Well, I've had the "new" Longchamp in my hands for almost a week. I've been going through and over the car giving it what my close friends know I always do: clean, wet-sand, detail, buff, polish, fix things and make it as close to perfect as possible. But today I actually drove it for the first time. Sure, I drove it on and off the trailer and around a parking lot, but today I hit the road and went for a decent cruise on my favorite abandoned country roads near my place. The car ran beautifully. It is amazingly compliant and tight. Absolutely NOTHING squeaks or rattles. The alignment is way off (too much toe out and not enough front castor) but I was very pleasantly surprised at what a great cruising machine this car is. It really is an executive Pantera. Or, as I am now thinking of it, a De Tomaso version of the Ferrari 400GT. And a better version at that. This car is one of only 10 (according to a De Tomaso letter) that was built with a manual transmission.
After a good run I decided to pull off to the side of the road to take a few photos. As I did a big Mercedes pulled off a few hundred feet back. A guy jumped out and ran over saying "oh, my god... is that a LONGCHAMP?!". Well, I was blown away. My very first outing and the very first person to see the car knew what it was. Clearly I live in the right neighborhood! We had a great chat and I think I've convinced him to sell his Alfa and join our fraternity. He has been a De Tomaso fan for years but they always seemed just out of reach.
Anyway, here are some of the shots of my new baby.