De Tomaso Vallelunga LHD

Car producer : 

De Tomaso


Vallelunga LHD





De Tomaso's first road-going production model was the Vallelunga (named after the racing circuit) introduced in 1963. This mid-engined sports car had a 104hp (78 kW) Ford Cortina engine, and reached a top speed of 215 km/h (134 mph). It had an aluminum backbone chassis, which was to become a common feature of De Tomaso cars. The Vallelunga prototypes, meanwhile, had been styled and constructed by Carrozzeria Fissore, an alloy-bodied Spider and a pair of closed Coupes having been completed in 1963-64 while production cars had fiberglass bodywork.
De Tomaso's long racing experience was also reflected in the design of the Vallelungas running gear, which comprised all-independent suspension by wishbones and coil springs, rack-and-pinion steering and four-wheel disc brakes.
Alejandro de Tomaso had hoped that a major motor manufacturer would buy into the programme and adopt the project as its own, but when no such approach was forthcoming he decided to go it alone.
The production Vallelunga featured striking glass-fibre Coupe bodywork styled by the young Giorgetto Giugiaro with more than a hint of Ferrari 250LM and Dino 206 combined. Compared with the Fissore-styled cars, there were numerous detail differences, the most obvious concerning access to the engine bay, which was via a glass hatch rather than the hinged clamshell-type rear body section of the prototypes.
Although just a humble pushrod power unit, the Ford engine was both robust and immensely tunable, and when installed in the Vallelunga it was fitted with Weber carburetors. Power was transmitted via a Hewland transaxle. Approximately 50 production Vallelungas were made during 1965-66 before De Tomaso moved on to manufacture the Mangusta. Of the Vallelunga series, only two cars are believed to have been completed in right-hand drive configuration for delivery to the UK market


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