but was not near as soft and frankly kind of an ugly duck, that detracted from it’s predecessor. I was a lot faster in my three 68/69 B-Body Mopar Coronets and Charger, all 318’s and auto 727( the handling potential of 116/117” wheelbase 68-70 mopars with small blocks is one of the best kept secrets of the road crew)…but the Mangusta is simply….the Mangusta and there’s nothing else close….a Unique Beast. I lost track of 1148 after three more owners and the car has not surfaced………i pine away in Hopes of a Re-Union. Bladecutter

    • Bladecutter says

      Having just been on Mangusta Registry, 8MA-1052 is a race car that is a single beam retractable car that that owner has also welded up the boxes and fixed the large diameter single beams into the grille nacelle, so i must correct my previous comment about my former “Goose” (1148) having been the only one withe fixed singles.

  3. Fred Johansen says

    I had a chance at a very original, low mileage Mangusta in white! I confirred with Bud during this time, and he wasn’t overly pleased with his car. I can only imagine how many times the open butterfly hoods would have punctured me by now if I opted for the car!

  4. Randy Cox says

    Grear article
    As a former Ford Motor Company designer, and previous Mangusta owner, I can tell you all of us were in love with Guigiaro’s design. In fact, I remember our head of design, Mr. Gene Bordinat, taking delivery of his which he kept until he passed away.
    A lot has been written over the years regarding the difficulty of driving them as they were hard to see out of particularly from the rear. That is true, but somehow you overcome that as the pure excitement of driving it takes over!
    Barry Meguiar and I judged Best Paint at the Amelia Island Concour for a number of years. I remember him telling me when we were faced with a large number of beautiful paint jobs- “Don’t worry, the cream always floats to the top!” That is the best description that I can think of for a Mangusta.

  5. Wayne Watkins says

    In the mid 70’s I bought one of four sold new in Australia in RHD and red in colour .. Somebody had fitted a 351 Ford V8 in it . I paid A$8,500 for it .When it rained , the wipers never worked . When it was hot , the windows only came down a few inches and the aircon failed . I sold it 6 months later for more than double on what I paid for it . I thought that I was King of the world for making so much profit !!! When stopped at traffic lights , I could see pedestrians mouthing the magic word ” Ferrari. “

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