De Tomaso Vallelunga

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De Tomaso Vallelunga
Gaisbergrennen 2009 Bergfahrt 142.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer De Tomaso
Production 1964–1968
Assembly Italy: Ghia
Designer Carrozzeria Fissore
Body and chassis
Class Sports car
Body style
  • Coupe (53 produced)
  • Spider (prototype)[1]
Layout RMR layout
Powertrain
Engine Ford 1592 cc straight-4
Transmission 4/5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 89.5 in (2,273 mm)[2]
Length 151.2 in (3,840 mm)[2]
Width 63.0 in (1,600 mm)[2]
Height 42.5 in (1,080 mm)[2]
Curb weight 726 kg (1,601 lb)
Chronology
Successor De Tomaso Mangusta

The Vallelunga is a mid-engined, rear wheel drive sports car produced by De Tomaso from 1964 until 1968.

History[edit]

The Vallelunga was based on a roadster designed by Carozzeria Fissore[1][3] and named after the Autodromo di Vallelunga first shown as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1963.[1][4] De Tomaso had hoped to sell the design of the concept to another company,[4] but when there were no takers had the car produced by Ghia.[3]

Specifications[edit]

The engine was a 1.5 L straight-4 Kent engine from the Ford Cortina[2][4] with 104 hp (78 kW) at 6200 rpm.[3] A Volkswagen Beetle transaxle,[2][3] fitted with Hewland gearsets,[3] was used. The chassis was a pressed steel backbone with a tubular subframe at the rear.[2] Suspension was double wishbone and coil springs at all four corners[4] with front and rear anti-roll bars[2] and with uprights sourced from Triumph. The small car weighed 726 kg (1,600 lb)[3] with a fiberglass body and many drilled aluminium parts.[3] Brakes were disc all around.[5]

Demise[edit]

The chassis was not torsionally sound for engines with higher torque, a problem made worse by faulty welding in the Italian-made backbone. Drivetrain vibration was a constant problem for those cars. 50 production cars were built,[2][3] along with three aluminum-bodied prototypes and five aluminum-bodied racing cars, bringing the total to 58.[2] The Vallelunga was replaced by the Mangusta. The Mangusta used the concept of the Vallelunga chassis, significantly re-engineered to take a Ford 302 engine, all packaged with a body by Giorgetto Giugiaro.[4]

Ricci Martin, son of entertainer Dean Martin obtained the red car at his sixteenth birthday in 1969,[6] which his brother destroyed in a road accident a few months later.[7] Ricci's mother went to some effort to locate another new Vallelunga in an auto showroom in Milan, Italy, and arranged for the new car to be air-freighted to California.[8] A few years later, Ricci Martin sold the replacement Vallelunga after purchasing a version of its successor, the Mangusta.[9] The Ricci Martin car (VIN 807DT0116) was generally restored by machinist and sports car enthusiast Kenneth Krohncke in San Jose, California, sold to a collector in Southern California in 1980, and was later located in Florida.[citation needed]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lamm 1991, p. 108.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lamm 1991, p. 109.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Rosetti 2009.
  4. ^ a b c d e Lawrence 1997, p. 97.
  5. ^ Lamm 1991, pp. 108, 109.
  6. ^ Martin 2004, p. 197.
  7. ^ Martin 2004, pp. 197–198.
  8. ^ Martin 2004, pp. 200–201.
  9. ^ Martin 2004, pp. 201–202.

References[edit]