American muscle. Italian design. Cadillac Allanté notwithstanding, that right there is a recipe for success. And few were ever as capable of straddling that divide with one foot in each of the best of both worlds as De Tomaso. Like modern-day Pagani, De Tomaso was founded by an Argentinean based in Modena, and the small automaker created some of the most exotic machinery of its day. Chief among them was the Mangusta – its Italian name means 'mongoose,' which might not seem as ferocious an animal to name a sportscar after as, say, a jaguar, viper or stingray, until you realize that the little rodents are known for eating cobras. Then the Mangusta's mission statement becomes a little clearer.
Like the later revival (which was subsequently sold under Qvale and then MG badges), to say nothing of its prey, the original Mangusta packed Ford V8 power: From 1967 through 1971, 400 Mangustas rolled out of the De Tomaso factory with 289s or 302s installed, out of which fewer than 200 are believed to still be around.
So it's not every day that one goes up for sale. And what you see here is no ordinary Mangusta, either. Its Boss 302 engine was retrofitted with race-spec cylinder heads and intake manifold sourced from Dan Gurney's legendary Eagle racer. The body, which comes on an original chassis separate from the engine in this eBay auction lot, has a touch of rust despite a restoration by celebrity garage Pino's Auto Body and it's painted Ferrari red. The stunning rosso exterior is complimented by a tan leather interior that even has a sterling-silver nameplate. This particular Mangusta once belonged to cosmetics heir and noted car collector Jack Nethercutt before passing into the hands of Vector founder Gerard Wiegert, giving this exceptional exotic an even more interesting pedigree. Check out the enormous gallery of images below and the auction listing after the link for more.