Update 2/20/13 – It appears someone jumped on this rare Italian sedan already. Hopefully it’s going to a good home.
For those that recognize the Italian brand De Tomaso, most probably think of the Pantera, but it wasn’t the only car the company ever built. They not only built a number of sports cars, they also built a small number of luxury sedans. This 1978 Deauville is one of only 244 ever built and 1 of 6 to be sold in the States. It was found in a barn in Florida and is now being auctioned off here on eBay.
Since De Tomaso owned Maserati, they based the Deauville on the Quattroporte and looks very similar inside and out. The interior is complete, but is rough and is going to need to be restored. Thankfully all the hard to find parts are still in place. Given its relation to the Maserati, we would assume many of the parts are interchangeable and shouldn’t be hard to find.
De Tomaso shoved the same 330 hp 351 cui Ford V8 that they put in the Pantera under the Deauville’s hood. The seller states that the engine turns freely, but doesn’t run. It needs a fuel tank, as the original is missing, and will obviously need a complete service. Much like the interior, we doubt it will be difficult to find mechanical parts, as De Tomaso often used parts from other cars.
This rare sedan needs some work, but looks to be solid. With any barn find from Florida, we recommend going over it closely to make sure there isn’t any serious hidden rust. With some work, this could be a fun driver and the Cleveland V8 should make it a blast. Hopefully it’s in good shape underneath or it could be a difficult project for someone to justify.