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1970 De Tomaso Mangusta Was Meant as a Shelby Cobra Killer, 1-of-401 for Sale

The cobra is one of the most venomous species of snakes out there, but as with any living thing on Earth, except humans, there is one animal a step higher on the food chain. In this case, that animal is the small terrestrial carnivorous mammal called mongoose. The two are engaged in a rivalry like countless others in nature, but one that allegedly inspired the creation of one of the rarest cars on the planet.
1970 De Tomaso Mangusta 24 photos
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It all started with a failed partnership between American motoring icon Carroll Shelby and Italian racing driver Alejandro de Tomaso. The two were supposed to work on a joint racing car, but different points of view led to the partnership dissolving. Shelby went out to work on the Ford GT40 project while de Tomaso started working on something that would eat the British-American Cobra for breakfast.

That something is called Mangusta (that’s Italian for mongoose), of which 401 were ever built, and even fewer, only about 250, remain. Those numbers, of course, translate into rarity and value, and reason for us to jump every time one of them comes out into the open.

In March, Mangusta serial no. 8MA1118 is going under the Mecum hammer in Glendale, Arizona. It’s a red example with black leather inside, powered by a Ford 302ci (4.9-liter) engine working together with a 5-speed manual transmission – the original drivetrain, a U.S.-spec one capable of developing 230 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque.

This particular Mangusta rides on 15-inch wheels shod in BF Goodrich Comp T/A tires and is equipped with dual Anda exhaust with quad chrome tips, disc brakes on all four wheels, electric window lifts and air conditioning.

Mecum does not provide an estimate on how much the car is expected to fetch, but valuation company Hagerty says a Concours condition one is worth over $310,000.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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