Skip to main content

Sounds similar to this quote by Winston Goodfellow  " I noticed in the records some early Grifos were not produced in proper numerical sequence, and asked Iso company president Piero RIvolta what was up with that. His answer explained much while making me laugh: "We picked the chassis closest to the door." In other words, they weren't concerned about chassis 004 coming after 003; they were focused on getting a car built and out the factory door. This is something many of today’s marque “experts” don't grasp, that back then the constructors never thought about the future, skyrocketing values (which was inconceivable) and potential implications. They simply wanted the next car built and picked whatever chassis was closest to the storage room door."     

Someone has the accurate records but hell if he knows, values or cares to share the information.

From a Couple of Aussie owners.

As two long term right hand drive Mangusta owners (8MA1288 and 8MA1298) we have spent much of our ownership sharing information with other RHD owners and assisting with car specs and purchases. We are in the currently putting together a detailed register of these rare Mangustas. Of the 10 built, as of 2020, at least 9 are survivors.

Although we don’t have all the answers to the twists and turns of the Mangusta story, we are able to share some additional information to those attempting to put together a thorough history of our beautiful cars.

To our knowledge, 10 four headlamp right hand drive cars were built, 1284 – 1302, this being the last recorded Mangusta VIN, built in 1972. In regard to the Roland Jaekel article and the German late-build cars, including RHD cars, at least 8 of the 10 RHD cars have been identified with the under-dash umbrella hand brakes. We believe that most, if not all of these RHD cars were assembled in Modena. As an example, 1298, a ’72 build and numerically the third last car, was registered by the factory in Modena, before being shipped from the factory directly to a customer in Sydney.

According to records 1284 was the first RHD body, a 1970 build. This build date is before the 1971 build date on the last LHD 1282!! The remaining eight cars were built through 1971, with 1298 & 1302 being a 1972 build.

From experience, on a modern automotive production line the biggest sin is to create a line stoppage due to parts shortages. Pictures of the Mangusta assembly line show bodies randomly located and likely not built sequentially. Does anyone know where the VIN was stamped? At Ghia, or at the DeTomaso factory? Maybe that would help to explain the random build sequencing.

Most likely cars were not built in sequence, but built as parts became available, or as customers ordered them. Many of the add-on body and trim parts were matched to the body and numbered. And as DeTomaso was often slow in paying his third party suppliers, it is also likely that some cars were built with parts missing and therefore not signed out as complete until sometime later. As an example, 1298 was built with one headlamp bezel stamped 02! Only years later did the owners compare notes on this simple anomaly.

Correcting an error in an earlier thread, 1302, nor any other RHD Mangusta ever went to New Zealand. 1302 was a factory painted yellow exterior (not eggplant!) with beige interior UK delivered car which was imported into Australia by the second owner. It has remained in Australia and recently been beautifully restored.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.