De Tomaso Vallelunga
|De Tomaso Vallelunga|
|Body and chassis|
|Engine||Ford 1592 cc straight-4|
|Transmission||4- and 5-speed manual|
|Wheelbase||89.5 in (2,273 mm)|
|Length||151.2 in (3,840 mm)|
|Width||63.0 in (1,600 mm)|
|Height||42.5 in (1,080 mm)|
|Curb weight||726 kg (1,601 lb)|
|Successor||De Tomaso Mangusta|
The Vallelunga was based on a roadster designed by Carrozzeria Fissore and named after the Autodromo di Vallelunga first shown as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1963. De Tomaso had hoped to sell the design of the concept to another company, but when there were no takers had the car produced by Ghia.
The engine was a 1.5 L straight-4 Kent engine from the Ford Cortina with 104 hp (78 kW) at 6200 rpm. A Volkswagen Beetle transaxle, fitted with Hewland gearsets, was used. The chassis was a pressed steel backbone with a tubular subframe at the rear. Suspension was double wishbone and coil springs at all four corners with front and rear anti-roll bars and with uprights sourced from Triumph. The small car weighed 726 kg (1,600 lb) with a fiberglass body and many drilled aluminium parts. Brakes were disc all around.
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, along with three aluminum-bodied prototypes and five aluminum-bodied racing cars, bringing the total to 58. 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.
Ricci Martin, son of entertainer Dean Martin obtained the red car at his sixteenth birthday in 1969, which his brother destroyed in a road accident a few months later. 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. A few years later, Ricci Martin sold the replacement Vallelunga after purchasing a version of its successor, the Mangusta. 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to De Tomaso Vallelunga.|
- Lamm, John (September 1991). Thos L., Bryant, ed. "Salon: 1967 De Tomaso Vallelunga". Road & Track. 43 (1): 106–109.
- Lawrence, Mike (1997) . A to Z of Sports Cars 1945-1990. Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-81-8.
- Martin, Ricci (2004). "Chapter 9—Dean-Paul". That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin. Lanham, MA US: Taylor Trade. ISBN 1-58979-140-1. LCCN 2001027526.
- Rosetti, Giancarlo (February 2009). "De Tomaso Vallelunga: Just the beginning for Alexjandro". European Car Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
De Tomaso Modena S.p.A. car timeline, 1960s–2010s