News : NAC picks up De Tomaso

Keith Adams

Say hello to NAC's latest car - the De Tomaso Deauville
Say hello to NAC’s latest car – the De Tomaso Deauville

The innovative new De Tomaso Deauville – last shown at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011 – is off to China, after a protracted fight by its maker to keep the project on track in Italy. The car, which is an interesting high-bodied fastback designed for versatility, was mooted for an annual production run of 8000 – and, guess what,  it never reached production.

AROnline readers will no doubt remember the original De Tomaso Deauville, the 1970 Jaguar XJ-esque saloon powered by a Ford V8 engine and that, at the time, most commentators wondered why British Leyland didn’t sue Alejandro De Tomaso for plagiarism. This time around, the US-powered fastback saloon is modelled on the BMW 5 Series GT, but looks rather more successful than the original. And could well be just the ticket for China’s affluent classes.

1970 De Tomaso Deauville had a rather Jaguar XJ look about it.
1970 De Tomaso Deauville had a rather Jaguar XJ look about it.

The result of De Tomaso’s financial woes are that Nanjing Automobile Corporation (NAC) has licensed production of the Deauville for a €15 million fee. According to the Cars UK website, there is no word yet on when the Chinese will get round to building the Deauville, and whether or not it’s destined to be a China-only car or will be exported to the West.

We’re hoping that the injection of Chinese cash will help De Tomaso’s boss, Gian Mario Rossignolo, continue development of the upcoming Pantera, and keep the company alive – but, going on past form, we’ll not hold our breath.

[Source: Cars UK]

De Tomaso Deauville 2010
De Tomaso Deauville 2010
Keith Adams


  1. 1970’s car, gorgeous. Present day? Yuck! It looks like a BMW 5 series GT.
    Fingers crossed for the new Pantera though.

  2. This is hardly in the mould of De Tomaso offerings we have come to know over the past four decades (and love).

    Then again, De Tomaso has been slipping in and out of crisis after crisis for most of this time as well. Fingers crossed this is not one crisis where it will result in a permanent lift ‘n’ shift operation to China.

  3. It looks like it could have been designed by the same people that designed the Eterniti Hemera. There are similarities; the grille, the bulky shape, even the headlamps.

  4. Who remembers the De Tomaso Biguà – which later evolved into the Qvale Mangusta and then the MG SV.

    Is buying a De Tomaso related rotund failure part of a rite of passage for MG’s owners?

  5. I remember it very clearly. I was about 13 years and we had visited my grandparents and were driving home. About 4 miles from our home I spotted this De Tomaso Deauville and begged my parents to stop so I could have a closer look. They wanted to drive on, but let me out and look at that beautiful car. I had to walk home though, after that. I did. I was very tired when I got home but also very happy.
    I just can’t imagine that I would do just the same for the new one… which looks like a cross between a BMW 5 GT and some Mitsubishi.

  6. In the metal the modern Deauville looks as dull as you’d expect. But for the height and bulk it would pass for a banal, anonymous far eastern hatchback.

    As for the 1970 Deauville – it took Jaguar 16 years to catch up.

  7. “This is hardly in the mould of De Tomaso offerings we have come to know over the past four decades (and love).”

    I’m not sure what a DeTomaso mould looks like? They’ve always produced the most random array of vehicles. The DeTomaso Mini was hardly in the same mould as the Pantera. There were plenty of other random ones too.

    “over all I think its better looking than the MG6 especially the back end treatment ”

    I thought the back end looked dull, the MG6 looks better.

    “To me it has shades of the current “Mitsubishi generation” about it.”

    I thought that too, has something of Volvo about it too. Although saying that we could sit here and do this with almost any modern car. That bit looks like that car etc.

  8. Yes, its different form the earlier De Tomaso was offering from past 4 decades. But then also it is looking good (except that its tall). It can have very diverse use and can be used in tough terrains.

  9. IMO De Tomatoe or whatever the brand is called is frankly not worth discussing – like Bristol – hardly justifiable to call them car manufacturers, just some bleary eyed enthusiasts desperately trying to conquer the world with their automotive vision only to realise it takes a bit more than a dull design and a few welding torches to make a car company. The only time I have previously heard of them was another “failed” car that became the MG SV – do these people not take the hint?

  10. @ James. Well if this this eyesore is anything to go by I don’t think De Tomanso are worth getting excited about anymore.

  11. Frankly I’m delighted this is off to China. What Britain is crying out for is something more economical and smaller. These big cars should be taxed off the roads

  12. @ MayfairPlayer. Can’t say I disagree with you on the going to China bit, it’s hideous and frankly they’re welcome to it. But haven’t we got enough small and economical cars on the roads today?
    I think taxing any kind of car off the road is wrong and downright mean.

  13. Talking of DeTomaso, I still possess a Corgi Toys model of a late 1960s car called the “DeTomaso Mangusta”. Styled like a Ferrari / Lamborghini… it looks lush in white & turqouise 2 tone

  14. @Hilton D – I had a smaller Corgi model of the Mangusta – Wiki it – it was a Ghia / Giugiaro design, and an absolute beauty. Am I alone in thinking that the original DeVille looked just like the XJ40 which was to come 16 years later (sans rear quarter-light)?

  15. Well you can say that Morris and Austin Ceased when they became BMC, but we know that wasn’t the case.

    Nac is just a subsidiary of SAIC

  16. Here’s a thought. Does anybody else think that the DeTomanaso might be aimed at emerging economies like India? Look at the ground clearance…

  17. @25 Simon… Thanks. I still have my Mangusta in its orig box. Must dig it out of the cupboard and take a look again.

  18. @ Hilton Davis. I’ve got a Corgi Ford Grenada 2.8i Ghia boxed and tucked away somewhere.
    Can we play with them together and race them on the carpet? Can we, can we? 😀

  19. “Does anybody else think that the DeTomanaso might be aimed at emerging economies like India? Look at the ground clearance…”

    Or just British roads.

  20. @33 Frankie… good idea – re-kindle our youth! I still have a collection of boxed & unboxed Corgi’s & Dinky’s and am at that time of life thinking, should I donate to a museum or sell them by auction.

  21. @ Dennis. Well with the pot holes I’ve encountered in Hampshire, good ground clearance for British roads is looking like a very real prospect…

    @ Hilton Davies. Never sell them! You’ll regret it. I’ve also got pretty much every BL car ever made (but no Maxi, so my life is incomplete at the moment) plus a few Rootes Group cars and Fords in Corgi models that I will always love as much as I did when I was 12!

    @ Keith Adams. I’ll trade you my entire model collection for your SD1 😀
    No? Well it was worth a try 🙂

  22. @36 Keith – I’ll keep you in mind!
    @37 Frankie – My late father donated a valuable item to a museum which then ended up in storage rather than on display, so I would rather sell by auction (if I had to, which I don’t luckily). I won’t be here for ever though…

  23. @ Hilton D. That’s a shame. If you were going to sell them, maybe make sure the AROnline crew know, at least they’d be guaranteed a good home.

  24. Can I play? I have a blue and white Corgi Mangusta still in its box bought when I was 9 and you can flip the chassis out, leaving the body shell to errr….well I don`t know quite why but its from the era when you flipped a little metal tab on the side of the Corgi James Bond DB5 and little plastic man shot through the sunroof. Ingenious really . This current De Tomaso ? Nah, sorry. I`m just off to admire my Solido Ami 6 and make vroom vroom noises (alright 602cc noises).

  25. @ Dan. I don’t see any reason why not :-). I think I’ve got a Capri that does that, and an Alfa of some sort…have to rummage around in the loft and get some pictures up!
    Also have the Corgi MoonBuggy from Diamonds are Forever, complete with plastic Sean Connery, but not the Aston.
    More a put-put-put than a vroom-vroom then I’m guessing lol?

  26. @40 Dan and 41 Frankie – Yes that’s the car (white/blue Mangusta with detachable chassis). I also have the Bond DB5, intact too. I’ve heard they fetch about £400 at auction.

  27. £400 pounds? That could buy you half a Triumph Acclaim!

    But I bet none of you have one a model of a Talbot Sunbeam Lotus :-D?
    Was going to stick some pics on, but can’t sadly. When I work out how to I’ll get some of the others up here as well 🙂

  28. Well, I do have a Solido Simca / Talbot Horizon and Alpine and a Norev De Tomaso Pantera, somewhere covered in dust….must check up on them again soon .

  29. Can’t be too many Talbot Horizon models around (I wonder if there are more models than actual Talbot Horizons)
    Stick some pictures on :-)!

  30. Both are more than ugly and that’s why De Tomaso always has and always will lurch from one financial crisis to another. Oh but wait, the Chinese have stepped in… they make a whole bunch of ugly cars so this is a good fit. win win.

  31. Nicely written Mr. Adams.  An American would say your treatment of the Deauville’s styling and Mr. Rossignolo was “classy”.  This car’s styling is elegant and it makes business sense.  I would buy this car, especially if my family grows, because it is inherently “cool” and roomy.  Furthermore, where I live the streets are not great and very vertical.  I cringe because my BMW scrapes the ground whenever I drive anywhere.  The DT’s front also reminds me of an Aston Martin, specifically the 80’s V-8 coupé.  Let’s give lots of positive feedback to de Tomaso because it was the negative press regarding the Deauville after Geneva that gave his Indian angel cold feet.  If we rally behind Rossignolo he’ll be able to raise the money he needs to train welders and artisans and commence Pantera production.  Please keep us informed regarding any developments.

  32. With some nice front and rear lamp detailing, a better colour and clever lighting it suddenly looks a whole lot more attractive…

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