1991 Qvale Qvale A.G. Mangusta
chassis no. ZF498M00000010001
- The first one produced.
- Limited production: around 280 cars built, of them only 18 for the European market.T
- his car was presented at the Los Angeles Auto Show, 6 January 2000.
- One owner, only 3,000 km on the clock from new.
- The last creation by Alejandro De Tomaso, designed by Marcello Gandini.
The Qvale Mangusta born from the desire to create a sports car, essential but refined; the inspiration came from the TVRs: the English cars had caught the eye of Maserati's technical director, Giordano Casarini, who convinced his Argentine friend and builder, Alejandro De Tomaso, to build one at his factories in Modena. De Tomaso had a prototype made with the lines of the master Marcello Gandini, a prototype that took the name of De Tomaso Biguà; the car debuted in 1996 at the Geneva motor show. De Tomaso, however, was not able to sustain the model's production costs and so the Qvale, an important American family owner of numerous dealers scattered throughout North America, entered the scene. Kjell Qvale, the first president of the Pebble Beach concours d’elegance, is considered a modern American legend, he was one of the pioneers of importing foreign cars into America in the post-war period and, in 1970, got to buy the English Jensen Motors. In the late 1990s, the Qvale Automotive Group, under the guidance of Kjell’s sons Bruce and Jeff Qvale, continued the paternal legacy of cutting-edge design research. The Qvales had close relations with Alejandro De Tomaso, as they imported his cars to the United States. The American company took charge of the necessary financing and De Tomaso obtained that the car, once produced, would bear his name. However, for various reasons, the deal was off when the project was almost halfway through. Bruce Qvale decided to produce the car with his name anyway. Qvale founded the factory in Modena to build what will be the Mangusta. The model's name was inspired by the historic car produced by De Tomaso. The Qvale Mangusta is a light and sporty car; the steel chassis by Enrique Scalabroni, former designer in Formula 1, has front and rear suspensions with double swinging arms and Brembo disc brakes, while the bodywork is made of plastic material with a "transfer molding" process of resin (RTM). To save on production costs, the car shares many elements with the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra produced that year, a limited and very powerful version of a car, however, widespread and produced by a large company. The choice of engine for the Mangusta went, therefore, on the then new 4601 cc Ford V8 engine that developed 320 hp, coupled to the BorgWarner T45 five-speed manual transmission. Designed by the brilliant Marcello Gandini, the line is a timeless example. A great peculiarity is the "roto-top" moving roof, which offers passengers three possible configurations: coupe, “targa”and spider. The interiors of the Mangusta are covered in leather, while the light alloy wheels have been produced by the Italian Antera. Completed on 10 November 1999, Mangusta made its world debut on January 6, 2000. Qvale chose its home court, presenting its car at the Los Angeles Auto Show. The new American car was offered in 6 body colors and 3 interior colors. Altogether, 284 cars were sold, mostly in the North American market, while in Europe sales stopped at only 18 cars, including the right-hand drive one presented at the British Motor Show in October 2000. The Qvale adventure as a builder had a short life; the Mangusta did not have the expected and necessary response from the public. In 2001 the list price was lowered to try to re-launch the brand and model, but that was not enough, in 2002 Bruce Qvale sold the Mangusta project to the British company MG which used it as a platform for the sports MG XPower SV.
The Mangusta with chassis no. ZF498M00000010001 is the first chassis produced and has remained in Italy with its original owners until now. This is the first of the 284 cars produced by the American brand; it is exactly as it came out of the line, painted in pearly Red Coral, with cappuccino-colored leather interiors and has just over 3,000 kilometers on the clock. The car is in perfect condition, and is the example that was unveiled, for the first time in the world, at the Los Angeles Auto Show on January 6th 2000. For this reason, being the first example, in addition to the name on the tail and the symbol on the wheels of the Qvale group, the car is the only example to bear the De Tomaso badges, on the nose and sides. It has been, in all these years, owned by an Italian family linked to the automotive industry. This model, and moreover this specific example, is an important testimony in the history of American and Italian motoring, for the participation of Alejandro De Tomaso, Marcello Gandini, Enrique Scalabroni e the Qvale family in its realization. Hardly, regardless of the model, you have the opportunity to purchase a first chassis number, as in this case. The Mangusta line, designed by Marcello Gandini is still up to date, timeless, although the project is now twenty years old. The V8 engine, almost handcrafted, in the SVT Ford department, matched to the manual gearbox gives the Mangusta great performances, pushing powerfully and continuously from the low revs and allows the car to easily overcome the 250 Km/h. Being of Ford derivation, all the mechanical parts are available on the market with ease. Finally, the famous "rototop" allows you to have three cars in one, with the possibility of having a spider for the summer, a targa for beautiful winter days or a comfortable coupe for longer journeys. An investment, a unique chance, a car to enjoy every day or exhibit with pride.
State of the art
Preserved car, in very good shape.
- Kjell Qvale, I Never Look Back, My Story, Kjell Qvale, USA 2005.
- Daniele Pozzi, De Tomaso: From Buenos Aires to Modena, the History of an Automotive Visionary, Dalton Watson Fine Books, UK 2015.
Italian registration and plates, in order.
Eligible in the main elegance competitions, in the categories for "instant classic", according to the specific categories and regulations.