De Tomaso Vallelunga

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De Tomaso Vallelunga
Gaisbergrennen 2009 Bergfahrt 142.jpg
Overview
Manufacturer De Tomaso
Production 1964–1968 (58 produced)
Assembly Italy: Ghia
Designer Carrozzeria Fissore[1][2]
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-speed manual
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase 89.5 in (2,273 mm)[3]
Length 151.2 in (3,840 mm)[3]
Width 63.0 in (1,600 mm)[3]
Height 42.5 in (1,080 mm)[3]
Curb weight 726 kg (1,601 lb)
Chronology
Successor De Tomaso Mangusta

The De Tomaso 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 Carrozzeria Fissore[1][2] 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.[2]

De Tomaso Vallelunga.jpg

Specifications[edit]

The engine was a 1.5 L straight-4 Kent engine from the Ford Cortina,[3][4] tuned to 104 hp (78 kW) at 6200 rpm.[2] A Volkswagen Beetle transaxle,[3][2] fitted with Hewland gearsets,[2] was used. The chassis was a pressed steel backbone with a tubular subframe at the rear.[3] Suspension was double wishbone and coil springs at all four corners[4] with front and rear anti-roll bars[3] and with uprights sourced from Triumph. The small car weighed 726 kg (1,600 lb)[2] with a fiberglass body and many drilled aluminium parts.[2] 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,[3][2] along with three aluminum-bodied prototypes and five aluminum-bodied racing cars, bringing the total to 58.[3] 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 d Lamm (1991), p. 108.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rosetti (2009).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lamm (1991), p. 109.
  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]