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ok, another found in the range of probably 8ma800 range (switches down, separated window switches, one piece seats)...even if the comments by the poster call it a late model because of the rectangular headlights...At least, it looks like the custom headlights were because someone liked that look, not because the bumped the front...

Yeah, M!ke, there were 4 different dashes, so this car falls between ~8ma810 and 8ma960

   -first the "2-in-1" light switches (both switches under the same bezel), using the 4-wire window motors. These changed to 2 switches side by side at about 8ma810.

- switches went from "down" to "up" at 8ma956.

- of course, AC in dash at 8ma1100.

So the 3 wire window motors and dual switches for ~250 of the Mangustas. Other dating cues;

  Door panels went from 1 piece to 2 pieces about 8ma700.

Seats went from 1 piece to 2 piece with 8ma798..(or actually, according to Provamo, that car actually had both (unless the ID of the car got confused on Provamo...)...Lee

Last edited by leea

it might be of value to create a list of production changes for posterity...

I knew about the other dash changes, but never knew if there was an actual change point from separate window switches to pairs...  or if it was a random thing like the solid wood steering wheels...  or the side A/C vents like 898 has...

I guess we'd need a list of anomalies also...


I don’t think there is a specific cutoff.  Cars were not necessarily built in sequence. Dashes evolved. Seats changed thru the production. Some very early cars had 2 piece seats, as you know the same seats showed up on Panteras.  For sure early cars had the lower switches and mid- production got the lower dash A/C vents.  2 headlamps came around the 1060 mark. (From memory) there may have been a couple random as prototype earlier). Rear body gussets were late production improvements.  There are a few unique elements on very early cars and late production cars.

Just wanted to 2nd Denisc's point about variation in seats.  1-piece and 2-piece seem to be peppered into production at random intervals. No rhyme or reason, simply what was available at the time.

As for the 2 headlamp cars, I was surprised to hear from PIM that in recent decades they had converted some Geese from 4 lamp to 2. That is a tragedy in my opinion. 4 headlamp was the true design. My understanding is the pop-ups were only to meet road safety requirements.

"There are a few unique elements on very early cars"

I am still hoping to one day see a Goose from the first 10 (or was it 11?) which have the different rear grill. Vertical slots instead of metal mesh.

Also the late cars have what I think is the better parking brake handle. Floor mounted instead of pulling out from the dash.

I still think that Spider is my favorite car in the world... On deviation, I've gotten all this purely from looking at Provamo. As Dennis points out, we're pretty clear that car chassis were not linear, at least there were exceptions...And some variations were post-production--well, at least 8ma789 shows originally 2 pieces door pads, then one piece door panels with 2 piece seats,  then back to 2 piece door panels with one piece seats , then brand new leather...

  Denis, I remember you counted the number of 2 headlight cars (at 20-something), the first I see is 8ma902. Scifi, the only conversions I've heard about are back to 4 headlight...the mod to add the movable headlights is something anybody doing bodywork would rather avoid . So I have the rare 2 headlight option on my car, not the outdated 4 headlight...yeah, umm... Lee

Last edited by leea

M!ke, it just keeps getting weirder what a beautiful tapestry...The backup light is even more farfetched than the brake light---at least, the brake light had a place on Lotus using the same umbrella handle. But at least the switch placement for the reverse light on Pantera was on the ZF box--and the first Mangusta had no box, it (and as I hear, on GT40s) was open.

Also, see the rear of 8ma508.


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  • 8ma508 no shift box
  • 8ma520 no zf shift box
  • 8ma508 rear

...posted about the same time, a US model (2 headlight car) in the Netherlands...I think 8ma1098. Nico is a bit off to guess that the cars were dangerous and handling caused half of them to least, there would piles of parts somewhere if this was true . Also interesting that he says they didn't sell well, when it seems the plan from the get-go was 400 cars. Lastly, he could call them "Miura taillights" instead of Fiat 850

Listed at 279,500 euro and listing 78k kilometers....just ignore the MPH speedo . Cool to see a car that has been driven so much...Lee

Last edited by leea


That car was modified but is not made better.There hasn't been anyone around that can outdo Giugiaro so far. The fact remains that the car was created by de Tomaso to be a racecar for the street, unknown by most.  There were many government regulations that were waived to allow the car into the USA, all seen on that mylar strip on top of the hydraulic bottle cover. The headlamps are four inches too low to meet the US specs, and the whole car is designed around their placement.. You can tell when you drive at night as road surface regulations are exaggerated, creating big shadows.

De Tomaso was given time to legalize the headlamps, bring them to a height of 24 inches from ground and to continue production so that the dual lamp system could be implemented. Obviously not great looking but probably a big improvement to the driving experience.

The back-up lamp on the prototype was a paper mock-up, not a real taillamp.

I doubt very much if the production goal was 400, that probably happened to switch the production line over to the Pantera.

The production variations were probably all caused by the fact that de Tomaso was a dealer and had trouble with suppliers.

Much of this is covered in;

>BELLA MANGUSTA,The Italian Art and Design of the De Tomaso Mangusta.

My car is currently in the national Corvette Museum as part of an exhibit featuring foreign cars with Corvette engines.


Dick, so amazing that your Goose is sitting there in Bowling Green!   I've been trying to find the copy I didn't buy, the June 1969 Road Test featured an article with Mort Sahl, who quoted the 400 number then---so interesting, seems to have been the plan from the beginning (even if having to complete them in Germany must have come later !)--Lee

Oh, Dick, we've been a 2 copy family of your book for a few years now .

The Mort Sahl interview was in a small British magazine, and however he had already heard the "400" number is curious--at least, that interview may be the first where a certain production number was quoted...

I'm curious also, who may know the chassis numbers for the famously owned cars--Muhammed Ali seems was 8ma718, but then Willie Mays and Jack Lalanne and rumors of Pete Rose...? Only 8ma594 is listed as lime Green and in the same era I'd expect for Mort Sahl's car...Lee


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  • mort sahl road test

...there were a few versions (!) Hall reproduces one of them (the one with Alejandro's autograph) . Somewhere during/after that was a 2nd version in "shopping list" enumeration of the specific safety items.

the 3rd version, somewhere in the ~1969 (8MA936 is the first I see) the "exemption 69-6" sticker placed on the bulkhead glass (and on 8ma1046, also on the windshield).  I don't remember seeing a car after the 8ma1100 range that had any of these (esp, it seems the trend of the later cars were less about the US market around then, otherwise we'd see a lot more 2 headlight cars...lord knows how the factory managed the variations in piece-parts...Lee


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  • Goose window sticker 8MA1010 "69-6" version
  • shopping list detail safety sticker
Last edited by leea

Thanks for buying the book.

I do not even want to see the modified mangusta. Your description of the modifications are bad enough.

Herb Grass, then a designer at Ford, bought Cassius Clay's Mangusta. He found his managers business card under the dash when he was having it painted. Three days after he bought it, about 1963, the steering got hard and a front ball joint broke. he was three blocks from home and called a flatbed, The driver decided not to tie it down as he was so close to the drop off point and on the first turn it slid off the truck.

A bad beginning. Herb later took it to Australia and, I think, India.

Grase those ball joints!!!

..amazing. Dick, I think of your car as one of the top-3 most interesting factory cars--I'd think of the Spider and 8MA502 (I assume that is right, the red car that was in the 1968 Sports Car Graphic/Winter 1969 Automobile quarterly) and then the Chevy powered car as the 3 most remarkable Mangustas.  Somebody somewhere must know where 8ma502 is...(?)

  But then on the flip side, the Odd Goose doctors car (vin uncertain), 8ma846 (with the Z-28 hood), and 8ma522 (with the factory-says-its-true 2 popup headlights).

I'm curious if anybody knows the chassis numbers of the cars that have been written off; not counting 8ma800 (pretty remarkable rebody), I suppose 8ma1056 (the burn car), maybe 8ma988 (pair of tail-lights only found), and of course the road-racer upside down in the canyon.

I've got to think there are another 50 cars in garages somewhere...and a few with modifications more than the barn find car here--Lee

Last edited by leea

The so-called 'canyon racer' 1970 #8MA1212 was crashed by a Canadian owner during an early One Lap of America event due to a blown rear tire in rural NV. It was stripped of all its parts and Pantera suspension mounting points added, as well as the roof being reshaped to near-stock. It then became a moderately successful racing Mangusta campaigned by Lilo Zicron in Ca in 2010. Dunno what happened after it was sold. Featured in both the POCA Profiles and the POCA Newsletter a dozen years ago

@dickruzzin posted:

We have seen this before.

1. Why put a hood bump on a mid-engine car?

2. Why ruin one of the most amazing parts of the car, the front hood>


I guess, needed room for the high rise manifold Same reason that the Spider used at one time, I guess. Or interesting, 8ma526 taking the Lola approach...

And good news: all recoverable, really. Some day '526 will emerge from under the boxes and look absolutely fabulous, I'll bet...even w/o the hi-comp 327 with a stroker crank 

Scifi, the only explanation I can give to the 8ma522 is that it got shuffled up, I think as someone put it 8ma522 was just the furthest from the door....  Having the dash from the first cars (switches down and 4-wire window motors), glass from ~May 1969, the Mobil chassis plate (from March 1969), single piece seats and single piece door panels, whatever...I couldn't see a picture of the shift linkage, because these early cars should have had the open Zf (no shift box) and not the Bosch alternator (others were Prestolite). Even allowing a hyper mismatch by a subsequent owner, my guess is that the chassis just got lost along the way and was finished as a 2 headlight car (even if a year out of sequence). Can anybody verify when/if the hood and engine covers moved from steel to aluminum? Lee


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  • 8ma526 hood vent
Last edited by leea

I might also note here that I was asked by Peter Vack to write a comparison of the fifty year old Mangusta to the new C8 Corvette, as I have both. The artice appeared in, a site that focuses on Italian and French cars. He put it on the site about five months ago.  

It turned out to be very interesting.  I compared  the two driving experiences as well as the numerical statistics.  I especially focused on the design and was able to give a good accounting of why the cars look the way they do from an aesthetic standpoint.

I also took all of the pictures and Pete did an excellent editing job as he is very skillful at that.MANGUSTA:C8-IMG_1579.


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  • MANGUSTA:C8-IMG_1579

1970 De Tomaso Mangusta leather | eBay

Looks pretty good, really. An early 2-headlight car (see text and driver's carpet), with switches down would be in the range of 8ma902- 8ma954, and Provamo doesn't list ~13 cars in the range of 8ma910-952) Looks like the carb is flipped (meaning Ford normal , you can see the throttle cable on the driver's side)...The hood mat also looks different (from these pictures, the diamonds look sewed but still the material looks like pebbled vinyl used as with the Ghilbli spider trunk material with embossed diamonds).  Missing rear sway bar, replacement clock, not-quite-right air cleaner,  parking brake restored to the umbrella, rear and front valances a bit modified (for exhaust and around front turn signals)....But a pretty genuine looking car...beautiful interior--Lee


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  • denver classic goose
Last edited by leea

they were smart to make the engine look right--a repro set of valve covers is about $70, and a repro oil pan (and this is the right repro, but the oil temp sender isn't there, that and not beat up makes it a repro ) is also available. The air cleaner first looked right to me--but I think it is a nice job at a replacement. I don't remember the barn-find video even showing the engine.

  My 3rd favorite thing on the car--the texture on the support bars between the rear fenders and the B column (the one above the correct fuel cap)...I am still amazed at Denis' texture on his air cleaners, that and the undercoating splatter in the engine bay are 2 things I do not dare to try....but I'm going to have a stab at those...some day.

Vin? Love to hear if someone knows, I'm going to take a swing at 8ma924, if someone says higher or lower and gives me another 3 chances.... Provamo has this as "unknown 1391", interestingly dated 2018, without the spoiler on the front...and the barnfind video posted March 2021...Would be curious when it was moved to the 'barn''...Lee


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  • classic investment goose 16
Last edited by leea

what a contrast, 8ma716 sold at Mecum for $352k....unrestored and very low mileage. Even if the picture of the tool kit has me scratching my head...(we've seen the original tool kit, it like the the rest of the car is the closest detail in existence of how these cars were made...yeah, ok, maybe now with the foam in the seats completely deflated, but geez what a beautiful thing...Lee


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  • 8ma716 hemmings tool kit 2
  • 8ma716 interior
Last edited by leea

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