Despite the grand visions of its latest owner, former Fiat executive Gian Mario Rossignolo, legendary Italian sports car brand De Tomaso has announced it has filed for bankruptcy.
The announcement comes after a long period of uncertainty and a failed attempt to secure a Chinese buyer
for the struggling brand.
Rossignolo bought the rights
to the De Tomaso name in 2009 after the original company went bankrupt several years prior.
Together with his family and several unnamed investors, Rossignolo announced the bold plan to launch three new models under the De Tomaso name, which were to include a sedan, crossover and new sports car.
Things looked promising when the rejuvenated De Tomaso unveiled the SLS (Sport Luxury Sedan) concept car
at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, though nothing beyond the unveiling ever eventuated.
According to La Stampa
, De Tomaso’s remaining assets will be overlooked by a court-appointed administrator. The company reportedly has several creditors and still owes wages to its employees. The future of any leftover assets, including the naming rights of the brand, remains unclear at this point.
De Tomaso is mostly recognized for its Pantera sports car. The unique vehicle was built by the original company from 1971 to 1996 and featured a steel monocoque chassis and a 330-horsepower 5.7-liter Ford Cleveland V-8 engine mated to a ZF five-speed manual. The cars were sold in the U.S. by Ford through its Lincoln dealers and one was even sold to Elvis Presley.