18 February 2022
Jay Leno said, ‘the only real supercar that’s for the guy who can’t afford the Ferrari or the Lamborghini.’ He referred to the 1970s Pantera, a little-known car from the little-known maker De Tomaso — little known, at least, compared with Ferrari or Lamborghini.
Alejandro De Tomaso was an Argentine racing driver and political exile. His second wife, Isabelle Haskell, was also a brilliant racing driver herself and, equally importantly, the granddaughter of one of the founders of General Motors. De Tomaso founded his own company in Italy in 1959.
Sadly, after Alejandro De Tomaso died in 2003, the brand went dormant, and in time the company faced liquidation. Some Fiat executives tried to revive it but misappropriated the funds instead, and De Tomaso’s assets ended up in the hands of the Italian government.
Investment manager Ryan Berris at Ideal Team Ventures, one of those behind the reboot of Apollo Automobil, a German sports car manufacturer founded in 2004, quietly acquired the De Tomaso brand at auction in 2014, became its new CEO and, in 2019, after years of secrecy, has unveiled the latest model to carry its badge, the P72.
Aesthetically, the P72, of which just 72 are to be built, is more a throwback to the P70 race car that inspires it.
In conjunction with Capricorn Group, a German motorsport chassis and component developer, De Tomaso has begun constructing a new production facility on the Nürburgring in Germany; the P72 will undergo the final development stages of testing this year, with the first customer cars delivered in early 2023.
De Tomaso said, ‘This isn’t an Apple Watch. It’s more a Patek Philippe. And that’s because it’s not enough to try to sell a beautiful car today. People want more. They want the provenance.’