On the block: De Tomaso, all of it

Hey buddy, wanna buy a De Tomaso? Have we got a deal for you. You don't want to settle for just one De Tomaso, so not buy the whole De Tomaso enterprise? On June 28, the De Tomaso name and car operation will go across the auction block giving devotees of the Argentine-Italian marque a shot at attaining their dream. Four years ago De Tomaso pulled the plug after its Mangusta project failed to gain traction and relaunch the company. That was around the same time that company founder Alejandro de Tomaso passed away. Up for grabs will be the rights to the De Tomaso, Pantera and Guara names, as well as the Modena plant where the cars were built.

Founded in 1959, the company is perhaps best known for its De Tomaso Pantera, a car that combined rakish good looks with bulletproof Ford mechanicals. Before the Pantera came the Vallelunga and the infamous Mangusta, which is still considered one the most beautiful sports car of all time. Thousands of Panteras were built from 1971 through 1993 before the company tried an all-new model, the Guara. It didn't have the desired effect on sales and the company floundered. One last attempt to revive the brand came in 2000 when it introduced the new Bigua/Mangusta. A falling out with partner Qvale spelled the end for this once proud sportscar and GT maker. After Alejandro passed in 2003, the company went into liquidation, bringing us up to the present auction.

Our source at Argentina Auto Blog tells us that there will be two lots in the sale. The first will include the rights to the De Tomaso name and logo, as well as rights to the Pantera and Guara names. The starting price is expected to be 1.78 mil Euro. The second lot will include the factory and offices in Modena at a starting price of 7.63 mil Euro. That auction will start July 3. A side note: Alejandro ended up in Italy after fleeing his native Argentina following a failed plot to overthrow Juan Peron. That bit of lore goes along free with your purchase.

[Source: Argentina Auto Blog]

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