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Coachwork by Ghia
Nasif Estéfano, Italy (acquired new in 1967)Thoroughbred Motorcars, Virginia (acquired in 1975)Larry Adcock (acquired from the above in 1978)Mark Obermeier, Connecticut (acquired from the above in 1987)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2005)
Formula 1 driver and entrepreneur Alejandro de Tomaso founded his company in 1959 primarily to develop race cars. However, he soon recognized the growing market opportunity for high-performance road cars, and thus completed his first car, the mid-engined Vallelunga. The prototype, designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro and built by Ghia, debuted at the 1963 Torino Auto Show, and it drew some interest from major automakers. No suitable partnership evolved, though, so de Tomaso financed the project himself, and returned to Ghia, which would ultimately build an estimated 53 fiberglass-bodied Vallelungas. When production ceased in 1968, much of what de Tomaso learned was applied to his next car, the Mangusta.
With its design benefiting from de Tomaso’s vast racing knowledge, the lightweight Vallelunga body shell was fastened to a pressed-steel backbone chassis, incorporating numerous race-bred ideas. Paired with the durable and potent Ford “Kent” engine, the 1,600-pound Vallelunga delivered impressive acceleration and handling, becoming one of the first production mid-engine performance cars. The low-profile design, mid-engine layout, and reliable power train would ultimately influence decades of sports car designs.
According to the consignor, in 1967, Argentinian race car driver Nasif Estéfano purchased this Vallelunga from de Tomaso and drove it in many races while in Italy. In 1975, the Vallelunga was imported to the US, and it subsequently spent many years with two De Tomaso enthusiasts. The current owner, an award-winning European sports car restorer and enthusiast, acquired the Vallelunga in 2005, and in 2010, he embarked on a comprehensive restoration, addressing details with attention to authenticity. The sophisticated chassis and frame members were carefully restored, while the engine and gearbox were rebuilt and assembled by performance experts. With the mechanical, chassis, and suspension components completed in 2014, the fiberglass body and paint were separately finished to a high standard. The correct and original red color was applied and finished in 2015; final assembly, testing, and detailing concluded in early 2018.
Today, this beautiful Vallelunga presents as one of the finest examples of Alejandro de Tomaso’s unique and bold vision for a performance car. The red exterior is contrasted with tan leather and accented by the simple, race-inspired dashboard. Offered with restoration receipts and photographic documentation, owner’s manual, brochure, spare keys, jack, and a tool kit, this freshly restored Vallelunga is primed for the finest concours fields, vintage road course events, or a spirited morning drive, just as de Tomaso intended over 50 years ago, when his first Vallelunga rolled off the line.