First, let’s clarify a few definitions:

Hybrid: a person [or thing] produced by the blending of two diverse cultures or traditionsHalf-breed: having one purebred parentAlessandro De Tomaso: Automotive Magician who could develop cars out of thin air with practically no budget

The first two definitions came from Webster’s. The third most definitely did not, but you’ll soon see why it’s appropriate.

Argentine ex-pat DeTomaso had much more in mind from his business marriage with Ford than just the Pantera. He envisioned a full line of high-performance exotica that would unfold throughout the early 1970s.

On the drawing board at approximately the same time was the four-door Deauville, a luxury sedan looking not at all unlike a first-gen XJ-6 and the Zonda.

1974 De Tomaso Deauville. Source: Bonhams

This front-engine coupe would have been DeTomaso’s version of something like the Maserati Ghibli. A third car was the Longchamp: a square-shouldered two-door, four-place coupe that one automotive journalist described as a “Mercedes 450 SLC on steroids.” 

The Deauville went into production in 1972, with the Longchamp following about a year later. The Zonda remained yet another unbuilt De Tomaso prototype.

Tom Tjaarda styled the Longchamp coupe (and the Zonda and Deauville, for that matter) with body construction handled by Ghia, which was also under DeTomaso’s control. The ‘Champ rode on a 102.3-inch wheelbase with an overall length of 180 inches. 

1978 De Tomaso Longchamp 
Peter Singhof © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The monocoque chassis was equipped with fully independent suspension, 4-wheel power disc brakes (inboard at the rear), and power rack and pinion steering.

The only engine choice was Ford’s 351 “Cleveland” V-8, similar to that used in the Pantera, putting out 300 horsepower in European trim (the Longchamp was never officially imported to the U.S.). The torquey Ford was most often backed up by Ford’s sturdy C-6 3-speed automatic trans, though a ZF 5-speed was offered as an option.

engine of 1978 De Tomaso Longchamp
 Peter Singhof © 2020 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

The interior was comfortable, luxurious, and oh-so-Italian, combining a full range of power accessories, very complete instrumentation, and well-trimmed leather everywhere.

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By: Matt Stone
Title: The History of the De Tomaso Longchamp and Maserati Kyalami
Sourced From:
Published Date: Sun, 02 May 2021 20:24:58 +0000

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