De Tomaso Vallelunga

The De Tomaso Vallelunga is a mid-engine sports car produced by De Tomaso from 1964 until 1968. It was the first road going automobile manufactured by the company.

De Tomaso Vallelunga
De Tomaso Vallelunga.jpg
Overview
ManufacturerDe Tomaso
Production1964–1968 (58 produced)
AssemblyItaly: Turin
DesignerCarrozzeria Fissore[1][2]
Body and chassis
ClassSports car (S)
Body style
  • Coupe (53 produced)
  • Spider (prototype)[1]
LayoutRear mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Powertrain
Engine1.6 L (1,593 cc) Ford straight-4
Transmission4-speed manual
5-speed manual
Dimensions
Wheelbase2,273 mm (89.5 in)[3]
Length3,840 mm (151.2 in)[3]
Width1,600 mm (63.0 in)[3]
Height1,080 mm (42.5 in)[3]
Curb weight726 kg (1,601 lb)
Chronology
SuccessorDe Tomaso Mangusta

HistoryEdit

The Vallelunga was based on a roadster designed by Carrozzeria Fissore[1][2] named after the Autodromo di Vallelunga racing circuit and first shown as a concept car at the Turin Motor Show in 1963.[1][4] De Tomaso had hoped to sell the design of the concept to another company,[4] but when there were no takers had the car produced by Ghia.[2]

SpecificationsEdit

The engine was a 1.5 L straight-4 Kent engine from the Ford Cortina,[3][4] tuned to a paper output of 104 hp (78 kW) at 6,200 rpm.[2] A Volkswagen Beetle transaxle,[3][2] fitted with Hewland gearsets,[2] was used. The chassis was a pressed steel backbone with a tubular subframe at the rear.[3] Suspension was double wishbone and coil springs at all four corners[4] with front and rear anti-roll bars[3] and with uprights sourced from Triumph. The small car weighed 726 kg (1,600 lb)[2] with a fiberglass body and many drilled aluminium parts.[2] Brakes were disc type all around.[5]

SuccessorEdit

The chassis was not torsionally sound for engines with higher torque, a problem made worse by faulty welding in the Italian-made backbone. Drivetrain vibration was a constant problem for those cars. 50 production cars were built,[3][2] along with three aluminum-bodied prototypes and five aluminum-bodied racing cars, bringing the total to 58.[3] The Vallelunga was replaced by the Mangusta. The Mangusta used the concept of the Vallelunga chassis, significantly re-engineered to take a Ford 302 engine, all packaged with a body by Giorgetto Giugiaro.[4]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Lamm (1991), p. 108.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Rosetti (2009).
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lamm (1991), p. 109.
  4. ^ a b c d e Lawrence (1997), p. 97.
  5. ^ Lamm (1991), pp. 108, 109.

ReferencesEdit

  • Lamm, John (September 1991). Thos L., Bryant (ed.). "Salon: 1967 De Tomaso Vallelunga". Road & Track. 43 (1): 106–109.
  • Lawrence, Mike (1997) [1991]. A to Z of Sports Cars 1945-1990. Bay View Books. ISBN 1-870979-81-8.
  • Martin, Ricci (2004). "Chapter 9—Dean-Paul". That's Amore: A Son Remembers Dean Martin. Lanham, MA US: Taylor Trade. ISBN 1-58979-140-1. LCCN 2001027526.
  • Rosetti, Giancarlo (February 2009). "De Tomaso Vallelunga: Just the beginning for Alexjandro". European Car Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 2007-10-24.