Our history

Alejandro's Legacy

One of the greatest untold stories in automotive history.

Celebrating 60th Anniversary

Buenos Aires / July 10th 1928

Alejandro de Tomaso

Alejandro De Tomaso was born to politician Antonio De Tomaso and the daughter of one of Argentina's most prominent and wealthy ranching families.

After the premature death of his father, Alejandro left school to run the family ranch. He married his first wife, Lola Guiraldes with whom he had three sons.

From an early age, racing and racing cars had possessed Alejandro.

Alejandro de Tomaso

The Argentina Years

In 1945 he drove his first race in a modified Bugatti Type 35. A driven individual and innovator at heart, he was keen to be involved in designing, constructing and racing the latest mid-engine cars - to do so he immigrated to Italy, the home of automotive.

In 1954 he had competed in the 1000-km race of Buenos Aires, going on one year later to win his class together with co-driver Reyes in a new 2 litre Maserati A6GCS.

Where Alejandro meets Isabelle

Italy – The O.S.C.A. Era

After settling in Bologna, Italy in 1955, Alejandro secured a role as a test driver for O.S.C.A. (founded by the Maserati brothers).

During his OSCA years, 1956 to be exact, Alejandro met an American heiress, Elizabeth "Isabelle" Haskell. This was a moment that would change their lives forever. Isabelle was granddaughter of William C. Durant, one of the founders of General Motors. The two were soulmates and married shortly thereafter in 1957.

Isabelle herself was a very capable racing driver and together, they raced successfully in OSCA sports cars from 1956-1958. In 1958, Alejandro experimented with his own race car design using a 750 cc OSCA engine mounted in front of the rear axle, sparking a journey that would lead him to become one of the most influential automotive visionary's of his time.

The legend is born

De Tomaso Automobili

In 1959, after leaving OSCA, Alejandro and Isabelle co-founded their own brand, De Tomaso Automobili. They moved to Modena and once settled Alejandro built his next race car, a 'monoposto.'

This single-seater race car featured a 1492 cc OSCA engine, fitted at the rear. During his early years, De Tomaso would rely heavily on OSCA engines to power his cars.

Up until 1963 Alejandro focused and achieved his initial vision of designing, developing and constructing his own mid-engine racing cars and racing was the focus of the day.

Alejandro’s vision becomes a reality

Formula Racing

De Tomaso designed and produced prototypes and race cars for Sports Car classes, Formula Junior, Formula 3, Formula 2, Formula 1 and Indy. From 1961 to 1963 De Tomaso had a series of Formula 1 appearances utilizing his own chassis and various engine solutions mostly comprised of OSCA, Alfa or Ford units.

Encouraging results ensured which led Alejandro to create a base of wealthy gentleman drivers to help grow the business. Racing was the focus of the period and during its racing endeavors, De Tomaso would end up building Formula 1 cars for Frank Williams, amongst other notable achievements.

As if something out of a movie

Alejandro's Industrial Empire

During the 1960s and 1970s, Alejandro's entrepreneurial ambitions led De Tomaso to acquire a number of Italian industrial holdings including Ghia, Vignale, Benelli, Moto Guzzi and the Innocenti car company.

In 1975 De Tomaso purchased Maserati, a company which had once supported his early development through OSCA (Maserati brothers). De Tomaso owned Maserati from 1975 until 1993 when he sold his shares at a profit to the F.I.A.T. group.

Modena / May 21st 2003

The Passing of a Legend

De Tomaso suffered a stroke in 1993 and with failing health, the day-to-day operations of De Tomaso Automobili were handed down.

On May 21st, 2003, Alejandro De Tomaso, a true legend and pioneer in the automotive industry, passed away in Modena, Italy at the age of 74.

1963 — 1968

Vallelunga: The First Road Car

De Tomaso's first road-going production model was the Vallelunga (named after the racing circuit) introduced in 1963. The Vallelunga was one of the first mid-engined road cars in the world and featured a lightweight backbone chassis, which became a signature feature of many De Tomaso vehicles.

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1963 — 1967

Sport Prototypes

In the mid 1960`s Alejandro began work on new sport prototypes with the hope that he would create interest in a new racing series. A commonality of these sport prototypes were that they all featured bodywork from legendary Italian coach-builders and were designed to be as light as possible.

Alejandro utilized his central backbone chassis he already developed for his first road car, the Vallelunga, as a basis for his series of Sport Prototypes or "Prototipi" in Italian. These prototype cars included the Sport 1000, 2000 and the very special P70 and Sport 5000.

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1964 — 1966

The P70 / Sport 5000

Carroll Shelby contacts Alejandro de Tomaso

“In 1964 the unlikely pairing of Carroll Shelby and Alejandro de Tomaso, two of the strongest egos in international motorsport, conspired to build a car they felt could defeat the best in the world, they created the P70.” - Peter Brock, designer.

A special story unfolded...

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1966 — 1971

Mangusta: The Second Road Car

Following the Vallelunga debut, Alejandro realized that he would need to use a different business model to find financial stability for his company. This approach consisted of producing homologated road cars in higher volumes. At this point, Alejandro confident with the initial success of the Vallelunga was ready to truly establish himself on the world stage.

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1970 — 1993

Pantera: An Italian - American Icon

De Tomaso's third and highest volume road-going production model was the iconic Pantera. In 1970 the Pantera debuted with a brand-new high-volume design concept, one which embodied the core pillars of De Tomaso which combined the muscle power of an American V8 with signature Italian styling whilst offering world-class performance at a fraction of the price of its competitors.

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1971 — 1985

Deauville: The “Quattroporte”

The Deauville debuted at the Turin Motor Show in 1970. Designed by Tom Tjaarda, the same designer as the Pantera. This luxury quattroporte helped De Tomaso expand into a new market.

1972 — 1986

Longchamp: A 2+2 GT Coupé

Introduced at the 1972 Turin Motor Show, the Longchamp was the last model ever made by the De Tomaso / Ghia / Ford collaboration.

1993 — 2004

Guarà: The last road car

Presented at the 1993 Geneva Motor Show; the Guarà was the final model created by Alejandro. The car was based upon the Maserati Barchetta Stradale prototype race car from 1991 and was styled by Carlo Gaino. The Guarà was offered initially as a coupe and later came a spider and an open barchetta variant.

May 21st 2003 / Modena

The Passing of a Legend

De Tomaso suffered a stroke in 1993 and with failing health, the day-to-day operations of De Tomaso Automobili were handed down.

On May 21st, 2003, Alejandro De Tomaso, a true legend and pioneer in the automotive industry, passed away in Modena, Italy at the age of 74.