Parked in 1976: 1970 De Tomaso Mangusta

Are you sitting down? Good. It isn’t often here at Barn Finds that we have a project car in need of complete restoration that comes with a six-figure asking price, but that is precisely what we have with this 1970 De Tomaso Mangusta. Barn Finder Jacob referred the Mangusta to us, so thank you so much for that Jacob. The Mangusta has been off the road since 1976, so after more than four decades of inactivity, this Italian sports car is going to require plenty of work before it is able to burn up the bitumen again. Located in Northridge, California, you will find the Mangusta listed for sale here on eBay. The owner has set the BIN price at $150,000, but if you are truly serious, you could also make an offer.

It isn’t clear when the restoration of this Mangusta stalled, but if the car really hasn’t seen the road since 1976, it has been a fairly slow restoration project. There is still rust to be addressed in the Mangusta before the next owner even considers reassembling the car. This rust is present in one of the rockers (a replacement is included), along with rust in the floors, the driver’s door, and in the rear valance. The owner says that there is also rust in other spots, but doesn’t elaborate on where. On the positive side of the ledger, the car does appear to be virtually complete, so hopefully, the next owner won’t have to search long and hard for any parts for the car.

The Mangusta was originally finished in Red, and the black interior must have provided a great contrast. The interior trim actually looks like it is in good condition, and I think that a good clean would bring the seats, console, and door trims back to their best. The dash also looks like it is in good condition, and will need little more than a good clean. The Mangusta also features air conditioning and power windows. The A/C is likely to be a blessing, because air-flow into a Mangusta is not one of its strong points, and hot days can be a less than pleasant experience.

Powering the Mangusta is the venerable Ford 302ci V8 engine, which produces 230hp. This sends the power to the rear wheels via a 5-speed ZF transaxle. The funky gull-wing style engine cover looks great and quirky, but it also makes accessing the engine in a Mangusta quite awkward. For all of its mid-engined attributes, the weight distribution in a Mangusta is pretty ordinary. Combine this with a chassis that lacks torsional rigidity, and the Mangusta is not a particularly pleasant thing to point at a piece of twisting tarmac. The owner says that the engine and transaxle in this Mangusta are original, but provides no information on their condition. If they truly have been sitting unused since 1976, then there will almost certainly be some work required before the car once again fires a shot in anger.

If the De Tomaso Mangusta proved one thing, it is that a car that could be considered to be a triumph of style over substance can still command a premium price. De Tomaso rolled 401 Mangustas out of its factory, but it is believed that only around 250 of these remain in existence today. Being a handmade Italian sports car, it is a car that achieves very respectable prices today. This means that you simply won’t find a driving example today for less than $200,000. How high can the values go? Well, there is an example for sale at present that is absolutely perfect, and the owner is asking a cool $399,990 for that. Of course, asking for something is one thing, but actually getting it is another matter entirely. That might also be the case with this one.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    For that asking price this car is going to stay unsold for a long time. Not worth good money when they were new, not worth good money now, especially as a kit.

    Like 7
    • OhU8one2

      I do like the Pantera’s, but to me the Mangusta just looks more exotic. If you work on improving the Mangusta’s bad traits, then I’ll take one over a Pantera any day.

      Like 2
  2. Nick Hockman Member

    I want this one

    Like 2
    • John

      Did you carefully count the number of zeros to the right of the 5?

      Like 3
  3. A.J.

    This nice one brought 321k last year at auction:

    They bring a lot of money.

    Like 3
  4. Danh

    One of my favorite cars of all time! Look and sound so bad-a$$ when driven hard.

    Like 1
  5. Bill

    Wow 😮 between this one today and the Pantera yesterday someone is going to need a BIG DEEP WIDE pocket to get them finished. Good luck to whoever

    Like 4
  6. KKW

    Somebody hold my beer while I write a check.

    Like 2
  7. Danger Dan

    It’s worth it if you are in the market for one. I’ve been tracking prices on these for 10 years. If you could just get it down another 10 or15 grand it would be a smoking deal.
    Yes you can get understeer and oversteer at the same time and in my minds eye I just see a guy swingin the steering wheel left and right furiously as it goes in a ditch. They are rolling art and that is that

  8. t-bone Bob


  9. Brad

    I will take the Shelby KR500 instead and save some of my $$

  10. CamelotR

    We have bought this for a friend/customer. Feel quite lucky. After removing the engine, before dismantling it, we gave it a chance. Oil, petrol, ignition… bang… fired up instatly, with rock stabile idle, sharp throttle response, no smoke, no rattling… after how many years?… 44ish…

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