Offered by Mecum | Glendale, California | March 30, 2023
The De Tomaso Bigua was a concept car that debuted in 1996 in conjunction with Qvale, which was started by Kjell Qvale, who was the West Coast distributor for Jaguar. His son Bruce started the car company to partner with De Tomaso.
But De Tomaso and Qvale broke off the partnership right before deliveries of the car were set to begin. By this point they had acquired the name De Tomaso Mangusta, but at the last second the cars were rebranded as the Qvale Mangusta.
Just 284 were produced between 2000 and 2002. They are powered by a 4.6-liter Ford V8 rated at 320 horsepower. They feature resin body panels styled by Marcello Gandini, four seats, and a retractable hardtop. You can read more about this one here.
Offered by Auctions America | Auburn, Indiana | June 1-3, 2012
That it is called a “Mangusta” – which is Italian for mongoose, renown killer of cobras – is, perhaps, a bit optimistic. This car was certainly not going to take on the Shelby Cobra in any competitive way, shape or form (apparently Alejandro De Tomaso and Caroll Shelby were friends, so it wasn’t named out of spite. Perhaps just arrogance or a friendly rivalry?). But none of this is to say it isn’t great, because it is.
The common traits of Italian supercars include (but are not limited to): an engine mounted in the middle or rear of the car and some sort of ridiculous styling feature. It must also be hideously expensive. This car marks two and a half of those boxes. The engine, in this case the American-only 5.0-liter Ford V8 making a somewhat sad 220 horsepower, is mounted behind the driver (Europeans got a 306 horsepower 5.7-liter Ford V8). And the over-the-top styling feature? How about twin doors to access the engine that fold upward – gullwing-style.
With regard to expense, the car was very expensive to build – almost prohibitively so. Only 401 were made before it was replaced by the less costly Pantera. Of those 401, only about 250 still exist. This is a 36,000-mile car with power windows, air conditioning and four-wheel disc brakes. These are definitely cool – cooler than a Pantera anyway. And it can be yours for $75,000-$100,000. For the complete lot description click here and for the complete lot list, click here.