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The Mangusta was the first offering from DeTomaso, and it ranked up with the Shelby Cobra and other high-powered sports cars. See more pictures of sports cars.

The story of DeTomaso sports cars isn't exactly a new one. The notion of a race-car driver turned sports-car manufacturer is hardly a new one -- actually, it seems to be a formula for success. Argentinian Alejandro de Tomaso went from racing cars to building them, with 1966’s DeTomaso Mangusta (“Mongoose” in Italian) as his initial offering.

Combining a proven Ford V-8 engine with bodywork from Ghia’s Giorgio Giugiaro, the DeTomaso Mangusta had power enough to shout down some of its flaws. The handling wasn’t fantastic, though a little cramped, but the Mangusta could really move. And move it did -- both on the road and on the sales floor.

A few years later, the DeTomaso Pantera picked up where the Mangusta left off. Correcting some of the obvious drawbacks of the previous car. The Pantera couldn’t quite keep up momentum, though it fared better in Europe than it did in the United States.

Read on to find out more about DeTomaso’s sometimes-turbulent history, with vehicle profiles and photos, including where you might find a brand-new Pantera of your own.

To learn more about DeTomaso and other sports cars, see: