When you hear ‘Super Car” what comes to your mind? Lamborghini, Ferrari, maybe Bugatti? You may also think modern, technological, and rare. What you may not think of is an Italian car from the 1960’s. Most cars from this era are wobbly, bulky, and only good in a straight line.
However, there is a super car long before they were popular that has the looks, handling, and power to stand with the exotic hyper cars of today. I know, super hard to believe. Check out the 1967-1971 De Tomaso Mangusta!
The Mangusta is powered by a Ford derived 4.7 or 4.9 liter V8 paired to a 5-speed manual transmission. Weighing in at only 2800 pounds, the Mangusta put just over 300 horsepower at the crank. Disk brakes, independent suspension, and a top speed of 155mph made this car WORLDS ahead of anything at the time. The styling is also super advanced. The sleek, edgy, and low profile resembles many super cars of today. 0-60 happened in under 6 seconds which was mind-boggling at the time.
The successor to the Mangusta was the more widely known Pantera. Unfortunately, due to bumper restrictions in 1974 the Pantera was discontinued. The car would have needed a complete redesign and since it was such a low volume unit Ford did not find it cost efficient.
I have a great appreciation for the De Tomaso Mangusta as it paved the way to exotic cars of today. It appears to be a car of the 90’s but dates all the way back to 1967. Which shows just how advanced this automobile was at the time.
So what is your all time favorite super car?