Italy's De Tomaso is back, and the revived company is sticking with high-performance cars, the first of which is the stunning P72 supercar that was unveiled earlier in July at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The P72's next stop is the 2019 Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance, the highlight of next month's Monterey Car Week. This will be the North American debut for the P72, and this time around the car that inspired the design, the one and only De Tomaso P70, will be present, too. It will be the first time the two cars are in the same location.
If you're not up to date on your De Tomaso history, the P70 was the result of a collaboration between De Tomaso founder Alejandro de Tomaso and Carroll Shelby. It was a race car derived from De Tomaso's Vallelunga sports car but with a Ford V-8 and a bespoke body designed by Peter Brock.
The plan was to race the car in the United States Road Racing Championship, but the project was canceled before the P70 had even driven its first mile. Shelby was just picked up by Ford for the GT40 program and pulled out of the project. De Tomaso continued, however, and presented the car, under the name Ghia De Tomaso Sport 5000, at the 1965 Turin auto show.
De Tomaso P70 (Sport 5000) at the 1965 Turin auto show
A year later, the P70 would see its first race, the 1966 Mugello Grand Prix, though it retired on the first lap and never saw action again. Alejandro de Tomaso kept the car in his own collection for decades before selling it to a customer in California.
The project wasn't a complete waste. The chassis developed for the P70 ended up in the original De Tomaso Mangusta sports car launched in 1967. Mangusta is the Italian word for “mongoose,” a small mammal that can kill a cobra, a not-so-subtle dig at Shelby and its own Cobra sports car.
As for the modern P72, De Tomaso is holding back the details but we know the car will feature a bespoke carbon fiber monocoque structure, a manual transmission, and a production run limited to 72 cars. Peter Brock will be on hand at the unveiling in Monterey next month.
This year's Monterey Car Week runs the week starting August 11. It concludes on August 18 with the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. For our complete coverage, head to our dedicated hub.